Grayson Munn leads Crook County efforts with a fifth place finish

Saturday afternoon, the Crook County Cowboys came away from the Seaside Three Course Challenge with their best finish ever.

The Cowboys finished third in division three at the meet, which features hard, medium, and easy courses.

“I was really pleased with our boys performance,” said Crook County Head Coach Tracy Smith. “You get a plaque if you get in the top three and we had never gotten a plaque before. The girls have gotten it three times, but this is the first time our boys have gotten it.”

Participants draw lots to see which course they run in the meet. Two runners from each team count in the scoring on both the easy and medium courses, while three runners count on the hard course.

Grayson Munn led the way for the Cowboys. He finished fifth overall, and first in division three on the easy course with a time of 15:22. Dakota Thornton of Mountain View finished first on the course with a time of 15:01. Reilly Connolly was the second Cowboy to finish the easy course taking 364th place with a time of 21:29. Chad Pisjardine and Darnell Gorrgquifta also ran on the easy course finishing with times of 24:57 and 32:56 respectively.

Following the finish of the easy race, Munn then ran in the medium and hard races as part of his training.

“He ran the first one hard, and I was really pleased,” Smith said. “The guy that won it was 48 seconds ahead of Munn at the Breese Ranch and this time he was only 21 seconds ahead of him. He’s really moving up and getting faster and stronger.”

Smith added that Munn is the first runner that he has had who consistently runs twice a day during the cross country season.

“I think it’s really making him a lot stronger. Some kids I wouldn’t even want to do that, but I think he can handle it. He told me ‘Man I felt strong’ yesterday.”

Luis Rivera led the way for the Cowboys on the medium course, taking 56th overall with a time of 21:11. Michael Seyl was next, placing 98th in 22:19, while Billy Mize was 162nd in 23:26. Other Cowboys to run in the medium race included Chris Yarbrough (174th, 23:36), Thomas Simmons (176th, 23:41), Zane Abrams (220th, 24:27), Stephen Dalton (321st, 26:20), and Dustin Seyl (338th, 26:57).

Jakob Hiett of Sweet Home won the race in 18:23, while Mountain View’s Sam King was second in 18:28.

The hard course was won by John Rodeheffer of Oak Harbor, Wash. who finished in 18:56. Liam Pickhart was the first Cowboy finisher with a time of 21:26, good for 49th place. Nathan Carmack was the next Cowboy to finish in 88th place with a time of 22:27. Cody Thurman was the final Cowboy to count in the scoring, taking 130th place with a time of 23:21.

“I was surprised that Pickhart didn’t get a medal,” Smith said. He was 49th overall in the hard course and Rivera was 56th on the medium course, but finished fifth in our division.”

Other Cowboys to run on the hard course included Blake George (161st, 23:54), Sam Santiago, (187th, 24:18), Jesse Santiago (206th, 24:47), Justin Glass (208th, 24:48), Kelvin Koski (224th, 24:59), and Andre McNary, 227th(25:03).

“I’m happy, the kids that weren’t varsity all ran well,” Smith said.

The Cowgirls did not fare nearly as well as the Cowboys in the meet. However, Smith was still pleased with what he saw.

Irene Morales ran well and finished third in our division in her race,” said Smith. “And Maggie Kasberger ran on the hard course and did well. She’s getting pretty quick.”

Morales finished 47th overall in the medium race, but was third in division three with a time of 26:26, while Kasberger finished 124th overall on the hard course with a time of 29:28.

Smith added that some of the other girls could have run faster, but chose to spend extra time in one of the obstacles on the course.

“I think they could have run faster, but they chose to play in the mud pit,” he said. “They weren’t quite as serious about the race, but I wasn’t going to get too upset about it because our girls aren’t as strong this year and they had fun with it. It’s the second race of the season and if they want to chose to have a good time with it that’s fine.”

Joining Kaberger on the hard course were Charsie Brewer (156th, 30:39) and Kylee Swensen (163rd, 30:56). Also running the medium course was Jayana Hinkle who finished 179th with a time of 31:02.

Tobi Hanes was the top Cowgirl finisher on the easy course with a time of 24:18, good enough for 134th overall, while Peyton Owens finished 179th in 25:39, and Payton Kelly took 347th in 32:28.

“I’m encouraged,” Smith said. “We have the second largest group that I’ve ever had. We have 34 kids now and are still adding runners.”

Mountain View was the overall winner in division one in both the boys and girls race.

Crook County is back in action on Saturday when they travel to Portland to compete in the Mike Pre-Nationals at Portland Meadows Race Track. Races are scheduled to start at 9:45 a.m.

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