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PREP XC ROUNDUP: Crater boys, Ashland girls win MWL titles

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North’s Gutches wins SWC girls title, South’s Maiorano runner-up in boys race

Crater’s boys cross-country team won the Midwestern League championships in convincing fashion Wednesday and its girls team placed second to also qualify for state on a day the Comets carried some extra emotion into the meet.

Crater’s Tyrone Gorze won the 5,000-meter boys race at Valley of the Rogue State Park in 14 minutes, 44.83 seconds, teammate Josiah Tostenson took second place in 15:40.18 and the Comets claimed six of the top 10 spots overall to run away with first place and qualify for state.

Ashland’s Grace Yaconelli took first place in the girls race, posting a winning time of 18:45.65 that was more than one minute faster than the rest of the field, and the Grizzlies’ 42 points secured first place as a team. Crater’s 64 points helped the Comets earn second place.

One day before the race, two Crater varsity runners — one from the boys team and one from the girls team — were injured in a car accident. Although both were able to attend the championships to support their teammates, the event took on somewhat of a different tone for the Comets.

“It’s been an emotional couple days,” Crater head coach Justin Loftus said.

Gorze, who figures to be one of the contenders in the Class 5A state championships, improved on his time of 15:23.7 on the same course at the Southern Oregon Regional XC Championships in April. Loftus said Gorze was “super pumped” with the progression, and it was in line with what they discussed heading into the race.

“Before the race we talked about (hitting) a 14:40 pace. He ended up with a 14:44,” Loftus said. “He was happy with the results, as was I.”

Aside from Gorze and Tostenson, Tate Broesder, Shaun Garnica, Ryder Hvall and Caleb Doddington placed in the top 10 for the Comets.

Ashland’s Nathan Stein (15:51.61) and Ravi Guerrero (16:44.35) placed third and fifth, respectively, helping the Grizzlies tie for second with Churchill at 90 points.

Loftus believes Crescent Valley is the favorite for the state team title, but the Comets are relishing their position as apparent underdogs.

“We’re definitely underdogs, which we’ve been before,” said Loftus, who’s overseen eight Crater boys team titles and three second-place finishes since 2006. “We’re excited to be in that space and see what we can do.”

Yaconelli, a senior, will be making her second appearance at state and returning with the Grizzlies girls team that last placed seventh in 2019.

Annika Wells placed fifth in 20:02.92, while Kariana Austbo, Violet Hering, Saniyah Ayala and Nikaela Apilada also finished inside the top 20 for Ashland.

Crater’s girls team was led by a third-place finish from Lindsay Siebert (19:51.50), while Emma West and Samantha Payne also placed in the top 10.

Eagle Point’s Morgan Dole led the Eagles, who did not field a full team, with a 24th-place finish.

The top four MWL teams and any individual among the top-5 finishers not on a qualifying team advance to state.

Boys

TEAM SCORES: Crater 20, Churchill 90, Ashland 90, Springfield 104, Thurston 124, North Eugene 124, North Bend 147.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 25): 1, Tyrone Gorze, Cra, 14:44.83; 2, Josiah Tostenson, Cra, 15:40.18; 3, Nathan Stein, A, 15:51.61; 4, Tate Broesder, Cra, 16:40.45; 5, Ravi Guerrero, A, 16:44.35; 6, Shaun Garnica, Cra, 16:46.82; 7, Ryder Hvall, Cra, 16:53.14; 8, Ammon Gallup, T, 17:01.95; 9, Austin Gottfried, NE, 17:13.02; 10, Caleb Doddington, Cra, 17:17.14; 11, Owen Fuller, S, 17:17.82; 12, Kyle Briggs, Chu, 17:26.53; 13, Finley Taylor, A, 17:35.32; 14, Hestin Duff-Estrada, Chu, 17:37.33; 15, Tayvon Kitchen, Cra, 17:40.29; 16, Sayer Pescosolido, NE, 17:42.16; 17, Eli Lancy, Chu, 17:45.28; 18, Nate Glazier, T, 17:48.43; 19, Kian Lamb, S, 17:49.78; 20, Nick Van Wyk, Chu, 17:51.70; 21, Ryan Hass, S, 17:55.81; 22, Aidin Wilson, NB, 18:21.01; 23, Desmond Scott, S, 18:21.52; 24, Tyler Raven, T, 18:23.41; 25, Gavin Schmidt, NB, 18:33.39.

Girls

TEAM SCORES: Ashland 42, Crater 64, Thurston 94, Springfield 109, North Eugene 111, North Bend 129, Churchill 130.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 25): 1, Grace Yaconelli, A, 18:45.65; 2, Breanna Raven, T, 19:47.78; 3, Lindsay Siebert, Cra, 19:51.50; 4, Artana Nice, NE, 20:01.61; 5, Annika Wells, A, 20:02.92; 6, Taylor Heer, Chu, 20:24.17; 7, Stephanie White, T, 20:47.92; 8, Jailyn Becerra-Brigido, NE, 20:51.38; 9, Emma West, Cra, 20:57.61; 10, Samantha Payne, Cra, 21:05.46; 11, Kariana Austbo, A, 21:16.06; 12, Violet Hering, A, 21:30.67; 13, Saniyah Ayala, A, 21:34.53; 14, Sara Slade, 21:36.26; 15, Ruby Lopez-Tellez, S, 21:42.92; 16, Nikaela Apilada, A, 21:47.08; 17, Haylee Baldwin, Cra, 21:57.58; 18, Courtney Tiernan, T, 22:02.67; 19, Eleanor Sperry, S, 22:07.58; 20, Carrie Babcock, S, 22:17.56; 21, MaeAni Dotts, Chu, 22:24.42; 22, Emma Slade, NB, 22:24.85; 23, Stella Mason, A, 22:34.76; 24, Morgan Dole, EP, 22:40.94; 25, Olivia Stewart, S, 22:48.84.

SWC CHAMPIONSHIPS: On the same Valley of the Rogue State Park course less than two weeks ago, North Medford’s Estella Gutches finished runner-up to Madison Wilt of Grants Pass.

But in the rematch Wednesday, Gutches, in the words of North coach Piet Voskes, had a point to prove. In what was a close race battle for first and second place, Gutches crossed the finish line in 18:51.73, ahead of Wilt in 18:53.46.

Gutches’ performance helped the Black Tornado finish second as a team with 60 points, clinching a trip to the state championships, and was also nearly a minute faster than the time of 19:50.60 the junior ran on the course at the The Stan Goodell “Legend” Invitational Oct. 16.

“She’s the best we’ve ever had at adjusting from one race to another,” Voskes said of Gutches.

Also important for the Black Tornado were top-10 finishes from Saundra Parsons (19:52.09) and Reese Meager to help North reach state.

In the boys race, South Medford’s Michael Maiorano placed second in 15:28.25, with South Eugene’s Asher McKinnon winning in 15:22.44. Maiorano’s placement secured an individual spot at state and the Panther boys finished third place with 50 points — three points behind runner-up South Eugene (47) — to also advance to state.

South Medford’s Connor Singer placed fifth in 15:47, while Adam Cannon was ninth (16:18.77).

North Medford sophomore Logan Huffman led his team in 27th place at 17:56.32.

The top three SWC teams and any individual among the top-7 finishers not on a qualifying team advance to state.

Boys

TEAM SCORES: Sheldon 40, South Eugene 47, South Medford 50, Grants Pass 105, Roseburg 113, North Medford 175.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 25): 1, Asher McKinnon, SE, 15:22.44; 2, Michael Maiorano, SM, 15:28.25; 3, Ben Collins, Shel, 15:39.08; 4, Jackson Seubert, SE, 15:46.22; 5, Connor Singer, SM, 15:47; 6, Quaid Petronella, GP, 15:47.55; 7, Jonah Donde, Shel, 15:56.37; 8, Evan Poulsen, Shel, 16:07.68; 9, Adam Cannon, SM, 16:18.77; 10, Adam Reeder, Shel, 16:25.14; 11, Ferran Verges, SE, 16:41.61; 12, Zane Prevedello, Shel, 16:42.54; 13, Preston Smith, R, 16:42.75; 14, DJ Scott, SM, 16:51.29; 15, Jan Bremer, SE, 16:51.59; 16, Benjamin Seidman, SE, 16:52.68; 17, Kyle Miller, SE, 17:00.39; 18, Matt Rieman, GP, 17:01.94; 19, Jaia Hannagan, GP, 17:09.12; 20, Chase Wallace, SM, 17:12.61; 21, Levi Campbell, R, 17:17.15; 22, Griffin Baxley, SE, 17:22.67; 23, Nathan Sheley, Shel, 17:38.59; 24, Hyrum McGinnis, R, 17:45.65; 25, Gabriel Luksich, SM, 17:45.88.

Girls

TEAM SCORES: South Eugene 40, North Medford 60, Grants Pass 74, Sheldon 80, Roseburg 82.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 25): 1, Estella Gutches, NM, 18:51.73; 2, Madison Wilt, GP, 18:53.46; 3, Cameron Gupta, SE, 19:11.33; 4, Katryn Gilbert, Shel, 19:25.46; 5, Anna Tavakolian, SE, 19:40.51; 6, Elizabeth Eckman, R, 19:41.72; 7, Nora Black, SE, 19:43.70; 8, Karalyn Gilbert, Shel, 19:46.31; 9, Saundra Parsons, NM, 19:52.09; 10, Reese Meager, NM, 19:58.31; 11, Olivia Allen, SE, 20:04.93; 12, Mary Sturley, GP, 20:07.82; 13, Bailey Moritz, GP, 20:11.32; 14, Elizabeth McCart, SE, 20:17.59; 15, Corinne Childers, R, 20:22.18; 16, Eleanor Nichol, NM, 20:23.50; 17, Charis Childers, R, 20:38.57; 18, Skylar Willow, Shel, 20:40.64; 19, Cassidy Miller, SE, 20:49.43; 20, Livi Parks, Shel, 21:01.49; 21, Zoe Traul, R, 21:15.32; 22, Bela Marshak, GP, 21:19.81; 23, Sylvia Eckman, R, 21:24.19; 24, Maritza Villa, NM, 21:26.63; 25, Nettle Grey, GP, 21:26.98.

SKYLINE CHAMPIONSHIPS: At Klamath Falls, Phoenix’s Kyla Potratz and Elwood Hosking took first place in the girls and boys races, respectively, and the Phoenix girls team placed second to earn a fifth consecutive trip to the Class 4A state championships.

Running at altitude at Steens Sports Complex, Phoenix made a point of starting off more reserved than usual, but kept the leaders within contact. That was true of the Pirates’ girls team, which also saw Sophia Stubblefield place third. With Klamath Union and Hidden Valley leading the first mile, Phoenix began to make its move around the 1 1/2 mile mark of the 5,000-meter course.

The Phoenix girls team has qualified for state in 12 of the past 13 years.

“Any time you get to go it’s really special,” Phoenix coach John Cornet said. “It shows all their hard work, teamwork and all the time they devoted for the past months and months, especially when you consider what the past few months have been with the (Almeda) fire and COVID. These kids are balancing so much, it’s a real testament to them.”

Hosking’s win gave the senior an automatic state bid on the heels of the unofficial 4A state championships during the spring season, where Hosking placed 13th.

The Pirates’ boys team placed third, with Kael Feeley finishing sixth.

Times and team results were not available by press time.

The top two Skyline teams and any individual among the top-5 finishers not on a qualifying team advance to state.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneThe Ashland girls team heads from the start of the 5A girls championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCrater's Tyrone Gorze pushes to the finish to win the boys 5A championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wedneday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Estella Gutches leads past the first mile during the 6A girls championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Michael Maiorano leads the chase group near the river past the first mile during the 6A boys championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneAshland's Grace Yaconelli runs near the river past the first mile in the 5A girls championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneAshland's Grace Yaconelli nears the finish to win the 5A girls championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneNorth Medford's Estella Gutches leads through the final mile during the 6A girls championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.
Crater's Tyrone Gorze runs alone past the one-mile marker winning the boys 5A championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday.
Crater's Tyrone Gorze (far right) takes the early lead from thestart during the boys 5A championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Michael Maiorano leads the chase group near the river past the first mile during the 6A boys championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
North Medford's Estella Gutches leads pushingto the finish winning the 6A girls championship at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
5A-2 Midwestern League and 6A-7 Southwest Conference cross country championships at Valley of the Rogue State Park Wednesday afternoon.Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune