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Cowgirls take third at Seaside
Cowboys take fifth at tough Three Course Challenge
September 24, 2012
The Crook County Cowgirls had their best cross country race of the year Saturday as they finished third in the 22-team division three at the Seaside Three Course Challenge.
The Cowboys were nearly as strong finishing fifth in the meet.
“It was pretty good,” said Crook County head coach Tracy Smith. “We are doing well. People are getting stronger, they are getting better each week, and they are still hungry to race. I really feel like everyone on the team had a good race.”
The Seaside Three Course Challenge is one of the largest meets in the Northwest and is divided into five divisions and three separate races.
Racers draw poker chips from a coffee can to determine if they will run on an easy, moderate, or hard course. Scoring is determined by the top two finishers from each team on the easy and moderate course as well as the top three finishers from the hard course.
The highest finisher for the Cowgirls was Carly Hibbs who finished the 4,500-meter easy course in a time of 20:56, good enough for 26th place overall and fifth place in division three. With 395 racers competing on the easy course Smith was pleased with how well Hibbs ran.
Also competing on the easy course were Kelsee Martin who finished 146th overall with a time of 24:36, and Halie Jones who finished close behind in 154th place in 24:50.
The Cowgirls top finisher on the 5,000-meter moderate course was Irene Morales who finished 55th out of 389 runners overall and 12th in division three with a time of 26:44. She was followed by Kylee Swensen who took 159th overall with a time of 29:21, and Brielle Worthing who finished 348th with a time of 36:40.
Natalie Stenbeck led the Cowgirl efforts on the 5,000-meter hard course finishing 78th out of 297 runners overall and 10th in division three with a time of 28:05. Stenbeck was followed by Katherine Lee (108th in 28:55), Ashton Morgan (119th in 29:28), Danielle Skranak (178th in 31:23), and Samantha Pepper (251st in 35:00).
Class 5A Pendleton ran away with the division three girls team championship with 279 oints. Cascade was a distant second finishing with 638 points. The Cowgirls totaled 691 points to finish well ahead of fourth place Sequim, Wash. who finished with 808 points. The Dalles Wahtonka wound up fifth with 861 points followed by Klamath Union (861), St. Helens (1,111), and Cottage Grove (1,404).
The Cowboys also had a solid outing at the meet scoring 660 points to easily take fifth place. Sequim, Wash., won the division with 402 points. They were followed by Pendleton (569), Aberdeen, Wash. (583), and Anacortes, Wash. (608). Black Hills, S.D. wound up sixth with 824 points, followed by Astoria (906), Cascade (967), St. Helens (1,175), and Centralia, Wash. (1,204).
The Cowboys were led by Grayson Munn, who finished 28th out of 513 runners on the hard course, and sixth in division three with a time of 21:01. Munn was followed by Luis Rivera (66th in 22:04), Liam Pickhardt (152nd in 23:49), Justin Glass (295th in 26:45), Jesse Santiago (324th in 26:45), Sam Santiago (229th in 26:48), and Braden Swensen (460th in 30:21).
Cody Thurman led the Cowboys on the moderate course taking 72nd out of 555 runners overall and 16th in division three with a time of 21:51. He was followed closely by Blake George who finished 74th with a time of 21:52.
On the easy course the Cowboys were led by Pit Lee, who finished 114th overall out of 460 runners and 15th in division three with a time of 18:24. Nathan Carmack (154th in 19:10), Paul Miller (228th in 20:28), and Dustin Seyl (267th in 21:10) rounded out the Cowboy finishers on the easy course.
“Everybody got to run through the mud this year, even the easy race,” Smith said. “The kids were excited about that.”
Smith was pleased with the team’s overall performance at the meet, as well as the improvement he is seeing from some of the team.
“It’s kind of a dogfight for the boys to see who is going to be in the top seven,” he said. “The Santiago boys improved a lot and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were up there in the mix and might knock somebody off.”
Smith added that team members such as Cody
Thurman and Luis Rivera also ran well.
“I’m really pleased with how we are running,” he said. “The only thing is I’m getting a little anxious to get us on a fast course.”
Crook County was scheduled to run on a fast course at Sisters last Wednesday, but the race was cancelled due to smoke from the Pole Creek Fire. So far the only courses that the team has run on are difficult courses that include mud, water crossings, and steep hill climbs. As a result none of the Crook County team shows up near the top of the Greater Oregon League when it comes to season best times.
However, Smith is confident that once the team gets on a fast course they will show what they can do.
Crook County is off until Friday, Oct. 5, when they travel to Bend to take part in the Oxford Classic which will be held in Drake Park.