Cowboys are highest finishing 4A school at Oxford Classics
They may not have finished high up in the team standings, but the Crook County High School cross country team still had a great day at the Oxford Classics Invitational, which was held Friday afternoon at Drake Park in Bend.
The Cowboys finished 13th out of 26 teams in the varsity competition. Meanwhile, just one Cowgirl ran the varsity race, while the remainder of the team competed in the JV Gold race.
"I'm real happy with the way things went," Crook County head coach Tracy Smith said. "This is not a very fast course, and there are a lot of the boys that still got prs (personal records)."
The Cowboys finished with 352 points to finish ahead of all other Class 4A schools at the meet.
South Eugene won the boys meet with 61 points. They were followed by Ashland with 79, Summit, 110, Bend, 144, and Roseburg, 168.
Ashland's Evan Holland blasted off the starting line, running a 4:45 first mile. Holland built a big lead in the middle of the race, then had to hold on late as Summit's Jett Ballantyne made a spirited late charge. Holland held on to win with a time of 16:01.58, while Ballantyne was second in 16:04.23. Ridgeview's Albert Hesse finished third in a time of 16:36.64.
Crook County was led by freshman Alec Carne, who finished 31st out of 183 runners with a time of 17:41.38.
"That's outstanding for a freshman," Smith said. "I'm telling you, this course is probably 20 or 30 seconds slower than a good course. All the tight turns make a big difference."
Carne was followed to the finish line by junior Miles Chaney, who also had a personal best time, finishing 58th overall in 18:06.40.
Next in for the Cowboys was senior Tyler Lawson, who passed several runners in the final 400 meters with a furious kick.
Lawson finished 80th overall with a time of 18:36.97. Close behind was junior Noah Chaney, who ran ahead of Lawson the entire race until the last few yards.
Chaney took 83rd overall with a time of 18:39.04.
The final Cowboy to count in the scoring was sophomore Jonas Rice, who placed 108th overall with a time of 19:08.71.
"I feel we did pretty good," Rice said. "I know that a couple of the top people got really good prs, but I prd by just a couple of seconds."
Rice added that because of the Cowboys' depth, he has had to run extra hard in both races and practices to hold on to his varsity position.
"It's been intense for me because one of the kids is catching up," he said. "It's mainly in races, but the competition is there a little bit in practice too. I think it's fun."
The final Cowboy to run in the varsity race was freshman Alex Rodriguez, who finished just behind Rice, taking 110th overall with a time of 19:11.14.
The Cowboys wound up ninth in the JV gold race.
Caleb Phay was the top Crook County runner, taking 62nd place with a time of 20:11.74. Jeremy Cartlidge was the next Cowboy in, taking 66th in 20:16.73. He was followed by Eliab Rice, 98th in 21:13.61.
Logan Tanner, 21:18.09; Xavier Layne, 21:29.74; Roman Stenbeck, 21:31.10; Johan Becht, 21:40.22; Eric Logan, 21:43.10; Andrew Elliot, 21:56.43; Jordan Graydon, 22:02.81; Isaac Logan, 22:37.05; and Kaden Bernard, 25:21.96, also competed in the race, which was won by Summit's Jack Strang with a time of 17:58.88.
Although sophomore Jan Carne was the lone Cowgirl to run in the varsity race, she made the most of the opportunity.
Carne, who finished third in the race as a freshman, bettered her time from a year ago by 17 seconds, finishing 12th overall with a time of 19:33.59.
"I was trying to work on my pace from the start and then speed up," Carne said. "But I think that I just maintained."
Although she didn't place as high as last year, Smith was still enthusiastic about Carne's performance.
"I'm really happy with her time," he said. "She ran faster than she did last year, even though she didn't have much training in the summer because she was injured."
Sunset's Kelly Makin won the race with a time of 18:32.41. Madison Elmore, of South Eugene, finished second in 18:46.78, while Summit's Fiona Max was third in 18:52.47.
Eagle High School from Idaho won the team title with 54 points. They were followed by Summit, 62, Sunset, 90, North Medford, 103, and South Eugene, 155.
The remainder of the Cowgirls ran in the JV gold race, where they finished fifth as a team, scoring 140 points. Summit won with 27 points, while Sunset was second with 36.
Cali Corkran, of Sunset, won the race with a time of 20:16.77.
Maggie Ramoss was the first Cowgirl finisher, taking 32nd overall with a time of 23:45.34. Mckinzee Mode was the next Cowgirl in, taking 42nd overall with a time of 24:43.71. She was followed by Kelcie Ames, 45th in 25:04.76, and Abby Dalton, 46th in 25:07.31.
Jenae Mapes, 26:49.09, Jillian Nguyen, 26:49.12, and Hannah Dozhier, 27:33.85, also ran for the Cowgirls.
"I think the girls have a pretty good chance of going to state right now," Smith said. "They are rated third in a hypothetical race, by our best times, but last year we were rated third or fourth and we almost won it. We just need to make sure that we keep everyone healthy."
Crook County is back in action on Saturday, when they compete in the Juniper Golf Course Cross Country Invitational in Redmond.