Plenty of individual and team hardware will be returning with area cross-country runners from Saturday’s OSAA state meet if results so far this season hold up.
Crescent Valley’s Sophie Fisher (5A girls), Philomath’s Hannah Hernandez (4A girls) and East Linn Christian’s Jedaiah Wasson (2A/1A boys) all appear to be within reach of individual state titles. The first 10 placers in each race get medals.
The Crescent Valley boys and girls, Philomath boys and girls and East Linn Christian boys teams have all put themselves in position for a top-four finish and a team trophy at Eugene’s Lane Community College.
Fisher, a junior, has the third-fastest 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) time in the 5A girls division at 18 minutes, 31 seconds. She ran that time at the Oct. 12 meet at Champoeg State Park, where Hood River Valley’s Frances Dickinson clocked an 18:07, the fastest 5A time this season, in the win.
Fisher won last week’s Mid-Willamette Conference district meet at Waterloo County Park in 18:33, as the Raiders won both team titles for the second straight year.
Fisher will be in the position of the hunter, which she hopes will help her reach another level. She has five wins this fall after improving her 2017 best by more than 48 seconds.
Corvallis freshman Madeline Nason is fourth on the 5A girls list this season at 18:43. Crescent Valley’s Sunitha Black and West Albany junior Annie Berry have also shown the potential for top-10 finishes.
Nason was second, Berry fourth and Black fifth at the district meet.
Logan Pawlowski led a strong CV boys pack with a sixth-place finish at the district meet.
Hernandez looks to be peaking at the right time.
The Philomath junior ran 18:22 last week at Lane to win the Oregon West district title for a third straight year, 13 days after clocking an 18:17 as runner-up at Champoeg.
That time is third-fastest in the 4A classification this fall and only 11 seconds behind the top mark set by Marist’s McKenna Priske (18:06). Defending champion Solace Bergeron of Tillamook has the No. 2 time at 18:07.
Hernandez has won six races and finished second in two others. Fourth at state as a freshman and 28th as a sophomore, she’s improved her personal best by more than 24 seconds this season.
Grant Hellesto’s seventh-place finish led the Philomath boys at the district meet.
Sweet Home sophomore Jessy Hart qualified for the 4A girls race with fourth place at districts.
Wasson, a senior, has the second-fastest 2A/1A boys time this season at 15:43. Union’s Tim Stevens is first at 15:08, though his next best is 15:27.
Wasson won his district meet last week in 15:53 for his third victory this fall. That also helped the Eagles win the team title.
Corvallis, led by Nason, and Lebanon, by Isabella Ayala, saw its girls teams qualify for the state meet, as did Harrisburg in the 3A boys division and Central Linn and Santiam Christian in 3A/2A/1A girls.
Central Linn senior Jessica Neal has the second-fastest 3A/2A/1A time of the fall, in 19:09, behind district rival Alejandra Lopez (18:47) of Kennedy. Cobras sophomore Jenna Neal (20:07) is fifth for the season.
Jessica Neal has runner-up finishes to Fisher and Hernandez and has taken second to Lopez twice, including by 17 seconds at the district meet.
The Harrisburg boys claimed a one-point edge on Taft to win the district team title behind Austin Brock’s sixth-place finish.
Ann Livingston was tops for Santiam Christian at district in seventh.