Prep cross-country: Plenty of area teams competing at state meet

Prep cross-country: Plenty of area teams competing at state meet


The state cross-country meets for all classifications take place at Lane Community College on Saturday. Here’s a look at the area teams competing.

3A/2A/1A girls (10 a.m.)

Central Linn: Central Linn won the 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 title and will have one of the top freshmen at the state meet in Gemma Rowland, who owns a season-best time of 21 minutes, 3.30 seconds. Jenna Neal, a junior, is not far off at 21:10.00, and the two of them finished fourth and sixth at districts. Yarabett White (22:32.80), Maya Rowland (22:52.50), Abigail Hair (23:54.40), Anna Hair (25:18.10) and Ally Crowell (25:35.00) round out the Cobras’ entries.

Scio: Freshman standout Athena Lau just missed a personal-best while finishing second at district meet to qualify for state as an individual. She enters the weekend with a personal record of 20:41.70, good for the 22nd-fastest among small-school runners this year.

2A/1A boys (10:35 a.m.)

East Linn Christian: The Eagles won the 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 championship convincingly on Oct. 31 and could be in the mix for a top-five state finish. East Linn Christian is paced by junior Brandon Williams, who won the district title and owns the fifth-fastest time in 2A/1A this year at 16:28.00. He took 13th at state last season. Ethan Slayden (17:27.41), Warren Wheeler (18:11.40), Ethan Hurst (18:52.20), Caleb Rickman (19:11.78), Tanner Murray (21:01.56) and Hunter Bardell (21:01.80) round out the Eagles’ entries.

3A boys (11:10 a.m.)

Santiam Christian: Santiam Christian finished as runner-up at its district championship meet and is a very young group; three of the Eagles’ top four runners are freshmen. Benjamin Bourne, a freshman who enters the state meet with a personal-best of 17:01, is SC’s top runners and the 12th-fastest in 3A this year. Austin Bradford (18:16.50), Colin Longballa (18:23.70), Zavi Crisostomo (19:45.90), Caiden Hohensee (20:50.10) and Shiloh Gallagher (22:23.20) will also race for the Eagles.

4A girls (11:45 a.m.)

Philomath: Senior Hannah Hernandez has two career top-five finishes at the state meet and will have her sights set on a state title this time around. She owns the third-fastest time in 4A this year at 18:28.80 and won by over 10 seconds at the Oregon West District meet. She will lead a Warriors squad that could be in contention for a top-three finish in the team race. Rivers Nuno (20:18.63), Ingrid Hellesto (20:25.60), Madison Bushnell (20:39.30), Kaeleigh Houchin (20:53.80), Sarah McDaniel (21:36.70) and Audrey Gerding (21:50.09) will compete for the Warriors as well.

4A boys (12:20 p.m.)

Philomath: The Warriors will be very much in the mix for a state title, with Sisters, Marist Catholic and Siuslaw figuring to serve as their strongest competition. Philomath finished four points back of Sisters at the Oregon West district meet last week and could be in for another tight race with the Outlaws on Saturday. Only 14 runners entered in the 4A state meet have run a faster time than Warriors’ freshman Brody Bushnell (16:36.80) this season, and the Warriors have a trio of other runners who have cracked the sub-17 minute mark this fall. Grant Hellesto (16:42.20), Brody Gerig (16:42.70) and Justin Enghauser all delivered top-10 finishes at districts. Sean Cummings (17:05.60), Levi Knutson (17:06.20) and Noah King (17:19.00) round out the Philomath lineup.

5A girls (1:45 p.m.)

Corvallis: The Spartans could find themselves in a very close race for the team title after finishing sixth last season. Corvallis boasts a squad loaded with talented underclassmen — the Spartans’ top-six runners are either freshmen or sophomores — and edged North Salem for the Mid-Willamette Conference district title by one point last weekend. North Salem and Hood River Valley will likely be the two teams battling the Spartans for the state crown. Sophomore Madeline Nason finished third at state last year and owns the third-fastest time in 5A this year. Behind her are a trio of freshmen in Ava Betts (18:55.20), Avery Nason (19:02.50) and Ronja Soares (19:08.10) who enter the weekend with season-best times inside the top 12 of 5A. Vivienne McFarland Price (20:13.70), Kaia Anspacher (20:15.60) and Olivia Dever (20:32.85) fill out Corvallis’s squad.

Crescent Valley: The Raiders finished fifth at state last season and will have a strong chance to finish in a similar position on Saturday. Led by junior standout Sunitha Black, who owns the fourth-fastest time in 5A this season, Crescent Valley has a strong core of experienced racers who finished third at a tough Mid-Willamette Conference district meet. The Raiders also feature senior Maggie Fisher, who owns the 22nd-fastest time in 5A but took fourth at the state meet last season and has been coming into form as of late. Black (18:21.84) and Fisher (19:34.60) will pace CV, which also features Gwen Gray (19:51.94), Ava McKee (20:17.86), Angela Martin (20:19.82), Kaiya Leamy (20:23.80) and Lilly Gordon (21:05.76).

West Albany: The Bulldogs captured the final team qualifying spot out of the Mid-Willamette Conference and will feature one of the meet’s top seniors in Annie Berry. With a season-best time of 19:33.60, Berry is the 21st-fastest runner in 5A this season and she took 15th at last year’s state meet. West also features Jayde Crowe, a senior standout who stars on the soccer pitch for the Bulldogs as well. Megumi Ludlow (20:21.78), Petra Christensen (21:09.51), Crowe (21:14.40), Megan Berg (21:29.03), Ariana Martinez (21:46.35) and Megan Adamec (22:26.10) are all slated to race for West on Saturday.

5A boys (2:20 p.m.)

Crescent Valley: In almost any other season, the Raiders would be among the favorites to capture the state title. But Saturday’s meet will feature an Ashland squad that is among the fastest teams in the nation. Thus, CV will likely be in a battle with Hood River Valley and Crater for second place, and the Raiders are finding their groove at the right time. Now fully healthy, CV is led by sophomore Blake Byer, who covered the district course in 15:36.90 last weekend, good for the fifth-fastest time in 5A. His twin brother, Cade Byer, has fully recovered from an injury that sidelined him early in the season and he ran a personal best of 16:27.80 at districts. Logan Pawlowski (16:20.00), Reid Kerr (16:35.01), Jasper Pollock (16:54.25), Seb Daniels (16:59.84) and Riley Callahan (17:28.78) will all race for the Raiders on Saturday.

Corvallis: The Spartans comfortably secured third place at the district meet and will be in the mix for a top-10 finish. Corvallis is led by senior Raymond Ingersoll, who has shaved over a minute off his personal-best time from last season and finished ninth at districts last weekend. Calvin Cahill (16:58.30), Aidan Arthur (17:07.90), Spencer Middleton (17:13.60), Sam Hanson (17:16.80), Jasper Hitchman (17:34.50), Ash Kirsten (17:39.90) and Sage Bothwell (17:51.20) will round out the Spartans’ lineup.

Compiled by Jarrid Denney,


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