Editors Note: Hey everyone...Meet Drew our newest team member at Youth Runner Magazine. While attending Portland State University he is also part of the coaching staff at Wilsonville High School....where he ran cross country and track. Look for him at the meets this fall.
By Drew Wasmund
(Wilsonville, OR) Friday night lights, a phrase typically reserved for football makes room for cross country one night a year.The Night Meet has become the unofficial start to the Oregon High School Cross Country season. The meet is to cross country what opening day is to baseball. With 43 schools and over 1600 runners, there was plenty of action on Friday night. All races were 3,000 meters in distance.
Elite Boys race
Five years ago at this very same meet, Dave Marks, a relatively unknown harrier out of Lakeridge took down the previous years state champion Taylor Morgan of Central Catholic. Friday night was a trip down memory lane as Julian Heninger of Lakeridge hit the track side by side with state champion Kyle Thompson of Central Catholic and the small school champion Nick Obletz of Oregon Episcopal. In dramatic fashion, much similar to 2007, it was the light blue colored Lakeridge jersey that would cross the finish line first.
Grant High School Seniors
1st Julian Heninger-Lakeridge (9:03)
2nd Kyle Thompson-Central Catholic (9:05) 3rd Nick Obletz-Oregon Episcopal (9:08) 4th Jackson Packham-Franklin (9:09) 5th Adrian Hinkle-Cleveland (9:09)
Elite Girls race
Kelly O’Neil, also of Lakeridge, won the girls elite race in a time of (10:51) holding off Lincoln’s Tess Michaelson (10:57). Taryn Rawlings of Wilsonville was third, just three seconds back running (11:00).
State Champion Paige Rice stole the show clocking a time of (10:13) in the junior girls race. Rice had Piper Donaghu of Grant (10:18) on her heels all the way until the final 100 meters when Rice kicked in.
Ella Donaghu of Grant demolished the freshman field running a time of (10:25).
Due to the size of the meet there were 13 races total. One open race, two novice races, a race for each gender within their academic classification (freshman, sophomore..etc.) and then an elite race for each gender. Entries were left open to the coaches, which is why not all of the fastest runners ended up in the elite race. Due to the formatting of the meet there were also no team scores.
Central Catholic - With nine guys under (10:00), including runner up Kyle Thompson. Central is young but not inexperienced as almost all of their top guys ran at the state meet last fall. It appears headed into the 2012 season that the 6a championship will be a two horse race between Central Catholic and Jesuit.
Central Catholic Sophomore Boys
St.Mary”s appeared to be the most impressive girls team at Wilsonville on friday night. Paige Rice led the Blues on her way to setting a new course record. St. Mary’s also proved to have the deepest roster as their fifth and seventh runners were quicker than any other team in the field. The Blues should be a trophy contending team.
2012 (Almost) Pre-Season Rankings 6a Boys
1) Jesuit - Looks to have the most depth coming into the fall. Fantastic track season. 2) Central Catholic - Returns the most from the state meet. Could easily be ranked #1. 3) South Eugene - The defending state champs.
4) Crater - Coach Loftus always has the Comets ready to roll come November.
5) West Linn - Fantastic showing at the night meet.
6) Grant - Great pack. Had four guys run under 4:20 last spring.
7) Lakeridge - Heninger up front helps, has five solid runners.
8) Beaverton - Oekerman will be looking to add an xc title to his collection.
10) Lake Oswego
1) South Eugene- Returning state champs will look to repeat with one of the best 1-2 punches in the country in Sara Tsai and Erin Clark.
2) Jesuit- The Crusaders will be looking to reclaim top spot.
3) St. Mary’s - Paige Rice and company look to bring home another trophy.
4) South Medford - Will battle Crater to make state meet.
5) Sunset - Very good showing at the night meet.
6) Crater - Will battle South Medford to make state meet.
1) Summit - New coach, probably the best team regardless of classification. Travis Neuman should be a footlocker/nxn kid come post season.
2) Hermiston - They always run to win, returning four studs.
3) Franklin - Appears they have replaced their studs from last year.
4) Cleveland - Hinkle brothers lead a very good Cleveland team into the 2012 season.
5) Mountain View - Young team missed out on trophy last season. Will be dangerous
6) Wilsonville - Last years third place team returns 2-7 from state team.
7) Crescent Valley
8) Sandy - Looks to make state meet for first time in awhile.
1) Summit - Lost a lot of talent form last year but between Piper McDonald and a deep roster they could repeat.
2) Marist - Extremely good pack. Finished 3rd last year.
3) Bend - If their fifth from last year can improve they could bring home a blue trophy.
4) Cleveland - Returns a good amount from last years 4th team.
5) Corvallis - They were 5th last year. They won’t want to be 5th again.
6) Hood River Valley
8) Ashland - Last year they were tragically kept out of the state meet due to how
competitive their district meet was. Might happen again.
9) Crescent Valley
10)Mountain View - In the same district as Summit, Bend and Ashland. Ouch.
Next post I’ll be sure to have some rankings for the lower classifications! Promise!