Cross Country

Central Catholic aims to dominate state again

Rams have defending individual champ, and are favored in team race
Oct. 30, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Since the Alberto Salazar-Galen Rupp era began at Central Catholic a decade ago, the Rams have won five team titles at the Class 6A level, and six individual titles.

Last year, Kyle Thompson ran to the individual title to break a four-year winless streak. This year, the team is poised to break a two-year winless streak and return to the top of the state.

The Rams haven't suffered during their years off from the top spot. They finished second in the team standings the past two seasons, and had the second-place individual finisher two years ago when Thompson finished 18th as a freshman.

Thompson has again run at the top of the state and is a favorite to repeat in a stacked field that includes Beaverton senior Dan Oekerman, Sheldon senior Jackson Darland and Jesuit senior Josh Sealand, who made a tremendous leap from last year when he finished 70th at the state meet. He placed second to Oekerman at the Metro League district meet.

South Eugene, the defending champion, graduated four of its starting five runners, as did Crater, which finished third. The Rams return six of their seven scorers from last year.

Jesuit, which has - amazingly - never had an individual state champion, appears as the top contender for its crosstown rival. Senior Josh Sealand, who finished 59th at the state meet a year ago, leads a team that won the Metro League title with six runners placing in the top 11. Jesuit has won four team titles since 2000.


15:14   Dan Oekerman, Sr., Beaverton*

15:24   Kyle Thompson, Jr., Central Catholic*

15:42   Josh Sealand, Sr., Jesuit

15:42   Tanner Smith, Sr., Lincoln

15:49   Jackson Haselnus, Sr., Barlow

16:05   Jackson Darland, Sr., Sheldon*

16:19   Julian Heninger, Sr., Lakeridge*

16:32   Nathaniel Roberts, Jr., Sprague*

16:57   Nic McDaniel, Jr., McMinnville*

* District champion

Summit plays the role of 5A favorite

Returning champion Neuman leads a strong pack with hungry opponents
Oct. 30, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Cleveland, Corvallis, Hermiston, Wilsonville - there're all among the teams aiming to unseat Summit atop the Class 5A boys cross country state ranks.

But, the Storm won't go easily. At the Central Oregon district meet, the team had six of the top 12 finishers and scored just 18 points led by seniors Travis Neuman and Eric Aldrott as well as sophomore Mathew Maton, who all crossed the finish line in 16:29. Neuman is among the individual favorites having won the title last year.

Cleveland, led by sophomore Nabi Amin, who did not run in the state meet as a freshman, carries the team hopes for Portland, which hasn't fielded a team winner since 1983. The Warriors placed their top five runners within the top 7 at the PIL district meet on a flat, fast course.

Hermiston placed its top 5 runners in the top 9 at the Central Oregon championships led by senior Eduardo Perez, who placed fourth at the state meet last year.


15:57   Jackson Packham, Sr., Franklin*

15:57   Ty James, Sr., Wilsonville*

16:02   Nabi Amin, Soph., Cleveland

16:03   Adrian Hinkle, Sr., Cleveland

16:06   Christopher Black, Sr., Franklin

16:11   Ben Thomas, Sr., Wilsonville

16:26   Eduardo Juarez, Sr., Hermiston*

16:28   JP Kiefer, Jr., Marist*

16:29   Travis Neuman, Sr., Summit*

16:35   Maclean Panshin, Soph., Corvallis*

* District champion

State field ready to end Summit reign

After four years of team titles, the Storm looks beatable
Oct. 30, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

A year ago, the Summit Storm won the Class 5A girls state cross country meet in the most dominating fashion - scoring only 16 points in the team race, which tied the meet record for all classifications and missed the lowest score possible by just one point.

That score capped a four-year run of team titles for the school. This  year, Summit's reign might come to an end, although it certainly won't be easy as the team again won the Central Oregon district meet.

Hood River Valley, led by junior Grace Grimm, and Corvallis, led by senior Malika Washmann, lead a pack of teams looking to win the team title thanks largely to the graduation of Summit's Megan Fristoe, who won the last three individual titles, and a group of three other seniors, all of whom finished in the top 7. Without the top scorers in the meet, the Storm will return to the ranks of solid, but beatable teams.

Cleveland, Marist, La Salle, Molalla are also among the title hopefuls. A win by Cleveland would be the first for the school in either boys or girls competition and the first for a girls team from a PIL school since 1978 when Lincoln won the large-school title. Sophomore Emma Wren of Cleveland is among the top contenders to take over Fristoe's role as state champion, a role not held by a PIL runner for 30 years.

The individual race, won by 23 seconds over senior teammate Ashley Maton last year, looks wide open this year.


18:18   Grace Grim, Jr., Hood River Valley*

18:19   Marykate McGuire, Sr., Dallas*

18:38   Maggie Coleman, Sr., Hermiston

18:48   Taryn Rawlings, Jr., Wilsonville*

18:50   Sascha Bockius, Fr., Hood River Valley

18:52   Emma Wren, Soph., Cleveland*

18:54   Rachel Khaw, Fr., Liberty

18:55   Malika Waschmann, Sr., Corvallis

18:59   Monica Anderson, Sr., Marist*

19:00   Piper McDonald, Soph., Summit*

* District champion

Klamath aims for a long-sought team title

Pelicans are favored in team and individual races
Oct. 30, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

It's been 42 years in the making, but the Klamath Union Pelicans seem ready to claim a team title at the 4A girls cross country championships Saturday.

Led by senior Alisha Luna, the two-time defending champion, Klamath Union is a heavy favorite to win the team title, which would be its first since girls championships were held in 1974.

Last year, Luna won the individual title by 25 seconds, but the team fiinished second to Scappoose by just one point. This season, the Pelicans figure as the team to beat in the team race, while Luna has plenty of competition for the individual title.

Luna, now a senior, has run well during the season, including a first-place finish at the Adidas XC Classic earlier this month. However, Kay Potter, a senior at Siuslaw, ran in the meet as well, but in the elite portion of it, which she placed 11th in. Their times were just three seconds apart - 18:11 for Luna, 18:14 for Potter.

Sierra Brown, a senior from Hidden Valley who finished second at the state meet last year, also figures to be in the mix at the head of the pack having won the Skyline Conference title ahead of Luna.

Klamath Union won the team race of its division at the Adidas Classic by 70 points over Scappoose, and had six finishers in the top 12 at the Skyline Conference meet.


18:25   Katy Potter, Sr., Siuslaw*

18:54   Amanda Welch, Soph., La Grande*

19:03   Sierra Brown, Sr., Hidden Valley*

19:10   Josie Lonai, Soph., McLoughlin

19:27   Alisha Luna, Sr., Klamath Union

19:33   Emily Bever, Jr., Molalla*

19:36   Dakota Steen, Jr., Ridgeview*

19:59   Zoe Falk, Jr., Sisters

20:02   Tia Carnahan, Sr., Scappoose*

20:02   Kristen LaChapelle, Jr., Cascade*

Siuslaw ready to add to its trophy case

The Vikings are set to defend team title, add individual title
Oct. 30, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

A year ago, the Siuslaw Vikings ran away with the team championship at the Class 4A boys state cross country meet. The only thing missing was the individual title, which junior Matthew Campbell missed by six seconds. This season, the Vikings are aiming for both the team and individual titles, something the team has not done.

While the school has produced team champions regularly - 1966, 1996, 2004 and last year, the Vikings have celebrated only one individual champion - Steve Savage in 1965. Last year, Campbell and teammate Mitchell Butler, now a junior, finished second and third behind Mazama's Paul Adams, who has since graduated.

Campbell and Butler, who've run at the top of Class 4A all season, appear as favorites for the individual title. Junior Mack Marbas, also from Siuslaw, has the third fastest qualifying time from a district meet.

Siuslaw is as much a favorite in the team race as any team at any classification this year, having won the Far West League title with the minimum 15 points.

Baker, led by senior Nic Maszk, leads the pack of contenders for second place in the team race as well as challengers to Siuslaw's individual title dreams.


15:30   Matthew Campbell, Sr., Siuslaw*

15:32   Mitchell Butler, Jr., Siuslaw

15:48   Mack Marbas, Jr., Siuslaw

15:57   Pake Benthin, Sr., Molalla*

15:59   Nic Maszk, Sr., Baker*

16:11   Jonathan Cornish, Sr., North Valley*

16:12   David Cornish, Sr., North Valley

16:29   Deklyn Wood, Sr., Newport*

16:37   Jakob Hiett, Soph., Sweet Home*

16:58   Brett Willyard, Sr., Seaside*

* District champion

Obletz is 3A individual favorite, team race open

OES senior would be a contender at any classification
Oct. 30, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

Oregon Episcopal senior Nick Obletz seems prepared to move up to the role of state champion having run well all season. And, for a change among the eight finals, the three runners who finished ahead of him last year graduated.

Obletz posted the fastest district time by 24 seconds and has a season resume that includes finishing directly behind Beaverton's Dan Oekerman, a favorite in the Class 6A race, at the Nike Pre-Nationals to continue a solid year. In spring, he won the Class 3A 3,000 meters and 1,500 meter titles during track and field season.

The race for second looks very competitive among runners from six schools.

Southwest Christian, led by junior Trevor Lane, East Linn Christian, led by senior Kody Osborne, and Cascade Christian are among the team favorites looking for their first title.

Defending champion Valley Catholic graduated much of its team and did not qualify.



15:57   Nick Obletz, Sr., Oregon Episcopal*

16:21   Sisay Gillock, Jr., Portland Christian

16:24   Cooper Roach, Jr., Valley Catholic

16:28   Trevor Lane, Jr., Southwest Christian*

16:30   Rich Fettig, Sr., Westside Christian

16:34   Kody Osborne, Sr., East Linn Christian Academy*

16:36   David Ribich, Jr., Enterprise*

16:51   Chris Merlos, Soph., New Hope Christian*

17:08   Zach Bellew, Jr., Creswell*

17:27   Thom Hallmark, Jr., Coquille*

* District champion

Union, Powell ready for team, individual battles

The Bobcats return to defend team title, upend Powell for first individual title
Oct. 30, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

It’s not often that a freshman wins the individual title in one of the four state finals, but Creswell’s Olivia Powell was able to do that last year and she enters this year’s state event with a chance to become only the second runner to win four consecutive titles.

Her primary challengers this year are returnees from last year’s meet who finished directly behind her.

Defending team champion Union graduated only one of its top six runners and returns junior Katriel O’Reilly and junior McKenzie Evans, who finished second and third, respectively, in last year’s state run. A title for a Union runner would be the first individual title. The Bobcats have won nine team titles dating from 1985.

Only Billy Harper of Junction City, has won won four individual titles, claiming them from 1992-95.

Stephanie Croy, a junior from Cascade Christian, returns from a fourth-place finish from a year ago and has performed well at invitational events.

Senior Josephine Chau, who finished 43rd last year, posted the top time in a district meet, 32 seconds ahead of Powell.


19:31   Josephine Chau, Sr., Valley Catholic*    

19:41   Stephanie Croy, Jr., Cascade Christian*     

19:44   Katriel O’Reilly, Jr., Union*    

19:53   Olivia Powell, Soph., Creswell*  

19:57   Hannah Jaquiss, Sr., Catlin Gabel     

20:04   McKenzie Evans, Jr., Union    

20:06   Maricela Jaroch, Fr., Valley Catholic    

20:22   Nina Weaver, Sr., Southwest Christian*    

20:24   Sarah Cutler, Fr., Bandon*    

20:58   Lauren Stokley, Soph., Kennedy* 

* District champion


MHC district meet runs to form

State champions Thompson and Rice win easily to qualify for state
Oct. 24, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

The defending state champions at Class 6A ran as they were expected and won the individual titles at the Mt. Hood Conference district cross country meet Wednesday at Centennial High School.

Kyle Thompson, a junior at Central Catholic, won the boys race by 25 seconds over Barlow senior Jackson Haselnus, while Paige Rice, a junior at St. Mary's Academy, won the girls race by nearly 17 seconds over senior teammate Ellen Patterson.

Rice, who won last year's state title by one second, set a personal record for a 5,000-meter course, finishing in 17 minutes, 46 seconds. St. Mary's easily won the girls meet with all seven of its team members placing in the top 10.

Central Catholic won the boys meet by placing its five scoring runners in the top 8.

Barlow finished second in the boys meet and Gresham finished second in the girls meet to each qualify for the state championships, scheduled for Nov. 3, at Lane Community College.




1. Central Catholic 26, Barlow 53, Reynolds 62, Centennial 94, David Douglas 134, Gresham, inc.


1. St. Mary's Academy 21, Gresham 77, Barlow 100, Reynolds 104, Central Catholic 106, David Douglas 111, Centennial 214.





State championship runs begin this week

District cross country meets open the OSAA playoff schedule
Oct. 22, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

A slew of district cross country meets wlll begin the drama of the OSAA championships event this week across Oregon.

Teams at four classifications will be whittled to two each in every district along with individual qualifiers along 5,000-meter courses.

Wednesday is the biggest day for the state when 11 district meets are scheduled to take place, including four of the Class 6A meets: the Mt. Hood Conference at Centennial High, Metro League at Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec., Central Valley at Salem's Push Park, and Three Rivers League at Clackamas Community College.

District meets will continue through Saturday.

Here is the schedule of district meets by classification.



Central Valley - Wednesday at Salem, Bush Park

Metro League - Wednesday at Tualatin Hills Rec. Center

Mt. Hood Conference -Wednesday at Centennial High

Pacific Conferenece - Thursday at Clackamas Comm. College

Southwest - Thursday at Central Point, TouVelle State Park

Three Rivers League - Wednesday at Clackamas Comm. College



PIL - Wednesday at Lents Park

Northwest Oregon - Wednesday at Gresham, Blue Lake Park

Midwestern - Wednesday at Eugene, Alton Baker Park

Mid-Willamette -Wednesday at Woodburn, Mission Bottom Park

Columbia River - Saturday at Hood River High

Intermountain - Friday at Bend High



Tri-Valley - Wednesday at Estacada, McIver State Park

Cowapa - Thursday at Warrenton, Camp Rilea

Sky-Em - Thursday at Lane Comm. College

Oregon West - Saturday at Cascade High

Far West - Thursday at North Bend, Tugman State Park

Skyline - Wednesday at Henley High

Greater Oregon - Saturday at LaGrande High



District 1 -Thursday at Beaverton, Tualatin Hills Rec. Center

District 2 - Thursday at Salem, Bush Park

District 3 - Thursday at Salem, Bush Park

District 4 - Saturday at Crow, Polyrock Ranch

District 5 - Friday at Pendleton, McKay Park

District 6 - Thursday at Rogue River, Valley of the Rogue Park

District 7 - Wednesday at Tualatin High

Strong performances highlight Nike Cross Nationals

Large crowd watches meet record run
By Cliff Pfenning,

A meet record and another near-record performance highlighted the Nike Cross National Championships Saturday at Portland Meadows.

Futsum Zeinasellaissie won the boys race in 15 minutes, 3 seconds to establish a record for the meet, which began in 2004.

Zeinasellaissie, a senior and three-time state champion from Indianapolis, Ind., broke from the lead pack halfway through the 5,000-meter race and won by 24 seconds.

Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley, Calif., won the girls race by four seconds in 17:38, missing the course record by just nine seconds.

Megan Fristoe of Summit High placed 83rd overall in the girls race to lead finishers from the Central Oregon XC club to a 17th-place finish among the 22 teams that qualified. Teammate Piper McDonald finished 85th for the Northwest Region champions.

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