Prep Roundup: Sorani cruises to District 4 crown
ROGUE RIVER — Cascade Christian’s Jake Sorani had one goal when he toed the start line in the District 4 cross-county championships Thursday at Valley of the Rogue State Park.
It wasn’t to blow away the field. It wasn’t to set a personal record. It was, simply, to win.
The junior, who has a major race to contend with on Saturday, conserved himself for the most part over the 5,000-meter course and triumphed with a time of 18 minutes, 12.4 seconds. He finished 45 seconds ahead of runner-up Brandon Moehlmann, of Creswell.
“I went in definitely wanting to take the victory,” said Sorani, “but I didn’t have any pressure to go 100 percent and perform super well because I have a big race on Saturday that I’m getting ready for. That’s where I’m planning on going all out and having a good performance.”
Sorani will compete in the Southern Oregon Regional Championships at Valley of the Rogue. The meet will have 16 teams and include classes 6A to 3A levels.
Sorani’s personal best this cross-country season is 16:14.0, more than 2 minutes faster than anyone in the field Thursday. He also turned in a time on the track of 15:22.4 during a recent meet at Crater.
He came into the virus-shortened season in outstanding shape.
“He really hasn’t stopped running since last spring,” said Challengers coach Jill Carpenter. “He’s been training primarily for the upcoming track season, so he’s been pushing himself and really developing his speed, endurance and strength over the last year.”
The biggest obstacle Sorani and his peers faced in the district meet was the heat, which climbed to the mid-70s.
“Yeah, it was warmer than it’s been so far this season,” he said, “so it was just a little barrier to get over. But it wasn’t too bad.”
He expects to be fine for the regional meet despite competing less than 48 hours earlier in warm conditions.
Sorani took off and had a pack of runners on his shoulder for the first mile.
“I just kept running steady and they dropped back to their pace,” he said. “The last 2 miles I was by myself.”
Creswell claimed the boys team title with 30 points, followed by St. Mary’s with 44. Cascade Christian did not field a complete team.
St. Mary’s was paced by Logan Diaz McNeal, who was third in 19:34.4, and David Noble, fifth in 20:07.5.
The top two teams and top seven individuals not on those teams qualify for a small-school state championship meet next week in Lebanon. The meet is not put on by the Oregon School Activities Association.
In the girls race Thursday, neither Cascade Christian or St. Mary’s fielded a complete team.
St. Mary’s Addie Jensen placed eighth in 22:55.3, and Cascade Christian’s Katelyn Willard was ninth in 23:12.3. Both made state.
Lakeview’s Kaley Schneider won the individual title in 20:46.7, and Bandon was the team champion with 20 points.
TEAM SCORES: Creswell 30, St. Mary’s 44, South Umpqua 72, Brookings-Harbor 96, Sutherlin 107.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): 1, Jake Sorani, Cascade Christian, 18:12.4; 2, Brandon Moehlmann, Creswell, 18:57.4; 3, Logan Diaz McNeal, St. Mary’s, 19:34.4; 4, Dale Wells, South Umpqua, 19:51.5; 5, David Noble, St. Mary’s, 20:07.5.
ST. MARY’S (44): 3, Logan Diaz McNeal, 19:34.4; 5, David Noble, 20:07.5; 10, Cody Arnold, 21:02.4; 15, Daniel Heycke, 22:20.8; 20, Will Doss, 23:16.0.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN (Inc.): 1, Jake Sorani, 18:12.4; 21, Austin Skelton, 23:22.4.
TEAM SCORES: Bandon 20, Myrtle Point 59, Oakridge 78, Glide 92, South Umpqua 94.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): 1, Kaley Schneider, Lakeview, 20:46.7; 2, Holly Hutton, Bandon, 21:10.3; 3, Katie Chapman, Lowell, 21;30.8; 4, Judah Koehler, North Lake, 21:35.5; 5, Sarah Nicholson, Myrtle Point, 21:37.9.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN (Inc.): 9, Katelyn Willard, 23:12.3; 52, Rose Hehn, 32:49.2.
ST. MARY’S (Inc.): 8, Addie Jensen, 22:55.3; 27, Olivia Lippert, 25:59.2; 31, Emily Bowdoin, 27:16.9.
NORTH MEDFORD 3, ASHLAND 0: Host North Medford didn’t allow Ashland to get in rhythm throughout the match while posting a 25-19, 25-19, 25-18 victory.
Audrey Yechout led the Black Tornado (9-2) with 12 kills, and Catherine Rostel and Jackie Aukusitino each had eight.
Matlyn Leetch turned in 22 assists, Rostel and Sara Hamlin had 12 digs each and Taryn Holmes added 10. North Medford had six service aces.
Ashland is 2-5.
ROSEBURG 3, CRATER 1: At Roseburg, Crater got off on the right foot in the first set before Roseburg rallied for an 18-25, 25-17, 25-16, 26-24 triumph.
Kate Stidham had an active match for the Comets (7-2), producing 39 assists, nine digs and five blocks.
Kylie Anderson had 14 digs, while Tessa Frodge chipped in 11 kills and Kendra Bittle and Madison Kocina had nine kills each.
Avery Hanson had six blocks and Bittle added five.
Roseburg is 4-3.
GRANTS PASS 3, EAGLE POINT 0: At Eagle Point, Eagle Point hung tough but ended up losing in straight sets, 25-17, 25-20, 25-19, in the Eagles’ final home match of the regular season.
Senior Shayla McNulty and freshman Emma Kness recorded 19 and 18 digs, respectively, for the Eagles (0-8).
Senior Chloe Pariani added eight kills and three aces, while fellow senior Hailey Burcham had four kills, two blocks and three digs.
Grants Pass improved to 1-6 with the win.
KLAMATH UNION 3, PHOENIX 2: At Phoenix, Klamath Union got off to a fast start, then weathered a comeback by Phoenix before securing a 25-20, 25-19, 24-26, 21-25, 15-4 win.
The Pirates, which lost to the Pelicans in three sets earlier, got 13 digs, 10 kills and three blocks from Josie Bolstad, and 11 kills and five blocks from Delani Parent while dropping to 2-8.
Jourden DeVey contributed 23 digs, seven kills and two assists, Raelyssa Goff recorded 13 digs and Ally Ellis 24 assists and five kills.
PHOENIX 8, NORTH VALLEY 0: At Phoenix, Phoenix forward Victor Martinez continued his impressive junior season with another four-goal performance as the Pirates remained perfect on the season.
The game was stopped in the 66th minute due to the mercy rule.
Martinez scored two goals in each half, with both of his first-half goals assisted by junior forward Caden Gallegos. Both of Martinez’s second-half goals were set up by junior midfielder Jorge Mejia.
Martinez also picked up an assist in the first half on Gallegos’ 39th-minute goal that put the Pirates (8-0) up 4-0 going into the half.
Daniel Palomino doubled the Pirates’ lead two minutes after Martinez opened the scoring on an assist from Yahir Valdovinos, who had a standout game in the center of the midfield.
Jenner Selden recorded Phoenix’s final two goals, with both assisted by Dominic Crenshaw.
Phoenix goalkeeper Tucker Speaks made one save as the Pirates picked up their sixth shutout of the spring season.
NORTH VALLEY 6, PHOENIX 0: At Grants Pass, North Valley was able to build a 2-0 halftime lead en route to a win over visiting Phoenix.
The Pirates fell to 0-8 with the loss.
Phoenix plays at home against Henley on Saturday.