(Photo by Ned Hickson/Siuslaw News)
Often referred to as the Far West League “preview” meet, the annual Tugman Invitational offers a first look at many of the league’s teams in direct competition. And if Thursday was any indication, Siuslaw fans have a lot to look forward to this season — and the seasons ahead.
Though both Viking teams carry rosters dominated primarily by underclassmen, Siuslaw made it clear that its relative lack of experience isn’t a detriment when coupled with talent and determination.
Both teams claimed first place at Tugman, with the boys team nudging Bandon, 49-50, and the Lady Vikings finishing 4 points ahead of South Umpqua, 45-49.
Sophomore Brendon Jensen bettered his previous 5K time by more than a minute, clocking in at 17 minutes, 20.6 seconds for a third-place finish individually.
Fellow sophomores Kiger Johnson (17:48.9), Jared Northrop with a PR at 17:55.7, and Jonah Jarman (18:13.9) placed 10th, 14th and 18th, respectively, with senior Isaac Griffes maintaining a pace for a strong sixth-place finish with a time of 17:29.7.
In team scoring, Marshfield was third (63), followed by North Bend (98), South Umpqua (150), Crow (169), Brookings-Harbor (170), Gold Beach (216), Douglas (255) and Reedsport (264).
For the girls, sophomore Hannah Rannow shaved nearly 45 seconds off of her personal best to finish fourth individually with a time of 20:36.50.
Also making the top 10 was fellow sophomore Anne Wartnik, who nabbed a PR with a ninth-place finish (21:46.40).
Three freshmen finished out Siuslaw’s top five finishers, including Brea Blankenship (22:20.8), Chloe Madden (22:31.7) and Gracie Freudenthal (23:10.0).
Senior Kaylee Graham was the sixth Lady Viking across the finish at 24:39.60.
While all six of the Far West’s boys cross country teams were at Thursday’s meet, only four schools from the league were unable to field a team at Tugman for the girls competition, with two individual runners from Douglas and no runners from Brookings-Harbor.
With the first meet of the season now under its belt, Siuslaw will head to Lane Community College today for the Northwest Classic, where fans may once again get a sneak peak at what they might expect at state this season.