Beneath cloudy skies with occasional sun bursts, members of the Viking girls and boys cross country teams competed in last Saturday’s 4A state meet along with the other top 14 high school teams in Oregon. The 5,000-meter course at Lane Community College in Eugene is a combination of soft terrain and narrow, winding paths that end on the flat track leading to the finish line.
When the final scores were tallied, Siuslaw’s girls team claimed fifth overall, with the boys placing seventh in their race.
Though the Vikings had been predicted to finish higher, it was a day of surprises, with Tillamook — which had been expected to potentially sweep both races — finishing fourth in the boys division behind Crook County (86), Stayton (96) and Newport (119).
In the girls’ race, the Lady Cheesemakers proved the prognosticators right by dominating the race for first place with 37 points — a good 71 points ahead of second-place Scappoose (108). LaGrand was third (111), followed by Sisters (148) and Siuslaw (152). Leading the Lady Vikings was sophomore Hannah Rannow, who has been the first Siuslaw team member to cross the finish for the girls team all season. On Saturday, Rannow was 13th individually with a time of 20 minutes, 12 seconds.
Freshman Brea Blankenship had Siuslaw’s second-highest finish in 27th place (20:43), followed by sophomore Anne Wartnik in 33rd (21:06), freshman Gracie Freudenthal in 49th (21:52), sophomore Chloe Madden in 73rd (22:31) and the team’s loan senior Kaylee Graham finishing close behind in 77th place in 22:46.
Junior Naomi Shoji was the seventh Viking to cross the finish, coming in at 22:50 for 79th out of 109 runners.
In the boys race, sophomore Brendon Jensen had Siuslaw’s top finish, placing 15th with a time of 17:17. Senior Isaac Griffes, who won the Far West League district title in October, finished 18th and just four seconds behind Jensen with a time of 17:21.
The next Viking to cross the finish was sophomore Kiger Johnson, who finished 63rd with a time of 18:03. Senior Jordan Northrop was 68th (18:15), followed by junior Robert Mans in 74th (18:30) and sophomore Jared Northrop placing 99th in 19:58.
In both races, Siuslaw had the top Far West finish; Marshfield (232) finished ninth in the boys race and South Umpqua (206) placed eighth in the girls division.
Tillamook sophomore Solace Bergeron won the individual 4A state title in 18:44, with senior John Kavulich of Scappoose finishing in 16:23 for the 4A boys title.
Following Saturday’s state meet, the all-state roster was named. Rannow received the top recognition for Siuslaw after being named to the Second Team All-State list.
Blankenship received honorable mention.
For the boys, Jensen and Griffes were both named to the Third Team All-State roster.