The Grand County Middle School cross country team from left to right: Ranna Bieschke (coach), Ryan Reed, Alex Lacey,  Emmy Heywood, Dan Stenta (coach) Braxton Pierce, Kaylan Young, Tyler Moreau, Kianna Chacon, Ryan Lewis, Auburn Jackman and Trish Hedin (coach). [Photo courtesy / Grand County Middle School

The Grand County Middle School Cross Country Team has had an energetic and productive season this fall. The team of 10 runners has not only run personal bests throughout the season, but has had great finishes in meets all over the region.

The girls’ team of Kianna Chacon, Emmy Heywood, Auburn Jackman and Kaylan Young has all shown great strides in their running abilities. Recently Kianna placed third in the female division of the Moab Autumn 5K and tenth overall. Emmy Heywood has placed in the top 10 in the first three meets with a 7th place finish in Monticello, a 6th place finish in Blanding and a 7th place finish at the recent Red Rock Invitational here in Moab. Auburn Jackman also placed in the top 10 in our home meet with an 8th place finish overall.

The boys team – comprised of Alex Lacy, Ryan Lewis, Tyler Moreau, Braxten Pierce, Ryan Reed and Kane Scherer – gained momentum as the season progressed. Braxten Pierce made a great showing at the Moab Autumn 5K placing 4th in the male division and 8th place overall. Pierce also recently placed in the top 10 with a 9th place finish at the Red Rock Invitation in Moab. Ryan Lewis has also had a strong season with a third place finish in Monticello and impressing both the crowd and other runners at the Red Rock Invitational with a first place finish, setting a new course record in extremely windy conditions.

The final meet for the Thunderbirds will take place at the John Thornton Invitational in Blanding Oct. 9. The boys’ race will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the College of Eastern Utah campus, with the girls beginning right after the boys start.