by: DAVID BALL/PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Madras freshman Carlos Figueroa, left, was the top boys finisher for the White Buffalos at the Estacada Invitational. He placed 28th overall. 12 of 13 runners set personal bests at Estacada meet

In cross country, the competition isn’t necessarily against the person running next to you, it’s the runner themself.

At the Estacada Invitational on Oct. 7, held at McIver Park, the Madras High School cross country team had 12 of its 13 runners set a personal record, and with the district meet set for Friday, head coach Donnie Alire was more than pleased about the performance.

“We set some goals a couple weeks ago, and we hit them,” he said. “I have this quote I tell the kids, ‘If you aim for nothing, you’ll hit it every time,’ and that’s a big motivator for us. The whole team did awesome.”

For the boys, Madras freshman Carlos Figueroa placed 28th overall with a time of 18 minues, 14.63 seconds, more than 15 seconds better than his goal time of 18:30.

“Carlos ran a great race,” Alire said. “We’ve been working on keeping our pace consistent from runner to runner, and we were able to do that pretty well.”

Alire said pace management is the key to running cross country races, and it’s much different than just running fast. The example he used is that a runner can run 200 meters in seven minutes, but if that’s not the pace the runner is in shape for, they will continute to get slower and slower as the race goes on.

When runners are at the correct pace, Alire said, they can maintain that throughout the whole race and set personal records like almost all of his team did.

“I’m just so proud of the team for working so hard,” Alire said.

Rounding out the varsity finishers for the boys team were Brent Sullivan with a time of 19:39.97 (55th overall), Germaine Anderson with a time of 20:27.58 (65th overall), Shea Yeahquo with a 20:40.15 for 69th and Damean Frank with a 20:55.83 for 70th.

On the girls side, no one ran in the varsity race. In the junior varsity race, Maddie Molitor finished fourth with a time of 21:27.53. Alire was especially impressed with the race by Blue Whiteplumbe, who broke her personal best by nearly 10 minutes. She ran a 29:15.81 to blow her previous record of 38:57 out.

The Buffs will compete in the Tri-Valley Conference championships on Oct. 23 at McIver Park in Estacada.

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