BEND — E.J. Holland’s competitiveness has become contagious for the Ashland boys cross country team.
Holland, a sophomore, came across the finish line with a time of 16 minutes, 1.58 seconds to win the Oxford Classic on Friday at Drake Park, leading Ashland to second place among 26 teams.
Coming off winning the State of Jefferson last week, Holland bested Summit senior Jett Ballantyne (second in 16:04.23).
“E.J.’s mentality right now is to win, but what’s really nice is his composure up front really helped our No. 2 guy, Alex Franklin, and our No. 3 guy, Arlo Davis,” Grizzlies coach Ryan King said.
Franklin, a senior, was fourth in 16:36.64, while Davis, a sophomore, was 11th in 17:01.87. Rounding out the scoring for Ashland — second with 79 points behind South Eugene’s 61 — were freshman Reed Pryor (21st in 17:25.63) and senior Henry Cobb (43rd in 17:55.59).
In the 5,000-meter girls race, North Medford met its goal by placing the top five, finishing fourth in the 23-team field with 113 points behind Eagle (54), Summit (62) and Sunset (90).
Another important measuring stick for North was the fact that it bested fifth-place South Eugene (155) to help position itself as the team to beat in the Southwestern Conference.
“It was a great midseason performance for us,” Black Tornado coach Piet Voskes said. “It was kind of a nice box to check off in terms of where we’re at and what we want to do.”
Leading the way for North was the unique duo of senior M.J. Hamilton (17th in 20:17.45) — a first-year competitor — and her protege, freshman Emily Nash (18th in 20:17.63).
“I’ve never seen a girl in her first season of cross country run as well as M.J. has,” said Voskes.
“She’s just a gamer,” he added. “She loves to compete, doesn’t matter what the field of play is. She just loves to support the team and she loves to race people, and I think that’s rubbing off on Emily.”
Also contributing points for North were senior Victoria Messer (21st in 20:26.19), senior Claire Ebert (24th in 20:37.41) and junior Sarah Krick (38th in 21:34.59).
Sophomore Cassidy Caprari (23rd in 20:36.94) was the top finisher for the Ashland girls, who finished eighth overall with 238 points.
North Medford’s boys team, seventh overall with 220 points, was led by junior Jacob Allmaras (eighth in 16:58.25).
TEAM RESULTS: South Eugene 61, Ashland 79, Summit 110, Bend 144, Roseburg 168, Sunset 186, North Medford 220, Eagle 231, Southridge 269, Mountain View 285, Caldwell 309, Centennial 342, Crook County 352, Sisters 354, Valley Catholic 392, Klamath Union 394, Redmond 441, Lakeview 458, Ridgeview 491, Madras 533, Skyview 534, Nampa Christian 589, La Pine 696, Castle Rock 745, Henley 752, Toledo 786.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (top 20): 1, Evan Holland, Ash, 16:01.58; 2, Jett Ballantyne, Sum, 16:04.23; 3, Albert Hesse, Rid, 16:30.62; 4, Alex Franklin, Ash, 16:36.64; 5, Ethan Reese, Sun, 16:51.86; 6, Nate Tavakolian, SE, 16:54.51; 7. Jordan Pollard, Sis, 16:58.21; 8, Jacob Allmaras, NM, 16:58.25; 9. Derek Litzsinger, Eag, 17:00.59; 10. Ian Twyman, SE, 17:01.04.
11, Arlo Davis, Ash, 17:01.87; 12, BJ Sauter, SE, 17:02.16; 13, Bennet Jackson, Bend, 17:02.37; 14, Zachry Weber, Sum, 17:03.36; 15, Trevor Wilber, Bend, 17:15.20; 16, Spencer McNall, SE, 17:16.89; 17, Peter Shen, SE, 17:18.09; 18, Mason Gerwig, Sun, 17:23.31; 19, Quinn Olarrea, MV, 17:23.69; 20, Wyatt Goff, MV, 17:23.87.
TEAM RESULTS: Eagle 54, Summit 62, Sunset 90, North Medford 113, South Eugene 155, Mountain View 197, Bend 202, Ashland 238, Caldwell 318, Centennial 322, Ridgeview 328, Roseburg 336, Redmond 351, Klamath Union 407, Skyview 448, Sisters 454, Lakeview 485, Nampa Christian 488, East Linn Christian 501, Henley 501, Southridge 502, Valley Catholic 611, Castle Rock 676.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (top 20): 1, Kelly Makin, Sun, 18:32.41; 2, Madison Elmore, SE, 18:46.78; 3, Fiona Max, Sum, 18:52.47; 4, Kelsey Swenson, MV, 19:02.74; 5, McKenna Emerson, Eag, 19:03.58 ; 6, Ashley LaJocies, Eag, 19:03.62; 7, Taylor Vandenborn, Sum, 19:11.93; 8, Lizzy Dildine, Eag, 19:16.33; 9, Aubrey Thueson, Cen, 19:20.01; 10, Isabel Max, Sum, 19:20.34.
11, Lucy Huelskamp, Sun, 19:26.52; 12, Jan Carne, CC, 19:33.59; 13, Taylor Chiotti, Sou, 19:53.91; 14, Kate Bouse, SE, 20:10.48; 15, Julia LaMar, Eag, 20:12.33; 16, Averi Hartford, Rid, 20:12.70; 17, MJ Hamilton, NM, 20:17.45; 18, Emily Nash, NM, 20:17.63; 19, Kelsey Washenberger, Sum, 20:18.68; 20, Jasmine Wang, Sun, 20:22.07.
NORTH MEDFORD 2, SHELDON 0: Jason Cruz stepped up for North Medford in a SWC victory at Hoffbuhr Field.
Cruz, a senior forward, broke a scoreless tie in the 55th minute when he got the ball at midfield, beat a couple defenders off the dribble and deposited a left-footed rocket into the upper-V from 25 yards out.
About three minutes later, Sergio Perez-Diaz was fouled in the box and converted the penalty kick to give the Black Tornado (5-2-2, 5-1-1 SWC) the winning margin.
North Medford senior keeper Kendal James made four difficult saves against Sheldon (0-8-1, 0-6-1).
ASHLAND 5, SPRINGFIELD 0: At Springfield, Ben Lucero scored twice and Ashland led 4-0 at the half in the MWL road victory at Springfield High.
Lucero scored the first goal in the 13th minute off an assist by Ian Rinefort, and the final goal in the 48th off an assist by Jahnoi Hall.
Rinefort also assisted Jade Boucher, who scored in the 22nd.
Also scoring for Ashland (7-1-2, 3-0 MWL) were Kip Parowski and Kai Cheval. Goalkeepers Zander Huston and Ian Shibley teamed up for Ashland’s third shutout of the season.
Springfield fell to 4-6-1 overall, 1-3 in the MWL.
ASHLAND 3, SPRINGFIELD 0: At Ashland, Lily Annen scored two goals and Raisa Rich added a goal and an assist as Ashland picked up its fourth consecutive win.
Annen gave the Grizzlies (7-1-1, 3-0 MWL) a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute, and Rich scored in the 35th minute.
Annen beat the Springfield (1-9, 1-3) defense for the final goal in the 70th minute off an assist from Rich.
CHURCHILL 3, EAGLE POINT 0: At Eugene, Ryleigh Gainey pounded eight kills and came up with 11 digs for Eagle Point in a 25-16, 25-13, 25-19 MWL road loss.
Junior setter Nauvoo Beal had 16 assists and added eight digs, and Aliah Darling had 12 digs for the Eagles (6-7, 2-6 MWL).
NORTH EUGENE 3, ASHLAND 0: At Eugene, North Eugene handed Ashland its fourth straight Midwestern League loss, 25-14, 25-23, 25-17.
Grace Angermeier paced the Grizzlies (3-10, 3-7 MWL) with six digs and 17 assists, Emily DeVall had 10 kills and nine digs and Sydney Philpott nine digs and two aces. Also for Ashland, Alex Crane had seven kills.
North Eugene is 17-0 and 10-0.
BUTTE FALLS/CRATER LAKE 3, GILCHRIST 1: At Butte Falls, Ellie Columbus ended the fourth set with an aggressive serve that ended the match on a Gilchrist error as Butte Falls/Crater Lake Academy posted a 25-20, 25-17, 22-25, 29-27 nonleague victory.
Columbus, a sophomore middle, paced the Loggers (4-10) with five kills and three blocks, and Alyssa Dunham provided four kills. Lucia Damiana served for 21 points with five aces.