PREP ROUNDUP: Cascade Christian’s Jake Sorani earns dominant win at districts
GOLD HILL — Jake Sorani has been at or near the top of the Class 3A District 4 cross-country championships throughout his career at Cascade Christian, and Thursday’s resounding win was more of the same.
The Challengers senior took first place in the boys 5,000-meter race at Valley of the Rogue State Park, finishing in 16 minutes, 18.34 seconds and leaving nearly two minutes between himself and the rest of the field.
St. Mary’s claimed the boys team title, however, marking the first win for the Crusader boys team at districts in more than 35 years, according to coach Joe Volk.
The Crusaders had four top-10 finishers, including the trio of Logan Diaz McNeal (18:28.16), Cody Arnold (18:55.75) and Vincent Savage (18:57.28) in the top five.
St. Mary’s had 24 points to win the title and Cascade Christian’s 44 points secured second place, giving both teams a bid to the 3A state championships.
For Sorani, the win at districts was his second straight after claiming the top spot during the spring season as a junior, which led into his first-place effort at the unofficial spring 3A/2A/1A state championship meet later in Lebanon.
Sorani also qualified for state as a freshman and sophomore, with the latter race resulting in a top-10 finish while representing the Challengers as an individual during the 2019 season.
Also Thursday for the Challengers, Henry Giomi-Brown (19:31.50) took ninth place while Tayen Landers (20:33.73), Grant Walker (20:54.66) and Austin Skelton (22:13) all finished inside the top 25.
Meanwhile, St. Mary’s earned the team title with the best spread — 2 minutes, 10 seconds — among all five teams competing. David Noble’s eighth-place finish in 19:29.68 gave the Crusaders four top-10 finishers, with Will Doss (20:38.70), Daniel Heycke (20:46.89) and Calvin Chmelir (22:19.04) also placing in the top 25.
In the girls 3A/2A/1A race, Bandon’s Holly Hutton crossed the finish line in 21:08.45 to claim the individual win, and also helped Bandon win the team title with 27 points.
Pleasant Hill (103) and Myrtle Point (106) finished in second and third place, respectively, to move on to state.
St. Mary’s was led by Addie Jensen’s ninth-place finish, clocking a time of 22:22.90. Cascade Christian’s Saige Griffin placed 20th in 23:29.52 to lead the Challengers.
St. Mary’s (137) and Cascade Christian (177) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, out of 10 teams.
TEAM SCORES: St. Mary’s 24, Cascade Christian 44, Douglas 86, Pleasant Hill 98, Sutherlin 101.
TEAM SCORES: Bandon 16, Glide 45, Oakland 84.
TEAM SCORES: Bandon 27, Pleasant Hill 103, Myrtle Point 106, North Douglas 125, Oakland 129, Glide 132, St. Mary’s 137, Cascade Christian 177, Creswell 178, Reedsport 192.
ROGUE VALLEY ADVENTIST 1, ST. MARY’S 0: Ian Cheshire’s goal in the 67th minute was enough for Rogue Valley Adventist to hold off St. Mary’s at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
The scoreless stalemate was broken when Lucas Christensen played a ball into the box, which St. Mary’s was unable to clear, and Cheshire stormed through to put the ball into the net.
Goalkeeper Aaron Wilson came up with four saves for Rogue Valley Adventist, including a one-on-one save that ricocheted off the crossbar to keep the Crusaders from scoring an equalizing goal.
The Red Tail Hawks avenged an earlier 3-0 loss to the Crusaders on Oct. 4 with the win, and closed out the regular season with an 8-2 overall record and 5-1 mark in District 5.
St. Mary’s fell to 6-6-1 overall and 5-1 in District 5 in the defeat.
THURSTON 1, EAGLE POINT 0: At Eagle Point, Thurston scored the winning goal with five minutes to go in the second half to pick up the road win.
Eagle Point senior goalkeeper Emilee Nielsen came up with two big saves for the Eagles (3-7-1, 2-5-1 MWL), including one on a Thurston set play in the 75th minute, but the loose ball found its way to Thurston for a tap-in goal to go ahead.
Senior striker MaKenna Maldonado also had a strong game for Eagle Point, which celebrated its seven seniors before kicking off the final game of the season.
Thurston (6-5-3, 5-2-1 MWL) will move on to the 5A playoffs next week.