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Schaaf doesn't come up short

ASHLAND — Wilder Schaaf has a unique way of laying low.

With many of his cross country contemporaries competing in a high-powered meet in Portland, the Ashland High senior was content to stay home for the annual State of Jefferson meet hosted by the Grizzlies.

While they did their thing, he did his, winning the 5,000-meter race through scenic Lithia Park for the second time in three years and setting a course record of 16 minutes, 5.29 seconds Saturday.

Mountain View sophomore Jessica Wolfe captured the girls race in 19:15.09.

Henley claimed the boys team title and Mountain View the girls, while Ashland, which was without three varsity runners on each of the boys and girls teams because of the flu, was runner-up in both.

Schaaf's Rogue Valley peers — North Medford's Drew Jordan, Crater's Josh Elliott and Rogue River's Cole Watson — all have cross country or track state championships on their resumes, as does he.

But entering this weekend, Schaaf had the season's best time of the bunch at 15:27.5, which was also third best for all classifications in Oregon. He achieved it at the Harrier Classic in Albany two weeks ago.

"I personally kind of like to not see those guys until the state meet and then run against them," said Schaaf, who felt terrific despite battling a cough and missing a midweek training session. "I can run with them. I just think it's better if I give myself a chance to get in shape and stuff. Those guys get in shape a lot earlier than I do."

Jordan, for instance, defeated Schaaf by a half-minute in a race in Yreka, Calif., to start the season.

The North Medford senior also won the State of Jefferson last year, when health deficiencies caused Schaaf to struggle in cross country.

Schaaf got stronger over the winter and blossomed in the spring, winning the Class 5A track state championships in the 1,500 and 3,000 meters.

"The spring gave me a ton of confidence," said Schaaf. "I always take a break after track, so I had to work my way back to this. But all the confidence I got from track is enough to just tell me I could run with anybody out there."

He took a two-week break after track, then went on relaxed runs until a rigorous camp in late July kick-started his preparation.

This race is "a pretty big deal" said Schaaf, adding he would have liked to have faced Jordan but will "take what I can get."

What he got was the course record. The layout was changed last year, and Jordan's 2008 time of 16:21.12 was the previous mark.

Ashland coach Bob Julian admitted to having mixed feelings about having Schaaf skip the Portland meet.

"It would have been neat to see what he could have done against some of the other big boys," said Julian, "but there's big stuff coming up, so he'll have his chance."

Schaaf faced little competition here. He started out conservatively, willing to hang with anyone who took charge. But a slow opening pace prompted him to move out.

A little more than a mile in, he had a 15-second advantage on the nearest pack, and he won by nearly 28 seconds over Henley's Jed Tolbert (16:33.03).

The Henley boys scored 74 points to Ashland's 79.

Wolfe, whose only other varsity victory was the New Balance meet last year, took a similar approach. She was going to run just off the lead pace but scrapped the plan when "a girl in purple" moved in front of her.

"I just decided to go for it," she said. "Actually, when I got to just over a mile, I started dying. I usually take the first mile way too fast, and I decided I'm not going to die this time."

She and teammate Mikhaila Thornton ran together for the first 11/2 miles before Wolfe pulled away.

"We decided to push each other," said Wolfe.

Thornton was second in 19:30.76. Ashland's Camelia Mayfield finished strong and placed fifth in 20:14.61.

"Camelia had a good race," said Julian. "She's looking better."

Mountain View's girls scored 35 points to Ashland's 60.


TEAM SCORES — Henley 74, Ashland 79, Mountain View 105, Shasta 107, Hidden Valley 125, Mazama 137, Grants Pass 158, Yreka, Calif., 199, Cascade Christian 208, McNary 240, North Valley 246, North Medford 285.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 50) — 1, Wilder Schaaf, Ash, 16:05.29; 2, Jed Tolbert, Hen, 16:33.03; 3, Tony Moore, Sha, 16:39.66; 4, Kirby Garlitz, Maz, 16:49.78; 5, Earl Brown, HV, 16:54.80; 6, Kevin Jorgensen, Yre, 16:59.92; 7, Zorg Loustalet, Hen, 17:06.02; 8, Paul Schwarzer, Ash, 17:09.42; 9, Michael Robbins, GP, 17:10.24; 10, Garrison Iams, Hen, 17:26.93.

11, Paul Adams, Maz, 17:31.16; 12, Chris McBride, MV, 17:37.03; 13, Hudson Eustace, CC, 17:37.59; 14, Cody Dykeman, HV, 17:40.06; 15, Jake McDonald, MV, 17:42.94; 16, Cortland Henderson, Hen, 17:45.48; 17, Isaac Schaaf, Ash, 17:45.70; 18, Nolan Barnhart, Sha, 17:49.49; 19, Brad Arkens, CC, 17:50.65; 20, Jonathan Cornish, NV, 17:52.30.

21, Chase Nachtmann, MV, 18:01.76; 22, James Cahill, Tri, 18:03.90; 23, Daniel Lapp, Sha, 18:06.32; 24, Colin Haug, Ash, 18:08.81; 25, Michael Monahan, HV, 18:10.59; 26, Eric Neill, Yre, 18:14.72; 27, Blake Zufall, Sha, 18:16.09; 28, Alex Angstadt, HV, 18:16.89; 29, Riley Anheluk, MV, 18:17.40; 30, Jared Nielsen, MV, 18:18.09.

31, Noah Kass, Ash, 18:18.73; 32, Miles Bernadett-Peters, GB, 18:20.64; 33, Michael Ward, UP, 18:20.89; 34, David Johnson, NHC, 18:22.96; 35, Ian Scott, McN, 18:23.19; 36, Christian Huttema, NHC, 18:26.34; 37, Ryan Schmidt, GP, 18:31.92; 38, Roberto Gongora, MV, 18:32.19; 39, Connor Lauffenburger, GP, 18:32.54.

40, Joey Logan, EP, 18:34.61; 41, Alek Angeli, Maz, 18:37.08; 42, Zack Paterson, GP, 18:37.53; 43, Andrew Davalos, NV, 18:38.36; 44, Jared Wilding, Sha, 18:42.21; 45, Remington Henderson, Hen, 18:53.62; 46, Matthew Buchanan, MS, 18:54.18; 47, Nick Bowland, Ash, 18:55.68; 48, Tim Williams, Yre, 18:57.02; 49, Blake Spencer, NM, 18:57.95; 50, Nathan Snoozy, Maz, 19:00.68.


TEAM SCORES — Mountain View 35, Ashland 60, Mount Shasta 77, Hidden Valley 83, Shasta 105, Mazama 150, Yreka, Calif., 191, Henley 209.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 50) — 1, Jessica Wolfe, MV, 19:15.09; 2, Mikhaila Thornton, MV, 19:30.76; 3, Tiffany Heflin, Las, 19:34.84; 4, Lora James, Sha, 19:46.38; 5, Camelia Mayfield, Ash, 20:14.61; 6, Sierra Brown, HV, 20:29.27; 7, Sydney Snook, GB, 20:31.77; 8, Kelly Hanson, MV, 20:32.78; 9, Stephanie Rasmussen, Am. Chr., 20:40.23; 10, Sarah Maron, UP, 20:44.23.

11, Marshall Miller, Ash, 20:46.45; 12, Kirsten Bree, MS, 20:51.18; 13, Hayati Wolfenden, MV, 20:52.84; 14, Alyssa Watson, HV, 20:54.95; 15, Casey Robertson, IV, 21:13.25; 16, Emily Sears, NV, 21:14.40; 17, Stephanie Kersten, Maz, 21:22.45; 18, Brit March, Etn, 21:36.93; 19, Callie Toews, MS, 21:39.97; 20, Alex Kiesling, Ash, 21:40.17.

21, Lisa Shinohara, MS, 21:42.79; 22, Ellen Sampson, MS, 21:49.13; 23 Megan Ganim, Ash, 21:53.27; 24, Taylor Bundy, MV, 22:04.96; 25, Shannon Woodfill, Sha, 22:10.11; 26, Emmy Brown, HV, 22:15.32; 27, Hannah Ewing, Ash, 22:17.63; 28, Sara Nelson, Maz, 22:23.59; 29, McKenzie Hoffman, UP, 22:41.98; 30, Emilie Geis, MV, 22:48.97.

31, Sarah Hill, Sha, 22:49.30; 32, Ali Rodgers, HV, 22:49.92; 33, Emily Spurlin, HV, 22:54.67; 34, Christina Bohm, Y, 22:58.23; 35, Erika Okawa, GP, 23:01.91; 36, Kat Ponke, Sha, 23:11.65; 37, Janelle Jaegel, MS, 23:15.88; 38, Ashley Barger, McN, 23:21.03; 39, Audrey Sigel, GP, 23:29.98; 40, Krysta Kroeger, MV, 23:33.29.

41, Sarah Britting, Ash, 23:42.44; 42, Alette Romac, UP, 23:54.02; 43, Teri Szczepanek, Etn, 23:57.56; 44, Margot Mattson, MS, 23:57.85; 45, Sara Rogers, MS, 23:58.12; 46, Jessica Freda, NM, 23:58.89; 47, Dana Greenblatt, Ash, 24:00.61; 48, Tara Stouffer, Sha, 24:09.45; 49, Lindsay Bills, NM, 24:10.44; 50, Brandee McGonagill, Maz, 24:12.70.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 776-4479, or e-mail ttrower@mailtribune.com

Ashland's Wilder Schaaf makes the second lower loop in Ashland's Lithia Park on Saturday. - Photo by Andy Atkinson