GRANTS PASS — Defending Class 4A state title holder Elliott Jantzer wasn't taking anything for granted at the Skyline Conference cross country championships Saturday.

GRANTS PASS — Defending Class 4A state title holder Elliott Jantzer wasn't taking anything for granted at the Skyline Conference cross country championships Saturday.

The Phoenix High senior went out fast against his main rival, Hidden Valley's Connor Kasler, who stayed with Jantzer. But with about 1,000 meters remaining Jantzer kicked it into gear and Kasler didn't respond.

Jantzer pulled away for the boys 5K victory at the All Sports/Reinhart Volunteer Park, while Kasler faded to third. Hidden Valley senior Andrew Watson passed Kasler inside the final 100 meters to secure the runner-up spot.

Jantzer's winning time of 16 minutes, 16 seconds was 34 seconds in front of Watson and about one minute faster than his mark at the pre-district meet held on the same course in September.

"(Jantzer) told me his legs were heavy at a mile and was worried about it," said Phoenix co-head coach Bruce Timmerman. "He got stronger as the race went on. His conditioning kicked in."

The top-ranked Hidden Valley boys placed five runners in the top 12 to win the team title with 30 points, while Phoenix was second (44).

The top two teams and next four individuals not on the first two teams advance to the state meet at Lane Community College next Saturday.

"(Jantzer) felt if it came down to a kick at the end he would have an advantage," said Timmerman. "Connor is legitimately one of the top threats to Elliott at state. I look for Connor to rebound and run a strong race."

The Pirates had a strong grouping with Zach Hibbs finishing eighth, followed by Graham Thirkill (ninth) and Dan Engle (10th). Freshman Travis Jantzer was Phoenix's fifth runner at 16th.

"I think our boys have another good race in them," said Timmerman. "They still want to take another shot at Hidden Valley, but that's a tall order. The state meet is a whole different animal. You never know."

In girls, two-time defending state champion Taylor Wallace of Henley captured the conference individual title with her first 5K run of the year. Wallace has been rehabbing from a partial Achilles tendon tear.

Casey Robertson of Illinois Valley beat out Phoenix's Kayla Heath for second place.

"Robertson has a lot of speed and she outkicked Kayla," said Timmerman. "(Heath) stayed right with her but it just came down to a finishing kick."

The Hidden Valley girls completed the team sweep for Mustangs coach Stan Goodell, who is retiring this year after 30 years of coaching. Illinois Valley beat out Phoenix for the No. 2 spot at state.

Heath and teammate Sarah Hagy both qualified for the state meet.

Skyline Results

BOYS

TEAM SCORES — Hidden Valley 30, Phoenix 44, Henley 63, North Valley 87, Illinois Valley incomplete.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS — 1, Elliott Jantzer, Pho, 16:16; 2, Andrew Watson, HV, 16:50; 3, Connor Kasler, HV, 16:53; x-4, Brady Beagley, NV, 16:56; x-5, Jed Tolbert, Hen, 17:07; 6, Jason Arbour, HV, 17:11; 7, Chris Cline, HV, 17:20; 8, Zach Hibbs, Pho, 17:24; 9, Graham Thirkill, Pho, 17:33; 10, Dan Engle, Pho, 17:39; x-11, David Carruth, Hen, 17:41; 12, Earl Brown, HV, 17:52; x-13, Shaun Carter, Hen, 17:58; 14, Cortland Henderson, Hen, 18:07.

15, Jesse Hastings, NV, 18:22; 16, Travis Jantzer, Pho, 18:30; 17, Max Hamilton, Pho, 18:35; 18, Cody Dykeman, HV, 18:44; 19, Andrew Powell, NV, 18:47; 20, Landon Hardt, Hen, 19:21; 21, Ben Ward, Pho, 19:26; 22, Alex Angstadt, HV, 19:56; 23, Ludwig Pusl, NV, 19:57; 24, Brian Bailey, Hen, 20:46; 25, Jesse Orndoff, IV, 20:51; 26, Derek Schwantes, NV, 20:55; 27, Arron Bellini, Hen, 21:39; 28, Austin Hart, IV, 22:05.

GIRLS

TEAM SCORES — Hidden Valley 37, Illinois Valley 48, Phoenix 54, Henley 87, North Valley incomplete.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS — 1, Taylor Wallace, Hen, 19:21; 2, Casey Robertson, IV, 20:47; x-3, Kayla Heath, Pho, 20:58; 4, Alyssa Watson, HV, 21:11; 5, Carlee Nelson, HV, 21:37; x-6, Emily Sears, NV, 21:39; x-7, Sarah Hagy, Pho, 21:42; 8, Breanna Loucks, IV, 22:19; 9, Ali Rodgers, HV, 22:22; 10, Emile Brown, HV, 22:23; 11, Sierra Chiverton, IV, 22:49; 12, Haley Borman, HV, 22:51; 13, McKenzie Yeoman, IV, 23:10; x-14, Heather Cieri, NV, 23:14.

15, Emily Spurlin, HV, 23:41; 16, Anya Gandy, Pho, 23:57; 17, Adrienne Engle, Pho, 24:01; 18, Kelly Coash, Pho, 24:06; 19, Erin Byrne, IV, 24:07.5; 20, Jubilee Ward, Pho, 24:07.7; 21, Corrine Todak, Pho, 24:46; 22, Hannah Shae Morgan, Hen, 24:59; 23, Kelly Riley, NV, 25:02; 24, Marie Enman, Hen, 25:03; 25, Chelse Lukens, Hen, 26:34; 26, Sarah Pritchard, Hen, 26:36; 27, Briana Saenger, Hen, 28:57; 28, Amy Hart, IV, 31:43.

x — qualified for state meet

DISTRICT 4 MEET — At Bandon, Cole Watson put the Rogue River boys on his shoulders and carried the Chieftains to state and their first district title in over 20 years in the District 4 meet at Bullards State Park.

The Chieftains, who will compete at state next Saturday at Lane Community College, last appeared in the state meet in 1995 when they placed second.

Watson clocked 16:36 for the top spot, while teammate Steven Perston finished third overall in 17:21.

Also helping out with quality efforts for the Chieftains were Matt Blanco (20th, 19:06), Anthony Whipple (22nd, 19:20) and 33rd-place finisher Taryn Downhill.

Dakota Coldsmith finished 10th on the girls side for the Chieftains. Gold Beach's Sydney Snook ran the fastest overall time while Oakridge claimed the girls district title.