Kicking up their heels
Some runners used the Phoenix 5K cross country meet to prepare for district championships next week.
But a few Skyline Conference boys used the 13-team race at Oak Knoll Golf Course in Ashland Wednesday as a statement race.
The course is difficult because of a lack of "flats," said Phoenix coach and race director John Cornet.
"It's all up or down, basically rolling hills on a soft surface," he said.
But the trio of Jed Tolbert of Henley, Brady Beagley of North Valley and Earl Brown of Hidden Valley tackled it with gusto, posting solid times and giving a preview of the conference meet Oct. 31 at Bear Creek Park in Medford.
Tolbert won in 16 minutes, 36.9 seconds, followed by Beagley (16:39.1) and Brown (16:41.9).
The three seniors "are all top-seven caliber kids at the state meet," said Cornet.
Team scores weren't kept as coaches used the meet for various purposes. Some utilized it as a tryout to determine their full teams for district. Others had their top runners pace slower teammates. Others saw it as a good training exercise.
Then there were the Skyline boys.
"The times are very, very solid," said Cornet of the top three. "They just duked it out. They were always in contact with one another."
Wilder Schaaf of Ashland placed fourth in 16:57.6. He won the State of Jefferson meet Saturday and has the top time among Class 5A boys of 15:27.5.
Cole Watson of Rogue River, a favorite for the 3A state title who recently committed to the University of Oregon, stayed well back to pace teammates.
On the girls side, Ashland's Camelia Mayfield cruised to a nearly 20-second victory. The senior was clocked in 20:50.9. Sophomore Sarah Bennion of St. Mary's was second in 21:09.4.
Cornet served as an assistant at Ashland for 15 years before moving over to Phoenix four years ago. He was impressed by the Grizzlies' grouping, placing their top five runners in the first eight.
Ashland's Marshall Miller was third in 21:14.7, followed by Alex Kiesling, Hannah Ewing and Megan Ganim, who placed sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
"This is a very strong Ashland team when you consider the last 20 years," said Cornet, "and when you consider the grouping and the intensity they ran with."
Phoenix's top runner was Sarah Hagy, who placed fifth in 21:33.1.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 25) — 1, Jed Tolbert, Hen, 16:36.9; 2, Brady Beagley, NV, 16:39.1; 3, Earl Brown, HV, 16:41.9; 4, Wilder Schaaf, Ash, 16:57.6; 5, Zorg Loustalet, Hen, 16:58.3; 6, Hunter Sanders, Cra, 16:59.6; 7, Paul Schwarzer, Ash, 17:00.7; 8, Cortland Henderson, Hen, 17:20.2; 9, Colin Haug, Ash, 17:21.1; 10, Hudson Eustace, CC, 17:21.8.
11, Garrison Iams, Hen, 17:23.0; 12, Aaron Adams, Cra, 17:24.2; 13, Zach Hibbs, Pho, 17:24.9; 14, Remington Henderson, Hen, 17:31.4; 15, Cody Dykeman, HV, 17:31.8; 16, David Johnson, NHC, 17:35.0; 17, Isaac Schaaf, Ash, 17:35.3; 18, Piers Rasmussen, Cra, 17:35.6; 19, Michael Robbins, GP, 17:36.2; 20, Greyson Dixon, Cra, 17:38.1; 21, Mark Holloway, Cra, 17:40.4; 22, Julio Silva, St.M, 17:40.7; 23, Andrew Davalos, NV, 17:41.1; 24, Jonathan Cornish, NV, 17:41.4; 25, Brad Arkens, CC, 17:43.1.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 25) — 1, Camelia Mayfield, Ash, 20:50.9; 2, Sarah Bennion, St.M, 21:09.4; 3, Marshall Miller, Ash, 21:14.7; 4, Emily Sears, NV, 21:29.8; 5, Sarah Hagy, Pho, 21:33.1; 6, Alex Kiesling, Ash, 21:33.3; 7, Hannah Ewing, Ash, 21:39.2; 8, Megan Ganim, Ash, 21:48.4; 9, Megan VanSyoc, Cra, 21:48.7; 10, Mia O'Dougherty, Ash, 21:59.3.
11, Katie Jenista, GP, 22:00.0; 12, Kara Rawlings, GP, 22:05.9; 13, Adrienne Engle, Pho, 22:37.3; 14, Kelly Odion, Ash, 22:46.7; 15, Sierra Brown, HV, 23:08.1; 16, Emmy Brown, HV, 23:08.4; 17, Andrea Scherrer, Ash, 23:09.8; 18, Jenna George, CC, 23:26.0; 19, Ali Rodgers, HV, 23:27.1; 20, Megan Mortimer-Lamb, Ash, 23:29.9; 21, Kathryn Reynolds, Ash, 22, Lacey Vandenberg, Lak, 23:35.0; 23, Jasmine McDonald, CC, 23:38.7; 24, Anya Gandy, Pho, 23:40.2; 25, Audrey Sigel, GP, 23:40.6.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 776-4479, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org