EUGENE — Corvallis High freshman Madeline Nason held off Crescent Valley’s Sophie Fisher for third place in the OSAA 5A girls state cross country race at Lane Community College on Saturday.
Nason finished in 18 minutes, 43 seconds and Fisher came in fourth at 18:44.
Nason said she did not have a specific goal coming into the meet, so her performance was a bit of a surprise.
Nason was among a small group of runners that formed the lead pack. She gradually built confidence that she could keep the pace.
“After the 3K when I was still with them, yes,” Nason said.
As a freshman, it was Nason’s first experience with a high school state meet.
“It was kind of weird running on a track during a cross country race,” she said.
Fisher didn’t expect the lead pack to stay intact for the entire race.
“Honestly it was kind of surprising that group of five or six people … stayed for literally the whole race,” Fisher said. “At the finish line, the top four were four seconds apart. That’s a little surprising. You usually have a bit more of a spread.
“The last 600, the last 800, I was like ‘this could be anyone’s race.’”
Fisher was happy with her finish because she will be able to compete in the Border Clash.
“Coming into this I really wanted to make it to Border Clash," she said. "I try to go into every race pretty relaxed, trying to do my best, because every single day you can’t control what other people can do. You can only do your best. So I felt like I gave it my all and I’m happy with that. I’m excited to keep training for the next two weeks for the next of Border Clash.”
The Raiders finished fifth in the team competition and CHS was sixth.
CV’s Sunitha Black was 17th in 19:43 and Geneva Wolfe was 30th in 20:30.
Annie Berry of West Albany finished 15th with a time of 19:38.
Senior Isabella Ayala was the top placer for the Lebanon girls, finishing 18th in 19:48.
Being in the top 20 was a reward after a difficult season. Ayala has struggled with hip issues her entire running career and tore her labrum during the 2017 cross-country season. She had hip surgery in March and in early summer she was able to jog for just 10 minutes at a time.
“In August, when we started practice, that was the first time I ran a mile,” Ayala said.
Late in the season, Ayala finally started to feel stronger physically and that was reflected in her results.
“I don’t know that I’d ever run without pain before,” Ayala said. “I’m glad I got it fixed.”
Fellow senior Amy Workman placed 42nd with a time of 20:54.
Solid depth enabled the Crescent Valley boys to finish fourth as a team.
The Raiders did not have a top-15 placer in the race, but had solid performances from all runners.
Logan Pawlowski finished in 20th with a time of 16:58. Cade Byer was 27th in 17:11, Legend Lamer was 32nd in 17:16 and Blake Byer was 34th in 17:17. Reid Kerr was 41st in 17:28.