Enterprise’s Ribich takes first at home invite

By Katy Nesbitt, The Observer October 01, 2012 04:03 pm

Enterprise’s David Ribich won the Enterprise Invitational with a time of 17:39 Friday at Alpine Meadows Golf Course. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
Enterprise’s David Ribich won the Enterprise Invitational with a time of 17:39 Friday at Alpine Meadows Golf Course. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer

ENTERPRISE — David Ribich of the combined Wallowa County team won the Enterprise Cross Country Invitational Meet Friday afternoon at Alpine Meadows Golf Course. The Enterprise junior took first in a time of 17:39.

Union High School dominated the men’s team competition with a total score of 29 points, followed by Enterprise with 54, Elgin with 77, McLoughlin  with 101, and Stanfield with 146 points. 

Men’s top 10 individual finishers were Ribich, Enterprise, 17:39; Kenneth Sipp, Union in 18:22; Ethan Black, Union, 18:26; Elliott Jonasson, La Grande, 18:49; Riley Sheehy, Union,18:59; Austin Burns, Enterprise, 19:24; Alex Tyler, Enterprise, 19:32; Jesus Saldano, McLoughlin, 19:33; Samuel O’Reilly, Union, 19:41; and Daniel Colton, Union, 19:49.

Union junior Katriel O’Reilly cruised to first place in the women’s race in 20:28 leading her team to a first place finish with 27 points. Enterprise women were second with 73 points, McLouglin was third with 88, and La Grande finished fourth with 104 points.

Women’s top 10 finishers were O’Reilly in 20:28 followed by McKenzie Evans, Union, in 21:06; Amanda Welch, La Grande, 21:17; Josei Lonai, McLoughlin, 21:18; Stormy Bullard, Union, 22:37; Susie Romero-Diaz, McLoughlin, 22:53; Hannah Graf, Enterprise, 22:54; Elizabeth Herbes, Western McEwen, 22:58; Elly Wells, Union, 23:24; and Lynn Shoemaker, 23:26.

“We had a pretty good day despite running tired from a tough week of practice,” Union coach Steve Sheehy said.  

“We had a difficult practice on Thursday night. Katriel and McKenzie went first and second in the girls race, running some pretty solid times on a fairly slow couse.  We had solid performances from all of our girls.”

According to Elgin coach Kevin Lambert, the Huskies did well in Enterprise. 

“Once again we fielded a strong guys team. Once againMicah Flippo ran a great race and got second.

“The really neat thing is that no particular runner stood out as our guys ran together and finished within seconds of each other.”

One of the bright spots was the pack attack the Huskies had in Enterprise. 

 “John Sparks paved the way by getting out in front early but our following four runners did their best to keep up with the pace he set.

“Watching them run together is a rarity among cross country teams and it promises to pay off in the future.

“Now we just need to work on getting that pack faster,” Lambert said.

Dan Moody, coach for the combined Wallowa County team, said he has 35 junior high and high school runners out this year.

“They are a great bunch of kids who are willing to work hard,” said Moody.

Many of his runners this year are exchange students and almost all of them come from a soccer background. Moody said running and soccer are
synonymous.

“You have to be in shape,” said Moody.

Moody, a retired teacher from Enterprise High, accepted the athletic director position this year to add to his coaching duties. He said it’s been a little hectic, but smoothing out. As for the cross country team, he said they are building for the district meet Oct. 26.

Moody said, “The gap is losing.”

Senior Austin Burns came in second for Enterprise and fifth overall. He credited the cloud cover and cooler temperatures with, “Being able to put more out there.”

Ribich, who has won the invitational three years in a row, pulled away from the field within the first 100 yards and ran by himself. 

“I feel like if someone was with me I would have been faster. The course is a little longer than a 5k, but I was faster this year than last.”

Ribich said he’d like to than the teachers and community for coming out to the meet and supporting the team. 

He said as a junior he is a lot more mentally prepared for the season and the team is more focused, lending them to having a lot better year.

Next week, Union, Enterprise, La Grande and McLoughlin, along with Baker, Arlington, and Monument high schools compete in the Dry Side Shoot Out hosted by La Grande High School.