Pacific Conference Championships at Clackamas Community College, Oregon City
PAC9 runners had reasonable running weather with cool temperatures & the threatening clouds for the most part holding back on the rain & a number of harriers took advantage of it. The girls’ race saw the Tualatin duo of Emily Wheeler & Kristin Coffman race ahead of the pack from the start, After around half a mile, as the runners raced down the hill towards the track, the pair had opened up a 15-20 meter lead over Laura Matzke of Forest Grove & Alexandra Cross of Tualatin. Another ten meters further back was Eredi Pinter of Forest Grove, who was followed in turn by McKayla Fricker. As the race progressed Wheeler gradually opened a gap over Coffman and raced home alone to win the PAC9 League in 18:21: a time that is the third-best ever in conference history. Coffman raced home alone in second in a time of 18:33 and her freshman team mate Ali Cross followed her home in third to seal the team victory. Tualatin's score was an impressive low of 24 points and bodes well for the upcoming State meet.
Canby's McKayla Fricker moved up nicely at the end to claim fourth & lead her team to a narrow victory over Forest Grove by a 64 to 70 margin. Maggie Ruwitch provided ample support for Canby by placing 12th & frosh Krissy Peterson moved nicely through the pack late in the race to finish 14th.
Laura Matzke ran a fine race to finish fifth in a time of 19:45 to earn a berth in the State meet, as did Newberg’s Emily Shelton, who early on had been well off the pace. Eredi Pinter of Forest Grove finished 7th to earn a trip to Eugene, as did Talli Koskela of Forest Grove, who finished just behind Tualatin’s Morgan Johnstone.
The boys’ race saw Nathan Love of Tualatin & Ian Walch of Tigard lead the way shadowed by Robin Fahy of McMinnville. After the first mile of running the race appeared to be between the lead duo, as Fahy had fallen a good ten meters off the pace. Love actually opened up a ten meter gap over Walch during the middle of the race but both Walch & Fahy regrouped over the final mile to close in on the leaders. Meanwhile Nick Robbins of Forest Grove was making a big move of his own to close on all three. I’d note that there had been another Tualatin runner near the front early but I was unable to identify him.
Robin Fahy of McMinnville made a late move to surge from third to first as they raced up & back down the last hill but Walch fought back on the track. In the end it was Fahy, who held on to claim the boys' individual title in 16:26. Ian Walch of Tigard placed 2nd to earn an individual berth to State as well. Forest Grove, led by third place finisher Nick Robbins, won the team title, as Newberg, led by Joseph Pia in fourth, earned the other team berth to State. The closing battle on the track was good as both Robbins & Pia registered times of 16:31.
The team scores were extremely close with Forest Grove and Newberg tied with 61 points through the first five runners, so it all came down to the sixth man tie-breaker. James McMahon was the crucial man on this day for FG with his key effort, which saw him place 23rd. Tigard had 64 points, so they narrowly lost a trip to Eugene. The other individual qualifiers Mark Medgin of Tigard, who finished fifth, & Nathan Love of Tualatin, who took 6th. Drew Bernhisel of McMinnville, Josh Johnson & Kino Kinoshita of Forest Grove & Taylor Johnstown of Newberg rounded out the top ten. A special word of note should go to Kyle Dreibelis of McMinnville, who had a stress fracture & had to wear protective gear, yet still placed 27th overall.
Girls Individual Results
Girls Team Results
Boys Team Results