Last year was a magical year for the South Eugene teams. Although they did not take the team titles, the axemen can take solace that last year's runner-up Sarah Tsai won the individual title. Axemen alumnist Erin Gray set her sights on breaking the 18-minutes barrier, and Tsai accomplished that with a time of 17:42. Until this year, only Foot Locker 1993 runner-up Melissa Lucas of Jesuit accomplished that feat with her time of 17:34.9. Also under the 18-minute mark were runner-up Maggie Schmaedick of Sheldon with 17:46 and third place finisher Parkes Kendrick of Grant with 17:58. At 18:01 were Ella Donaghu of Grant and Paige Rice of St. Mary's Academy. Although Rice had been the runner-up in 2010 and the defending champion, her time this year was better than prior years. Erin Clark of South Eugene was sixth with 18:08. Gracie Todd of Sheldon was seventh with 18:27. Charlotte Corless of Sunset was eighth with 18:36. Brooke Chuhlantseff of West Salem and Ellen Patterson of St. Mary's Academy were nineth and tenth both posting times of 18:37. Last year, Patterson was still recovering from an illness, and her top 10 finish proved that she is back. Grant edged St. Mary's Academy for the team title 66 to 68. Jesuit was third with 76. Sunset was fourth with 82. South Eugene was fifth with 95.
Central Catholic is a young team. Kyle Thompson is a junior and leader of the team. Coach Dave Frank had a run off at districts to determine the state lineup. With that in mind, the team only has one senior, two juniors, three sophomores, and one freshman in the varsity lineup. It is rare to win the Oregon big school division with so many underclassmen, but the Rams pulled that off by placing 6 runners in the top 25. Central Catholic scored 52 to runner-up Jesuit's 76. As for individuals, it was Sheldon's Jackson Darland's day to shine. Last year, he did not make it out of the district. This year, Darland had wins at the Marist and his district along with a third place finishes at the Nike Pre National and Northwest Classic meets which fielded quality teams and individuals. Darland won the division with a time of 15:40. Dan Oekerman of Beaverton was the runner-up with 15:48. Last year's champion Kyle Thompson of Central Catholic was third with 15:54. Julian Heninger of Lakeridge was fourth with 16:09. Jackson Haselnus of Barlow was fifth with 16:13. Timed at 16:16 were Liam Chapin-Jones of South Eugene (6th) and Ray Schireman (7th) of North Medford. Ryutaro Morgan of Westview was eighth with 16:18. Blake Spencer of North Medford (9th) and Tanner Smith of Lincoln (10th) were next with 16:19. Just out of the top 10 in 16:20 was Central Catholic Sam Lomax who is part of the Central Catholic powerful sophomore class.
Summit graduated most of the varsity lineup from last year's girl's team, and they were without Piper McDonald--last year's third place finisher and first underclassman as well as their 2012 district champion. Summit pulled off the win over Corvallis--83 to 91. Hermiston was a strong third with 105 points. Grace Grim has been improving all season. She started with a runner-up finish at her school's invitational and did not post a win until her district championship. Grace placed nineth at the Concordia meet with a season best time of 18:09 which was a 1 1/2 minutes faster than her first race. Grace's winning time in the 5A division was a fine 18:40. Runner-up Marykate McGuire of Dallas has been on a tear since last year's track season. Until this year, McGuire has been a soccer player knowing that she enjoys soccer and will not be competing in soccer in college. It has been a pleasure to see her name on the cross country scene. She will definitely be a force to contend with in the future as her time of 18:53 is a fine time for someone just starting out in cross country. Summit leader Hanah Gindlesperger was third with 19:09. Emma Wren led the Cleveland team with a fourth place finish in 19:15. Maggie Colemen of Hermiston is also a soccer player and was fifth with 19:15. Taryn Rawlings of Wilsonville was sixth with 19:19. Katie Markwick of Hermiston was seventh with 19:20. Monica Anderson of Marist, Rylier Nikolaus of Mountain View, and Rachel Khaw of LIberty rounded out the top top.
Travis Neuman posted the fastest time of the day with 15:29 and the fastest time in nearly a decade when Olympian and Central Catholic alumnist Galen Rupp ran 14:55 in 2003. In 1978, Dave Frank who ran for Gladstone and now coaches Central Catholic ran 14:54.9 to win the AA division on a different state course. Neuman's time is a very fine time when you consider all the great Oregon champions such as Billy Harper, Matt Melacon, Ian Burgess, Kenny Klotz, Lauren Jesperson, and Ian Dobson to name just a few who have times at or a little slower than Neuman's. Runner-up Matthew Maton of Summit is just a sophomore and is making his name heard with his time of 15:42. Normally, Summit's top 3 have been running 1-2-3, but Hermiston was able to stop that by placing Alejandro Cisneros, Eduardo Juarez, and Jose Macias in the 4-5-6 spots with times of 15:46, 15:52, and 16:06. Sixth was Summit's Eric Alldritt with 16:13. Cleveland's Nabi Amin led his team with a seventh place finish with 16:25. Luke Hinz of Summit was eighth with 16:26. Posting times of 16:27 were Dakota Thornton of Mountain View (9th) and Ty James of Wilsonville (10th). Although Cleveland packed their top 5 runners in 7th through 16th, Summit had 4 on the podium and their fifth runner at 17th. Summit easily won the team title over Cleveland 33 to 61. Hermiston's top 3 helped the team to a third place finish with 66 points.
In the 4A division, Katy Potter of Suislaw won with a time of 18:56. Second was Sierra Brown of Hidden Valley with a time of 19:04. Two-time defending champion Alisha Luna of Klamath Union was third with 19:29. La Salle Prep won the team title with 54 points over Klamath Union with 70 points and Molalla with 76. Siuslaw had a great day for the boys. Matthew Campbell and Mitchell Butler of Siuslaw finished 1-2 with a time of 15:49. Jonathan and David Cornish of North Valley were 3-4 in 16:02. Mack Marbas of Siuslaw and Brett WIllyard of Seaside were 5-6 with 16:09. Siuslaw won over North Valley 29 to 52.
For the 1A/2A/3A, last year's runner-up Katriel O'Reilly of Union won with 19:16. McKenzie Evans of Union was second. Last year's champion Olivia Powell of Creswell was third. Union won the girl's team title over Valley Catholic 60 to 70. Nick Obletz of Oregon Episcopal won the boy's race with 15:58 over David Ribich of Enterprise. Union won the boy's team title over East Linn Christian Academy.
More details to follow.