Nov. 7, 2018 — After securing a trip to state with a second-place finish by both Siuslaw cross country teams at the Sky-Em League district title meet a week earlier, the Viking boys and girls were on the 5,000-meter course at Lane Community College on Saturday for the OSAA state 4A meet.
With sun breaks, cool temperatures and no wind, racing conditions were near perfect for runners from all 12 teams competing for state titles.
For the girls team, which returned six of its seven runners from last year’s team that finished fifth at state, it was an opportunity to capitalize on its experienced line-up for a higher finish this year.
Siuslaw made the most of that opportunity, finishing with two runners in the top 15 and five in the top 30 to secure second place — just four points away from overtaking Marist for the state title.
Junior Hannah Rannow had Siuslaw’s highest individual finish, running a time of 19:02 for fourth place, which was an improvement of more than 1 minute over last year’s time (20:12).
Sophomore Brea Blankenship had the Lady Viks’ second-highest finish, placing 15th overall with a time of 20:16, followed by freshman Rylee Colton in 22nd (20:33), junior Chloe Madden in 25th (20:44) and fellow junior Anne Wartnik finishing Siuslaw’s scoring in 30th place with a time of 20:44.
Gracie Freudenthal, a sophomore, was 41st (21:38) and senior Naomi Shoji finished 45th in 21:47.
Tillamook junior Solace Bergeron, the defending state title holder, claimed
her second consecutive title, trimming 14 seconds off of last season’s winning time, finishing in 18:30 for the 2018 title.
In team scoring, a total of just seven points separated first through third place.
Marist won the title with 70 points, followed by Siuslaw (73) and Tillamook (77).
Ironically, it was also only seven points that separated fourth through sixth place, beginning with Sisters (141) in fourth, followed by La Grande (145) and Philomath (148)
Henley was seventh (174), then Phoenix (193), Baker (203), Valley Catholic (220), Estacada (297) and Gladstone (302) in 12th place.
In the boys race, juniors led the way for Siuslaw, beginning with Brendon Jensen’s time of 17:15 for 25th place overall. Kiger Johnson was the next Viking to cross the finish line and 38th overall in 17:41, followed by Jonah Jarman in 17:57 for 39th place.
Sophomore Ryan Jennings was the fourth to score for the Vikings, placing 56th in 18:08, and senior Robert Mans was the final scorer, finishing 58th with a time of 18:09.
Junior Jared Northrop didn't score but ran a season's best time of 18:26 and 64th place, and freshman Chad Hughes finished with a time of 18:42 for 71st place.
Marist won the state title with 54 points, followed by Newport (81), Tillamook (84), Valley Catholic (119), Klamath Union (120), Baker (170), Philomath (187), Siuslaw in eighth place (188), La Grande (211), Gladstone (266), North Valley (281) and Molalla (307).