Phoenix trio shine at state meet
.EUGENE — Seemingly attached at the hip in each race they run, Phoenix senior Sophia Stubblefield and junior Kyla Potratz used that close-knit approach to their advantage during Saturday’s Class 4A cross-country state championships on the Lane Community College campus.
The Pirate duo pushed each other along the 5,000-meter course, quickly pulling away in a pack of four that eventually turned into a pair of duals for first-second and third-fourth positioning on a slow and muddy course to highlight a fine day for Phoenix’s girls cross-country team, which finished sixth overall in the 4A standings.
Stubblefield accepted the challenge of La Grande sophomore Emily Tubbs and worked hard to maintain her second-place spot and come in just ahead of her teammate in 19 minutes, 18.90 seconds to finish as state runner-up. Tubbs used a powerful kick to win in 19:04.60.
“Sophia was battling to just hold that second spot and she ran really well,” said Phoenix coach John Cornet.
Within a whisker of that battle was Potratz, who had her own nemesis in Marist’s Jennifer Tsai as the duo approached the finish line. In this back and forth, however, it was Potratz who pulled out an early kick and held steady to come in strong for third at 19:20.30. Tsai was fourth in 19:31.20.
“There were seven girls would could’ve won that race on any given day,” added Cornet. “Sophia and Kyla just ran incredibly well, the both of them.”
For good measure, the Phoenix boys also had plenty to cheer about as senior Elwood Hosking placed third in 16:49.93, marking a tremendous uptick in results for the runner.
“Elwood secured that third spot with pure tenacity and grit,” said Cornet. “Pulling third is pretty astounding given that last year was his first year at a state-level competition.”
Marshfield junior Alexander Garcia-Silver controlled the first 800 meters and put on a surge to see who could go with him, according to Cornet, and Hosking obliged with a pair of Siuslaw runners. Garcia-Silver eventually won in 16:02.20.
In the 3A boys race, Cascade Christian senior Jake Sorani placed fifth overall in 16:45.70 for another strong showing to cap off his season.
Senior Logan Diaz McNeal paced St. Mary’s, which finished just ahead of the Challengers at eighth overall in the team standings, by placing 21st in 18:24.80.
CROSS-COUNTRY STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
TEAM SCORES (Top 5): Siuslaw 42, Sisters 88, Cottage Grove 93, Valley Catholic 93, Hidden Valley 135.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): 1, Alexander Garcia-Silver, Marshfield, 16:02.20; 2, Chad Hughes, Siuslaw, 16:30.70; 3, Elwood Hosking, Phoenix, 16:49.93; 4, Samuel Ulrich, Siuslaw, 16:49.95; 5, Henry Tierney, Valley Catholic, 16:59.30.
TEAM SCORES (Top 5): Siuslaw 85, Philomath 86, Marist 93, La Grande 111, Valley Catholic 120.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): 1, Emily Tubbs, La Grande, 19:04.60; 2, Sophia Stubblefield, Phoenix, 19:18.90; 3, Kyle Potratz, Phoenix, 19:20.30; 4, Jennifer Tsai, Marist, 19:31.20; 5, Rylee Colton, Siuslaw, 19:39.90.
PHOENIX (6th, 139): 2, Sophia Stubblefield, 19:18.90; 3, Kyle Potratz, 19:20.30; 49, Brisa Bauer, 22:44.50; 52, Ava Robinson, 22:55.60; 54, Heidi Taylor, 23:03.90.
TEAM SCORES (Top 5): Enterprise 50, Westside Christian 86, Burns 92, Oregon Episcopal 98, Santiam Christian 100.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): 1, Zac Knapp, Enterprise, 15:52.30; 2, Wyatt Montgomery, La Pine, 16:28.30; 3, Olin Gilster, Oregon Episcopal, 16:31.70; 4, David Dugan, Westside Christian, 16:34.30; 5, Jake Sorani, Cascade Christian, 16:45.70.
ST. MARY’S (8th, 172): 21, Logan Diaz McNeal, 18:24.80; 31, Cody Arnold, 19:07.40; 43, David Noble, 19:35.40; 45, Vincent Savage, 19:36.70; 49, Daniel Heycke, 20:33.70.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN (9th, 200): 5, Jake Sorani, 16:45.70; 47, Henry Giomi-Brown, 19:49.60; 52, Grant Walker, 21:01.80; 54, Tayen Landers, 21:15.20; 59, Austin Skelton, 22:26.10.
TEAM SCORES (Top 5): Bandon 74, Vernonia 74, Union 94, Burns 134, Kennedy 168.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): 1, Makena Houston, Columbia Christian, 19:05.90; 2, Megan Cover, Catlin Gabel, 19:26.60; 3, Daisy Lalonde, East Linn Christian, 19:34.90; 4, Jordan White, Neah-Kah-Nie, 20:00.50; 5, Delaney Draeger, Vernonia, 20:08.70