The Oregon State meet was held once again at Lane Community College in Eugene.   As usual there was much to like about the action, although, as usual the competition was watered down with too many divisions.  Matthew Maton, however, made it clear that nothing but an inadvertent fall would in his way.   All the divisions could have been together and it would not have mattered for he broke away relatively early and cruised the course on his own.  

       As Matthew sped away he was not racing against the competition of the day but the challenge of taking down the record of Olympian Galen Rupp.  After rounding the pond Maton hit the two mile mark in 9:29. That was a brisk pace yet some of the cognoscenti believed it was a tad too slow to be able to get the record.   Maton hit the track in 14:01 and accelerated into high gear.   His final burst was such that he blasted the recorded off the books by a comfortable ten seconds.   His final time was a stunning 14:45 for the 5K distance.  It may have been a perfect day for running with cool and dry conditions but Matthew was forced to do the work on his own, so the mark is impressive.

      Justice Lamer of Crescent Valley finished alone in second with a time of 15:34:  a fine time, which on most other days would look much better.   Summit received invaluable help towards victory by the third & fourth place finishes of Alex Martin & Eric Fykerud, who clocked 15:42 & 15:43 respectively.   Caleb Hoffman of Bend prevented a sweep of four places by finishing fifth in 15:50 and then Tyler Jones 15:53) & Chris Merlos (15:58) garnered sixth & seventh for Summit.   With Lamer & Hoffman running as individuals they did not count in the team scoring, so the Storm was credited with a sweep in the team scoring.  Their low of 19 points easily defeated Crater, which had 61 points, for the 5A crown.  Hermiston, which suffered great losses due to graduation of Alejandro Cisneros & Jose Macias, placed third with 121 points & was led by the 12th place finish of Haden Earl, who ran 16:15.

       Walter Vail led Crater with his 8th place finish in 15:58.   Thomas Schoderbek of Summit padded the Storm effort with his ninth palace time of 16:04 & Devin Rodman of Crater came home in 16:11 to take tenth. 

       With defending 5A champion Hannah Gindlesperger of Summit out for the season the door was open for someone to step up.  In the end it came down to Olivia Brooks of Summit and Olivia Powell of Marist.  Brooks had the most at the end and claimed a one second victory over her rival with a winning mark of 18:10.  There was a certain sense of appropriateness for Brooks had finished second the previous fall.   Hannah Tobiason of the Storm had a solo finish in third with 16:16 and Justine Feist of Corvallis claimed fourth in 18:34 with a three second margin over Kaely Gordon of Summit.

       Jordan Monroe of Crater placed sixth in 18:38 and McKenna Henke of Crescent Valley crossed the line in seventh with 18:47.   Piper McDonald contributed to the Summit victory with her 8th place time of 18:48 & Maddie Fuhrman of Silverton followed in ninth in 19:05.   Taylor Vandenborn of Summit rounded out the top ten by clocking 19:11. 

     Vindication might sum of the victory of Reilly Bloomer in the guys’ 6A race, as he too improved upon last fall’s second place finish to claim laurels.   His winning time of 15:33 was actually six seconds slower than that of last year but the key in racing is to win and the South Eugene runner is now a State Champion.  Roman Ollar of West Linn annexed second with 15:40 and was followed by Ahmed Muhumed of West Salem, who ran 15:43.   Grayson Ollar of the Lions, who missed most of the campaign, earned fourth with 15:46, as West Linn finished fourth in the team battle with 161 points.   It was reminiscent of the Lion teams that were led by Cullen Wannarka & Taylor West.   Happily this group will be back for the most part. 

     Jackson Mestler of Sheldon finished sixth with 15:49 and Ronald Graham of Lincoln followed in sixth (15:54).   Central Catholic won yet another title and was led by the trio of Sam Lomax, Sam Truax & Gunnar Vik in sweeping seventh through ninth.   Lomax finished a second ahead of Truax with 15:56, while Vik was two seconds behind Truax.   Mason Wegener of South Eugene ran an even sixteen flat to cross the finish in tenth.   

       Central Catholic won with a low of 54 points.  Sunset earned second with 117 7 South Eugene came in third totaling 133.    Coaches usually remind their harriers just before the race that every runner counts and the proof of that was firmly on display on this day.   Both South Eugene and Sunset had a total of 66 points for their first five runners, which left the verdict to whichever had the fastest sixth gal.  That crucial runner was Delaney Bloomer of SE, who placed 27th with a time of 19:42.    St. Mary’s Academy was third with 98 points.

       Ella Donaghu, like Matthew Maton, scored her second XC title by running 17:51.   Placing second was Sarah Tsai of South Eugene, who took the crown in 2012 with 17:42.  Tsai, who has long struggled with injuries looks to be on her way to a return trip to Foot Locker after her   second place time of 18:09.  Sunset was led by the 3 – 4 finish of Nicole Griffiths (18:25) & Audrey Huelskamp (18:36) and Brooke Chuhlantseff of West Salem took fifth with 18:36.   Gracie Todd of Sheldon finished sixth in 18:39 for a two second margin over Erin Gregoire of Beaverton.  Kennedy Allen of David Douglas earned 8th in 18:42 with Sydney Brieher of Wilson running 18:54, which was good for ninth.  Dylan Hite of Jesuit placed tenth with a mark of 18:55 & finished a second before Kelly Makin of Sunset.  

     In 4A action Lexi Healy of Henley secured the title with a clocking of 18:58. Danielle Jantzer of Phoenix earned second with 19:04 and led her team to the State crown.    Sweet Home’s Jakob Hiett took individual honors here with a time of 16:04 but second place finisher Wilder Boyden (16:14) had the consolation of leading Valley Catholic to the team title with a time of 16:14 to go with his second place finish.  

      Sailor Hutton of Bandon topped 3A with 18:36 to win easily over Marissa Dobry of St, Mary’s.      Union annexed the girls’ team title with 58 points to edge St. Mary’s by a point.   Fabian Cardenas of Umatilla was no surprise in the boys’ 3A and he romped in a time of 16:02.  Tim McPherson of Cascade Christian placed second with 16:30.   Caitlin Gable won the boys 3A crown with a low of 51 points, while Union was a distant second.