Vita-Picci Dobson leads Dragons

The girls cross country team finishes fourth in Silverton.

DALLAS -- Vita Picci-Dobson of Dallas skipped soccer practice on Sept. 15.

But she didn't exactly take the day off. Instead, she joined her other teammates on the Dallas cross country team and ran to a fourth-place finish in the Silverton Invitational.

"We did really well," Dallas coach Monique Lankheet said. "Vita came out and ran with us, and she did awesome. When you look at the times from last year to this year, almost everybody improved. Realistically, we have so many new kids and so many first-time runners, it's difficult to meet expectations -- even our own. I have to keep reminding myself we have a really, really young team."

The Dallas girls finished third overall in the team competition. Picci-Dobson was followed by (in order) Chelsea Weins, Angela Smith, Amanda Breusch, Diane Landry, Mattie Morris and Kendra Fresh.

Dallas boys competed without top runner Michael Ryan, who's out with a hip injury. The Dragons ended up eighth of nine teams. Mitch Tichinin was the team's top finisher, followed by Nick Wilson, Nate Anderson and Dempsey Weld.

Dustin Hiebert, a late addition, could join the boys team in time for a dual meet at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 in Dallas City Park against Tualatin and Silverton. Ryan also might be able to return for the home meet.

"We just want to see continued improvement," Lankheet said. "We have a shot at beating Silverton with the girls. If the girls run amazing, they might have a shot at Tualatin. Tualatin doesn't have anyone running really, really fast, but they have a lot of people running in the 21s and 22s. When you put all five around there, that's a pretty fast team.

"On the boys side, I think we have a shot at beating Silverton. We won't compete with Tualatin, but hopefully we'll place some people.

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