The Healdsburg cross-country squad kicked off the fall campaign in earnest on Saturday, hitting the trails at Spring Lake in Santa Rosa for the 35th annual Viking Opener.
The event, hosted by Montgomery, featured more than 1,000 athletes from schools all over Northern California. Races were contested in several divisions on the abbreviated two-mile course, including senior boys, junior boys, junior/senior girls, frosh/soph boys, frosh/soph girls, open runners and the ever popular alumni race.
Healdsburg was well represented in several races, including some impressive performances from veteran athletes and a few getting their first taste of high school competition.
Junior standout Jack Vanden Heuvel led the charge, completing the 2-mile course in a sizzling 10:28 to finish in third place in his race. Other top juniors included Peter Trebilcock (11:40), Edgar Ortiz (12:25), Henry Waterman (13:14) and Henry Gomez (14:08).
Luca Pastene was the lone HHS senior with a time of 12:29.
Top finishing sophomore boys for the Hounds were Jamison Dankowski (18th place, 11:38), Conroy Smith (65th place, 13:13), Liam O’Gorman (70th place, 13:20) and Dominic Duri (13:39).
Leading freshmen boys included Alex Cyphers (12:01), Owen Efram (13:19), Matthew Nielsen (13:20), Erick Gutierrez (13:27) and Harrison Threlfall (13:36).
Owen Smith led the open boys with a time of 13:35.
Leading the small HHS girls contingent in the junior/senior race was Nadya Rued (16:22), while top HHS runners in the frosh/soph event were Stephanie Hensley (15:26), Adeline Waterman (17:37) and Zoe Turk (18:17).