• PREP CROSS COUNTRY

    Strong Showing

    Crater girls come on strong to finish second; streak of titles ends at five for Comet boys
  • EUGENE — One streak ended for Crater High cross country when its boys team failed to win a sixth straight state championship in the Class 6A meet at Lane Community College Saturday.
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  • EUGENE — One streak ended for Crater High cross country when its boys team failed to win a sixth straight state championship in the Class 6A meet at Lane Community College Saturday.
    And try as it might, the Comet girls team couldn't start another.
    The Crater girls provided a sterling effort from top to bottom in cold, rainy weather and over a soggy 5,000-meter course that bore the brunt of six earlier races in other classifications.
    But they were unable to overtake Southwest Conference rival South Eugene, finishing behind the Axemen for the second time in two weeks.
    South Eugene claimed state with 53 points, or 10 ahead of Crater. In the SWC meet, the margin was 11 points.
    "It was so close, sooo close," lamented Comet coach Justin Loftus.
    The difference, he said, was South Eugene's fifth runner, Genevieve Brandt, who, despite the taxing conditions, improved by 41 seconds over her district time.
    "She gutted it out," said Loftus. "We did everything we possibly could to win a championship today. Everybody did their job. They (Comets) ran a perfect race, for them. They ran exactly the way they had to. It's hard not to see them up on the stand. I think they deserve it, but there's a lot of good teams here."
    Indeed.
    South Eugene ended Jesuit's nine-year grip on the girls crown. For Crater to defeat third-place Jesuit (70 points) as well speaks to the Comets' effort, said Loftus.
    Crater moved up from 5A to 6A last year. While at 5A, the Comets set the all-time girls scoring mark of 16 points in 2007. That mark was matched by Summit in Saturday's 5A race.
    Southern Oregon schools weren't represented in the 5A meet, but in 4A girls, Sierra Brown of Hidden Valley placed second and Nevina De Luca of Phoenix was seventh, the highest finish by a freshman.
    North Valley was runner-up in 4A boys to Siuslaw.
    Crater senior Sarah Hastings paced the Comet girls. She was fourth in 18 minutes, 24 seconds. Sophomore Gracie Tostenson was seventh in 18:40.
    Although she regrets her race strategy, Hastings was thrilled to finish where she did.
    "I was kind of disappointed that I didn't try to go with the lead girls in the beginning," she said, "because I think I could have stayed with them. I kind of didn't start out in the greatest position and had to do a lot of work to get back up. I didn't get back up to place where I wanted to, but I'm so happy with fourth place."
    Paige Rice of St. Mary's Academy triumphed in 18:09, one second faster than South Eugene freshman Sara Tsai.
    Jasmyn Andrews was a catalyst for Crater, improving on her season best by 26 seconds with a 19:39 clocking, and teammate Megan Hastings matched her best of 19:43.
    "She (Andrews) ground it out," said Loftus. "She's been one of those girls you see every day for four years. It all just came to a head."
    South Medford senior Lauren Morgan was 10th in 18:44.
    The Crater boys weren't expected to keep their streak alive. Competing at 6A and with a batch of new faces, a top-four effort, thereby earning a trophy, would have signaled a successful meet, said senior Neil Seibert.
    Seibert, like Hastings, placed fourth. Over the final 300 meters on the track, he reeled in two competitors and finished in 15:55. Teammate Jon Obeso, the SWC champion, was seventh in 16:03.
    The title streak "put a little pressure on us," said Seibert. "It was mainly the older guys because we've been doing this for four years. It's a little bit of a letdown, but when it comes down to it, everybody did their best. We'll take what we do."
    Crater had been the torch-bearer as southern Oregon had at least one team or individual champion every year since 2006. There were none this year.
    North Medford sophomore Ray Schireman was 19th in 16:25.
    Hidden Valley's Brown lost out to Skyline Conference rival Alisha Luna, who won the 4A girls race in 18:32. Brown's time was 18:57, 26 seconds ahead of third place.
    "I knew that to get first I was going to have to run the best race ever because Luna's really good," said Brown, a junior. "But I was happy with my time, and I was a lot closer to her than I thought I would be."
    De Luca, who was sixth in the district meet last week, was similarly thrilled after running 20:04.
    "I never expected that," she said. "I was really happy. I wanted to break the 20s, but never got to it. It was a good race. I had a lot of adrenaline."
    Jonathan Cornish finished fifth in 16:11 to lead the North Valley boys.
    Class 6A
    BOYS
    TEAM SCORES — South Eugene 56, Central Catholic 77, Crater 93, Jesuit 97, Barlow 149, Lakeridge 164, Lincoln 176, Lake Oswego 192, Forest Grove 218, Tualatin 268, West Salem 286, North Salem 290.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Kyle Thompson, Central Catholic, 15:41; 2, Brian Elmstad, South Eugene, 15:48; 3, Dan Oekerman, Beaverton, 15:52; 4, Neil Seibert, Crater, 15:55; 6, Nathan Normo, Lake Oswego, 15:55; 6, David Leavy, Jesuit, 15:59; 7, Jon Obeso, Crater, 16:03; 8, Jack Wilson, South Eugene, 16:05; 9, Julian Heninger, Lakeridge, 16:08; 10, Joe Holvey, South Eugene, 16:08.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 19, Ray Schireman, North Medford, 16:25; 23, Daniel Stoiber, Crater, 16:31; 27, Camden Stemple, South Medford, 16:39; 39, Piers Rasmussen, Crater, 16:54; 41, Jason Braxton, Crater, 16:57; 44, John Martinez, Crater, 16:58; 48, Blake Spencer, North Medford, 17:02; 71, Kahler Waldrop, Crater, 17:28.
    GIRLS
    TEAM SCORES — South Eugene 53, Crater 63, Jesuit 70, Sunset 94, St. Mary's Academy 146, South Salem 176, Grant 203, Forest Grove 223, Lakeridge 223, Newberg 234, Gresham 251, Redmond 263.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Paige Rice, St. Mary's Academy, 18:09; 2, Sara Tsai, South Eugene, 18:10; 3, Erin Clark, South Eugene, 18:10; 4, Sarah Hastings, Crater, 18:24; 5, Kelly O'Neill, Lakeridge, 18:30; 6, Gracie Todd, Sheldon, 18:39; 7, Gracie Tostenson, Crater, 18:40; 9, Claire Devoe, Lincoln, 18:40; 10, Lauren Morgan, South Medford, 18:44.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 22, Jasmyn Andrews, Crater, 19:39; 24, Megan Hastings, Crater, 19:43; 30, Britney Wimberly, Crater, 19:48; 85, Shelby Owen, Crater, 21:46; 98, Gabrielle Desimone, Crater, 22:26.
    Class 5A
    BOYS
    TEAM SCORES — Summit 44, Hermiston 52, Wilsonville 104, Franklin 109, Mountain View 118, Cleveland 146, Crescent Valley 165, St. Helens 190, Marshfield 224, Pendleton 237, Woodburn 295, Marist 343.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Travis Neuman, Summit, 15:32; 2, Alex Dillard, The Dalles Wahtonka, 15:36; 3, Jackson Baker, Franklin, 15:36; 4, Eduardo Juarez, Hermiston, 15:52; 5, Akiharu Kitagawa, Wilsonville, 16:04; 6, Eric Alldritt, Summit, 16:05; 7, Ryan Byrd, St. Helens, 16:06; 8, Jose Macias, Hermiston, 16:11; 9, Fletcher Hazlehurst, Franklin, 16:11; 10, Alejandro Cisneros, Hermiston, 16:11.
    GIRLS
    TEAM SCORES — Summit 16, Bend 101, Marist 103, Cleveland 130, Corvallis 174, Franklin 190; Hood River Valley 191, Milwaukie 205, Crescent Valley 207, Sherwood 221, Pendleton 254, Churchill 282.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Megan Fristoe, Summit, 18:07; 2, Ashley Maton, Summit, 18:30; 3, Piper McDonald, Summit, 18:36; 4, Sara Fristoe, Summit, 18:49; 5, Shannon Susbauer, Milwaukie, 18:51; 6, Morgan Anderson, Silverton, 18:54; 7, Kira Kelly, Summit, 19:00; 8, Brigid Behrens, Corvallis, 19:04; 9, Jenna Mattox, Bend, 19:06; 10, Taryn Rawlings, Wilsonville, 19:21.
    Class 4A
    BOYS
    TEAM SCORES — Siuslaw 36, North Valley 87, Henley 134, La Salle 148, Newport 165, Sisters 181, Scappoose 203, Astoria 206, Molalla 217, Philomath 219, Cottage Grove 246, Crook County 256, Baker 284, North Bend 304.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Paul Adams, Mazama, 15:48; 2, Matthew Campbell, Siuslaw, 15:54; 3, Mitchell Butler, Siuslaw, 15:57; 4, Zorg Loustalet, Henley, 16:00; 5, Jonathan Cornish, North Valley, 16:11; 6, Nic Maszk, Baker, 16:20; 7, Theo Puentes, Newport, 16:27; 8, Garrison Iams, Henley, 16:28; 9, Chris MacMurray, Estacada, 16:30; 10, Hayden Schaffner, Siuslaw, 16:31.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 16, David Cornish, North Valley, 17:01; 26, Andrew Youngblood, North Valley, 17:17; 31, Derek Schwantes, North Valley, 17:27; 35, Andrew Davalos, North Valley, 17:32.
    GIRLS
    TEAM SCORES — Scappoose 82, Klamath Union 83, Sisters 88, La Salle 151, Phoenix 161, Suislaw 171, Cascade 205, Stayton 226, Crook County 227, Molalla 230, North Bend 242, Sweet Home 269, Banks 312, McLoughlin 346.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Alisha Luna, Klamath Union, 18:32; 2, Sierra Brown, Hidden Valley, 18:57; 3, Katy Potter, Siuslaw, 19:23; 4, Alyn Moncsko, Central, 19:52; 5, Tia Carnahan, Scappoose, 19:55; 6, Nicole Rasmussen, Sweet Home, 19:56; 7, Nevina Deluca, Phoenix, 20:04; 8, Amanda Welch, La Grande, 20:08; 9, Zoe Falk, Sisters, 20:08; 10, Cassandra Van Atta, South Umpqua, 20:11.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 15, Emily Sears, North Valley, 20:20; 18, Kelly Coash, Phoenix, 20:33; 30, Lindsey Vermillion, Phoenix, 20:55; 65, Sairah Morford, Phoenix, 22:49; 72, Arin Fitch, Phoenix, 23:07; 78, Katie Vermillion, Phoenix, 23:28; 81, Ashlee Vos, Phoenix, 23:50.
    Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com
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