• PREP CROSS COUNTRY

    Phoenix, St. Mary's girls claim seconds

    Crater's Tostenson, Challengers' Croy are top local placers
  • When it became apparent that first place was out of the question, the Phoenix and St. Mary's girls cross country teams did the next best thing.
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  • When it became apparent that first place was out of the question, the Phoenix and St. Mary's girls cross country teams did the next best thing.
    They each made a spirited charge and finished second at the state championships Saturday at Lane Community College in Eugene.
    The runner-up placing in Class 4A was the highest for Phoenix in school history, bettering the third place it achieved three years ago. For St. Mary's in the 3A/2A/1A meet, it was the best showing since the Crusaders won their third straight state crown in 2009.
    "Second place, that was the most optimistic for us," said Phoenix coach John Cornett. "We really believed we could get in there, and the girls did great. They really did fantastic."
    The Pirate boys weren't shabby themselves, climbing a couple spots from their seeded position to place third.
    The top four teams earn trophies, and the Cascade Christian boys just missed joining the hardware haul, coming in fifth in the 3A/2A/1A meet.
    Individually among local runners, Crater's Gracie Tostenson — who battled injury and illness in recent weeks — put together a strong race to place third in 6A girls.
    Cascade Christian's Stephanie Croy placed fourth in 3A/2A/1A girls, the same as Hidden Valley freshman Zaruba Anderson in 4A. Phoenix's Nevina De Luca was on Anderson's heels, placing fifth, and teammate Danielle Jantzer was eighth.
    The top local boy placer was Cascade Christian's Tim McPherson, seventh in 3A/2A/1A.
    Molalla won the 4A girls title with 50 points, and Phoenix scored 71. Hidden Valley was fifth with 174.
    At the beginning of the season, the Pirates had an inkling they could challenge for the state title. But as the season played out, "We got a better sense of what Molalla had and it became extremely improbable," said Cornett.
    On Saturday, he said, "They did not give anyone an opening."
    He had a good idea of the how the race was shaping up after one mile.
    "That's a pretty good indicator of who gets out good and who's kind of wrestling with it," said Cornett. "At that point, we were running about third place and we used the next two miles to close the gap."
    De Luca, a junior, had her third straight top-10 state finish, completing the 5,000-meter course in 19 minutes, 14 seconds. She was fourth last year, but her time then was 31 seconds slower than on Saturday, and she was seventh as a freshman. Jantzer clocked 19:26.
    The next three Pirates — Emma Admundsen, Shayla Potratz and Ashlee Vos — did a nice job of bunching together and pushing one another.
    All five of Phoenix's scorers are due to return next year.
    As with the girls, the Phoenix boys made a strong move to the front. They were no better than about seventh a mile into the race, said Cornett.
    As they approached landmark ponds on the course's midsection, the Pirates started reeling in "a lot of people," said the coach. "They moved from a non-trophy spot to third place. They ran with a great deal of tenacity."
    Phoenix has never had a boys state champion, but it has had four runner-up teams. This is the first squad to place third.
    What's remarkable, said Cornett, is that the Pirates finished as high as they did when their best runner, Randy Mena, was only 20th.
    "That is extraordinarily rare," said Cornett. "That means our guys packed really good."
    After Nigel Leonis in 29th, the Pirates had Philip Todak (38th), Gabriel Listro (41st) and Leif Admundsen (42nd).
    La Salle won the team title with 54 points, followed by Siuslaw (89) and Phoenix (126).
    Like their Phoenix counterparts, the St. Mary's girls will return all their scorers next year.
    The Crusaders hoped to contend with Union, the two-time defending champion who went on to make it three straight, but didn't have the firepower. Union scored 35 points to St. Mary's 108. Creswell was third with 137.
    "They just ran away with it," said Crusaders coach Joe Volk, noting that Union — which has four seniors — had four of the top eight placers, including the top two. "Nobody was touching Union today."
    St. Mary's relied on depth, getting its first six runners to the finish before Creswell's No. 4 runner.
    "This group of kids," said Volk, "aside from No. 1, they're interchangeable, and they deal with that pretty evenly."
    No. 1 would be Rachel Bennion, who placed 13th in 20:28. Behind her, Gianna Isola (19th) and Maddy Schwartz (30th) had personal bests. The other scorers were Madeline Volk (37th) and Taylor Kreul (39th).
    Croy, a senior, placed in the top five a third straight year. She was fourth as a sophomore and fifth last year. Her time was 19:34. McKenzie Evans of Union won in 18:42.
    Tostenson might have been lucky to make it to state. She stumbled and injured her right knee about a month ago and had to back off training. Then she got ill prior to the district meet 11/2 weeks ago, but gutted it out for sixth place there and advanced to state.
    Saturday, she ran a strong second much of the way before being overtaken. Ella Donaghu of Grant won in 18:01, followed by South Eugene's Sara Tsai (18:25) and Tostenson (18:26).
    Before Tostenson was injured, said Crater coach Justin Loftus, she "was in the best shape of any girl I've ever seen, by far."
    Watching her battle to sixth at district was difficult, he added.
    "It was just nice for her to come back and really show what she can do at state," said Loftus.
    In the 6A boys meet, North Medford's Ray Schireman was the top local with a 14th-place showing.
    Class 6A
    BOYS
    TEAM SCORES — Central Catholic 33, Sheldon 94, South Eugene 118, Aloha 148, West Linn 148, Grant 157, Forest Grove 168, Lincoln 177, Glencoe 181, Reynolds 271, South Salem 300, West Salem 328.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Kyle Thompson, Central Catholic, 15:22; 2, Reilly Bloomer, South Eugene, 15:27; 3, Geremia Lizier-Zmu, Forest Grove, 15:46; 4, Ahmed Ibrahim, Reynolds, 15:52; 5, Sam Truax, Central Catholic, 15:53; 6, Kenny Freeman, Roseburg, 15:54; 7, Gunnar Vik, Central Catholic, 15:55; 8, Roman Ollar, West Linn, 15:55; 9, Jackson Mestler, Sheldon, 15:55; 10, Sam Remington, Jesuit, 15:59.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 14, Ray Schireman, North Medford, 16:02; 53, Austin Sanders, Crater, 16:55.
    GIRLS
    TEAM SCORES — Sunset 56, St. Mary's Academy 71, South Eugene 97, Jesuit 99, Grant 108, Sheldon 166, Forest Grove 220, Gresham 237, Tigard 239, West Salem 251, Clackamas 259, South Salem 301.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Ella Donaghu, Grant, 18:01; 2, Sara Tsai, South Eugene, 18:25; 3, Gracie Tostenson, Crater, 18:26; 4, Charlotte Corless, Sunset, 18:29; 5, Jessa Perkinson, Roseburg, 18:44; 6, Piper Donaghu, Grant, 18:46; 7, Paige Rice, St. Mary's, 18:48; 8, Nicole Griffiths, Sunset, 18:50; 9, Erin Gregoire, Beaverton, 18:51; 10, Gracie Todd, Sheldon, 18:51.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 41, Britney Wimberly, Crater, 20:17.
    Class 5A
    BOYS
    TEAM SCORES — Summit 38, Mountain View 64, Hermiston 78, Cleveland 133, Marist 147, Corvallis 169, Benson 174, Pendleton, Liberty 218, Wilsonville 237, South Albany 300, Springfield 303.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Matthew Maton, Summit, 14:59; 2, Jose Macias, Hermiston, 15:50; 3, Caleb Hoffmann, Bend, 15:54; 4, Isaac Mitchell, Sandy, 16:05; 5, Alejandro Cisneros, Hermiston, 16:08; 6, Tyler Jones, Summit, 16:08; 7, JP Kiefer, Marist, 16:11; 8, Sam King, Mountain View, 16:11; 9, Dakota Thornton, Mountain View, 16:14; 10, Gabe Wyllie, Mountain View, 16:17.
    GIRLS
    TEAM SCORES — Summit 33, Mountain View 81, Corvallis 93, Cleveland 122, Hood River Valley 146, Wilson 162, The Dalles-Wahtonka 180, Sandy 209, Crescent Valley 225, Wilsonville 240, Churchill 278, Marist 321.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Hannah Gindlesperger, Summit, 17:53; 2, Olivia Brooks, Summit, 18:37; 3, Rachel Khaw, Liberty, 18:47; 4, Kaely Gordon, Summit, 18:54; 5, Emma Wren, Cleveland, 18:56; 6, Sascha Bockius, Hood River Valley, 19:00; 7, Taryn Rawlings, Wilsonville, 19:04; 8, Olivia Stein, Wilson, 19:04; 9, Margarita Lauer, Franklin, 19:05; 10, Delaney Clem, Pendleton, 19:06.
    Class 4A
    BOYS
    TEAM SCORES — La Salle 54, Siuslaw 89, Phoenix 126, Marshfield 135, Tillamook 150, Philomath 151, Sisters 205, Newport 207, Scappoose 218, Crook County 234, Baker 258, North Marion 274, Sweet Home 285.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Mitchell Butler, Siuslaw, 15:37; 2, Mack Marbas, Siuslaw, 15:41; 3, Jakob Hiett, Sweet Home, 16:10; 4, Will Thompson, La Salle, 16:26; 5, Shane Crofoot, Hidden Valley, 16:29; 6, Seth Campbell, Siuslaw, 16:30; 7, Jefferson Farmer, Seaside, 16:32; 8, Hector Rojo, Tillamook, 16:33; 9, Dakota Pittullo, Marshfield, 16:34; 10, Brandon Pollard, Sisters, 16:38.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 17, Zach Blanco, Hidden Valley, 16:57; 20, Randy Mena, Phoenix, 17:05; 29, Nigel Leonis, Phoenix, 17:18; 38, Philip Todak, Phoenix, 17:32; 41, Gabriel Listro, Phoenix, 17:39; 42, Leif Amundsen, Phoenix, 17:39; 45, Drake Knowles, Phoenix, 17:45; 51, Thomas Skaff, Phoenix, 17:54; 72, Thomas Fate, Hidden Valley, 18:26; 94, Dima Clarke, Hidden Valley, 19:08.
    GIRLS
    TEAM SCORES — Molalla 50, Phoenix 71, Siuslaw 119, Philomath 133, Sisters 164, Hidden Valley 174, North Bend 188, Cascade 197, Estacada 248, Scappoose 261, Sweet Home 281, Ridgeview 285, La Grande 309, Seaside 313.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, Shaylen Crook, Marshfield, 18:28; 2, Emily Bever, Molalla, 18:59; 3, Celie Mans, Siuslaw, 19:01; 4, Zaruba Anderson, Hidden Valley, 19:03; 5, Nevina DeLuca, Phoenix, 19:14; 6, Nicole Rasmussen, Sweet Home, 19:18; 7, Hannah Clarizio, Molalla, 19:23; 8, Danielle Jantzer, Phoenix, 19:26; 9, Amanda Clarizio, Molalla, 19:26; 10, Charlie Davidson, Scappoose, 19:40.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 23, Emma Amundsen, Phoenix, 20:19; 27, Shayla Potratz, Phoenix, 20:30; 31, Ashlee Vos, Phoenix, 20:45; 35, Reilly Frerk, Hidden Valley, 21:10; 37, Becky Ottosen, Hidden Valley, 21:12; 56, Lindsey Vermillion, Phoenix, 22:03; 61, Taylor Larson, Hidden Valley, 22:20; 70, Megan Schiavone, Hidden Valley, 22:44; 82, Arin Fitch, Phoenix, 23:23; 92; Kaitlyn McCafferty, Hidden Valley, 24:33 Hidden Valley
    Class 3A/2A/1A
    BOYS
    TEAM SCORES — Valley Catholic 74, Union 104, Catlin Gabel 126, East Linn Christian 137, Cascade Christian 165, Southwest Christian 167, Kennedy 181, Nyssa 212, Chemawa 214, Creswell 219, Riverdale 256, St. Mary's 260, Oakridge 279, Crow 339.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, David Ribich, Wallowa, 15:58; 2, Zach Bellew, Creswell, 16:11; 3, Sisay Gillock, Portland Christian, 16:20; 4, Quentin Jensen, Nyssa, 16:22; 5, Cooper Roach, Valley Catholic, 16:39; 6, Wilder Boyden, Valley Catholic, 16:39; 7, Tim McPherson, Cascade Christian, 16:41; 8, Trevor Lane, Southwest Christian, 16:48, 9, Fabian Cardenas, Umatilla, 16:51; 10, Izaak King, Portland Waldorf, 16:55.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 14, Tristan Akery, Cascade Christian, 17:03; 28, Tracy Salgado, St. Mary's, 17:35; 39, Rio Lopez, Rogue River, 17:56; 45, John Shipley, Cascade Christian, 18:05; 49, Conor Keating, St. Mary's, 18:11; 51, Chris Martin, St. Mary's, 18:15; 52; 65, Wyatt Croy, Cascade Christian, 18:39; 75, Ethan McPherson, Cascade Christian, 18:57; 84, Clark Hooper, Cascade Christian, 19:30; 87, Jameson Koenigsman, St. Mary's, 19:53; 95, Jackson Williams, Cascade Christian, 20:20; 96, Harrison Jensen, St. Mary's, 20:26; 97, Joe Hagy, St. Mary's, 20:40; 101, Ben McAnally, St. Mary's, 21:18.
    GIRLS
    TEAM SCORES — Union 35, St. Mary's 108, Creswell 137, Valley Catholic 154, Nyssa 160, Catlin Gabel 167, Bandon 173, East Linn Christian 187, Cascade Christian 204, Westside Christian 220, Pleasant Hill 230, Portland Waldorf 281, Amity 298, Pacific 374.
    TOP 10 FINISHERS — 1, McKenzie Evans, Union, 18:42; 2, Katriel O'Reilly, Union, 19:03; 3, Olivia Powell, Creswell, 19:30; 4, Stephanie Croy, Cascade Christian, 19:34; 5, Samantha Slusher, Catlin Gabel, 19:34; 6, Elly Wells, Union, 19:58; 7, Aida Santoro, Bandon, 20:04; 8, Stormy Bullard, Union, 20:08; 9, Delaney Pietsch, Creswell, 20:15; 10, Maricela Jaroch, Valley Catholic, 20:15.
    OTHER LOCAL FINISHERS — 13, Rachel Bennion, St. Mary's, 20:28; 19, Gianna Isola, St. Mary's, 20:53; 24, Alex Staley, Cascade Christian, 21:13; 30, Maddy Schwartz, St. Mary's, 21:20; 37, Madeline Volk, St. Mary's, 21:41; 39, Taylor Kreul, St. Mary's, 21:43; 43, Meg Vasey, St. Mary, 21:50; 62, Katie Akery, Cascade Christian, 23:00; 66, Olivia Minor, St. Mary's, 23:19; 77, Maleah Crowl, Cascade Christian, 24:09; 81, Calissa Penn, Cascade Christian, 24:34; 95, Mallory Kirms, Cascade Christian, 25:39; 102, Tiani Alvarez, Cascade Christian, 27:36.
    Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com
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