558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Crook County boys and girls teams both qualify for state championships
Cowgirls win, Cowboys take second at district
Carly Hibbs was the highest-placing Cowgirl at the Greater Oregon League Cross Country Championships, taking fifth place.
October 29, 2012
Cold, wet, muddy, windy weather made conditions miserable for this year’s Greater Oregon League Cross Country Championships, held in La Grande.
In spite of the miserable conditions, both the Cowgirls and Cowboys were able to qualify teams for the state championships.
“The wind chill was about 34 degrees,” said head cross country coach Tracy Smith. “Ridgeview and us were the only teams to set up tents. Everyone else was either on their bus or in the small gym staying warm. We should have worn spikes and we should have warmed up in the gym with everyone else.”
In the cold, without spikes, several runners fell down on the course, and times were slower than expected.
Still, by grouping their runners together, the Cowgirls were able to take the district championship.
The Cowgirls finished with 44 points, edging Ridgeview (51), and McLoughlin (59). La Grande took fourth place with 73 points while Baker finished fifth with 98 points and Ontario failed to field a complete team.
Carly Hibbs was the first Cowgirl across the finish line, taking fifth place overall with a time of 21:04.6. Katherine Lee, who had run near the front of the pack all day, was outkicked by Hibbs and Ridgeview’s Mikenna Marchment, to finish sixth in a time of 21:11.5.
“Katie Lee was the girl I considered our hero,” Smith said. “She just went out there and was almost our first runner. Carly finally caught her right at the end.”
Lee was followed by Natalie Stenbeck in ninth place with a time of 21:29.5, Irene Morales (11th in 2135.0), Ashton Morgan (12th in 22:08.0), and Charsie Brewer (13th in 22:10.3).
“The top six girls all ran well and they were close together. That’s what it takes to win when you don’t have a superstar.”
Kelsee Martin was the final varsity runner for the Cowgirls in the race, taking 30th place with a time of 25:07.2. Also running well for the Cowgirls was JV?runner Tobi Hanes whose time of 23:29.1 was good enough to win the girls JV race and earn her a place on the Cowgirl varsity team for the state championships.
La Grande’s Amanda Welch was the individual winner in the girls race in a time of 18:54.6. She was followed by McLoughlin’s Josie Lonai who finished in 19:10.2. Dakota Steen of Ridgeview took third with a time of 19:36.9 while Susie Romero-Diaz of McLoughlin was fourth in 19:49.0.
The boys race was a different story. On paper, the Cowboys were expected to win the meet by more than 20 points. Instead, Baker had several runners race to their fastest times of the year, while some of the Crook County runners struggled with the conditions.
“The Baker team looked like they came to race,” Smith said. “They just really stepped up and had super performances.”
Led by Nic Maszk’s first-place performance, Baker scored 40 points to narrowly edge Crook County who finished with 43. McLoughlin took third with 70 points followed by Ontario (77), and Ridgeview (95). La Grande failed to field a complete team.
Maszk, who won also won the district title last year, finished with a time of 15:59.3. Crook County’s Grayson Munn easily took second place with a time of 16:27.1. Munn was able to run that time despite falling twice in the muddy conditions. La Grande’s Elliott Jonasson took third with a time of 16:43.8. Then came Crook County’s Luis Rivera, who outkicked a tight pack of runners to take fourth place with a time of 16:58.1.
“Luis beat out a guy right at the end,” Smith said. “He outsprinted him just like he did in the 800-meter race at the district track meet last year.”
Baker’s Evan Krohn took fifth with a time of 16:58.5. He was followed by Ontario’s Rigo Sanchez (17:02.2) and Jesus Saldana of McLoughlin (17:02.4). The Cowboy’s Cody Thurman finished 11th with a time of 17:42.0, while Nathan Carmack was the next Cowboy to finish with a time of 18:00.7.
“Thurman and Carmack both ran a heck of a race,” Smith said. Rounding out the scoring for the Cowboys was Blake George, who took 18th in 18:28.8. Liam Pickhardt, and Justin Glass were the final two Cowboys to compete in the varsity race. They finished 19th and 26th respectively with times of 18:29.0 and 19:04.0.
Meanwhile, Pit Lee raced his way to a spot on the Cowboy roster for the state meet by finishing second in the JV?race with a time of 18:59.2.
“I told the team before the race that we started a tradition three years ago when we won the girls district championship,” Smith said. “Then last year, we started another tradition when we won the boys race. We wanted to keep that up, but it’s only a tradition if it happens more than once.”
The OSAA State Cross Country Championships will be held Saturday, Nov. 3, on the campus of Lane Community College, in Eugene. Competition starts with the Class 3A/2A/1A girls race at 10 a.m. The Class 4A girls race is set to begin at 11:15 a.m., followed by the Class 4A boys race at 11:50 a.m.
Smith’s goal for the girls team is to place higher than last year’s ninth-place finish in the state championship. The boys team has a simpler goal.
“Our big goal is to beat Baker at state,” Smith said.
Greater Oregon League Cross Country Championships
at La Grande
Girls team scores — Crook County 44, Ridgeview 51, McLoughlin 59, La Grande 73, Baker 98, Ontario Inc.
Top 10 — 1, Amanda Welch, LG, 18:54.6; 2, Josie Lonai, M, 19:10.2; 3, Dakota Steen, RV, 19:36.9; 4, Susie Romero-Diaz, M, 19:49; 5, Carly Hibbs, CC, 21:04.6; 6, Mikenna Marchment, RV, 21:08.5; 7, Katherine Lee, CC, 21:11.5; 8, Kristi Childers, M, 21:18.6; 9, Natalie Stenbeck, CC, 21:29.5; 10, Sarah Spaugh, B, 21:30.7.
Crook County results — 5, Carly Hibbs, 21:04.6. 7; Kathrine Lee, 21:11.5; 9, Natalie Stenbeck, 21:29.5; 11, Irene Morales, 21:35.0; 12, Ashton Morgan, 22:08.0; 13, Charsie Brewer, 22:10.3; 30, Kelsee Martin, 25:07.2.
Boys team scores — Baker 40, Crook County 43, McLoughlin 70, Ontario 77, Ridgeview 95, La Grande, Inc.
Top 10 — 1, Nic Maszk, B, 15:59.3; 2, Grayson Munn, CC, 16:27.1; 3, Elliott Jonasson, LG, 16:43.8; 4, Luis Rivera, CC, 16:58.1; 5, Evan Krohn, B, 16:58.1; 6, Rigo Sanchez, O, 17:02.4; 7, Jesus Saldana, M, 17:02.4; 8, Levi Lewis, O, 17:19.1; 9, James Seeley, RV, 17:31; 10, Noah McLean, LG, 17:38.1.
Crook County results — 2, Grayson Munn, 16:27.1; 4, Luis Rivera, 16:58.1; 11, Cody Thurman, 17:42.0; 15, Nathan Carmack, 18:00.7; 18, Blake George, 18:28.8; 19, Liam Pickhardt, 18:29.0; 26, Justin Glass, 19:04.0.