Cross Country

Summit readies for national exposure

Win at regionals earns Bend school a trip to Portland Meadows
By Cliff Pfenning,

The Nike Cross Country National Championships are set to be run Saturday in North Portland, and for a change a school other than Jesuit or Central Catholic will be on hand to represent Oregon.

A team of seven runners from Summit High in Bend won the Northwest Region title and will run at Portland Meadows when the girls race begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. Summit, led by three-time Class 5A champion Megan Fristoe, is the first team from a public school in the state to qualify for the event, which is in its eighth year.

Fristoe finished ninth at the Northwest Regional, Nov. 12, in Boise, Idaho, and the following four Summit runners, including three other seniors, placed in the top 43 to carry to team to the regional title and a spot among the top 22 teams in the nation.

The course at Portland Meadows includes obstacles and small hills across 5,000 meters. The previous top performance by an Oregonian came in 2006, when Kenny Klotz of Central Catholic won the boys race.


Fresh faces dominate cross country finals

South Eugene, Summit dominate meet titles
By Cliff Pfenning,

On a cold, wet day, the depth of cross county in Oregon showed itself at the OSAA State Championships at Lane Community College.

Only one team and two runners repeated as champions and sophomores won the Class 6A boys and girls races. Even a freshman, Union's Olivia Powell, scored a win, which allowed her to immediately think ahead to becoming a four-time champion.

South Eugene and Summit won their boys and girls team titles and the Storm won both individual races as well.

South Eugene's win in the Class 6A girls win might have been the biggest news of the day as it ended Jesuit's nine-year run of team titles. The Axemen also ended Crater's title run at five.

Summit's girls now has the longest string of titles at four.

Next up for the top teams is the Northwest Region finals for the Nike Cross Nationals. The Northwest race is set for Saturday in Boise, Idaho. The national finals are Dec. 3 at Portland Meadows. The Summit girls, who finished 1-2-3-4 in the 5A race, are aiming for a spot in the nationals.



State finals begin Saturday

Jesuit, Crater aim to extend cross country streaks
By Cliff Pfenning,

The girls at Jesuit will be looking to extend the state's longest-running streak of titles Saturday when the OSAA Cross Country Championships play out at Lane Community College in Eugene.

The Crusaders have won nine straight titles and are favored to win again. The Class 6A girls final begins at 2:25 p.m.

Crater is an outside contender to repeat as Class 6A boys champion and win its sixth-straight title, although the first four were at Class 5A. The Comets are longshots behind Jesuit and Central Catholic, which has three freshmen among its seven-member team. The Rams have won five titles in the past eight years among the state's largest schools.

The championships begin with the Class 3A girls final at 10 a.m.

The Summit girls team will be looking for their fourth straight title in the Class 5A final with senior Megan Fristoe aiming for her third individual title.

Nyssa will be aiming for its third boys title led by senior Ryan Maag, who lost the individual title by less than a second last year.

In other highlights, Klamath junior Alisha Luna will be looking to defend her Class 4A individual title, Henley senior Zorg Loustalet is the defending champion at Class 4A boys,




Portland runs to fourth place at nationals

Jesuit senior Maag places 15th at NXN meet
By Cliff Pfenning,

Powered by a 15th-place finish from Jesuit senior Annamarie Maag, the Portland cross country team placed an impressive fourth at the Nike Cross Nationals at Portland Meadows Saturday.

Maag, the defending Class 6A champion, finished the 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes, 12.1 seconds, and improved from 19th a year ago.

Rachel Johnson of Plano, Texas, won in 18:18.6

Christie Rutledge finished three second back in second place, but led defending champion Manlius, N.Y., to the team title with just 27 points, setting a meet record.

Portland scored 227, but placed 11 spots higher than it had in 2008.

Behind Maag, Amira Joseph finised 71st, Payton Schutte placed 87th, Adrienne Demaree was 110th, Shannon Mahoney was 117th, Genevieve Reaume was 140th and Olivia Artaiz finished 185th among the 199-runner field.

In the boys race, Lukas Verzbikas won in 15:59.2, edging Edward Cheserek by just over two seconds.

Northwest representative North Spokane finished sixth among the 22 teams.




Oregon sports history

Jesuit keeps rolling, while Crater pulls a surprise

Crusaders win ninth-straight title; Crater moves up and still wins
By Cliff Pfenning,

EUGENE - The running machine that is the Jesuit girls cross country team did the expected Saturday, both in the Class 6A individual and team races.

Crater High pulled off something of an upset in the Class 6A boys race at the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires championships.

Behind a third-straight title by Annamarie Maag and two other top-7 finishers, the Crusaders won their ninth consecutive girls title with a 48-76 edge over second-place South Eugene.

Then the Comets took over the 5,000-meter course at Lane Community College in their bright orange uniforms.

Crater, last year's champion at Class 5A, moved up to Class 6A in the summer during the statewide reorganization of districts and appeared as a longshot to unseat perennial contender Central Catholic.

Central Catholic, last year's Class 6A champion, had four of the top 14 finishers in the team scoring, led by second-place finisher Andy Bennion. But the Comets performed equally as well, placing four of its runners in the top 13 finishers, led by fourth-place finisher Max Runia. Crater's fifth runner was 16 spots ahead of the Rams' No. 5 finisher, which provided the difference in scoring, 59-75.

Crater's title was its fifth straight, with the other four coming at Class 5A.

The Comets are the first public school to win the large-school title since Bend in 2001. Central Catholic or Jesuit finished first the past eight years.

Among the stories that came from the meet were Ian Burgess of Portland's Franklin High winning the Class 5A final, three years after his brother Bryce won the Class 6A title.
In girls finals, Summit of Bend beat crosstown rival Mountain View in the Class 5A final, Siuslaw beat Hidden Valley for the Class 4A title, and Catlin Gabel narrowly beat Valley Catholic for the Class 3A title, 90-101.

In boys team finals, Hermiston won the Class 5A title, while Philomath won the Class 4A title.

The meet featured just one duel to the finish line - the Class 3A boys final where Chemawa senior Lucien Corriveau edged Nyssa junior Ryan Maag by .06 seconds. Maag dived at the finish, but Corriveau, a state champion in Oklahoma the past two years, earned the win, although both were officially timed in 16 minutes, 15 seconds.

Maag later celebrated with his team, which defended its state title.

In other individual finals, senior Austin Lundin of Valley Catholic won the Class 3A final by 17 seconds over Union freshman Katriel O'Reilly, Klamath Union sophomore Alisha Luna won the Class 4A final by 20 seconds, and Summit junior Megan Fristoe won the Class 5A final by 32 seconds.

Zorg Loustalet, a junior at Henley, won the Class 4A boys title by 17 seconds.

Strong programs primed for more titles

Jesuit girls chasing ninth-straight championship
By Cliff Pfenning,

With a core of returning state scorers, the Jesuit Crusaders are poised to continue their run atop Class 6A in girls cross country this fall.

All five Jesuit scorers, including state champion Annamarie Maag, were underclass runners last fall when the Crusaders won their eighth-straight title at Class 6A or 4A.

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