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Gorze places third at Nike nationals

PORTLAND — Crater senior Tyrone Gorze had the chance to take the national stage once again Saturday morning, with a loaded field awaiting him at the Nike Cross Nationals.

The Comets’ star was within striking distance of another impressive win, but ended up finishing third in a time of 14 minutes, 53.8 seconds on a chilly 5,000-meter course at the Glendoveer Golf Course.

Newbury Park’s Aaron Sahlman surged into the lead on the final hill to eclipse Gorze and teammate Leo Young — one half of the Stanford-bound Young twins — and win in 14:44.5.

Sahlman, just a junior, was the early leader before falling back as low as 15th place. Young led the race by as much as 4 seconds at the 4,000-meter split, but later fell back to 11th after being caught by Sahlman.

American Fork’s Daniel Simmons slipped past Gorze in the final 100 meters to finish second in 14:51.7.

Gorze, who will run at the University of Washington next season, helped lead the Southern Oregon Project — consisting of his Crater teammates that won their second straight Class 5A state title last month in Eugene — to a fourth-place finish in the team standings.

Josiah Tostenson placed 42nd in 15:42.7, while Jeffrey Hellman was 71st in 15:59.5. Tayvon Kitchen finished in 94th with a time of 16:10.3, while Shaun Garnica (102nd, 16:16.3), Caleb Doddington (153rd, 16:42.9) and Ryder Hvall (191st, 17:21.8) rounded out the group for the Southern Oregon Project.

Newbury Park won the team title with record-low total of 66 points. Portland, consisting of runners from Jesuit, was second with 152 points and Herrmian of Utah (155) was third.

Crater's Tyrone Gorze, shown winning the 5A cross-country state championship in Eugene, placed third at the national championships on Saturday. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]