Kyle Thompson holds off a Reynolds challenger to claim individual race honors

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Central Catholics Kyle Thompson takes a glimpse at his watch during the first mile Wednesday, while Reynolds Ahmed Ibrahim and David Douglas Ahmed Muhumed try to keep pace.The Central Catholic boys cross country team served notice that it will be a force when it travels to Eugene for the 6A state meet in two weeks after blazing through the trails Wednesday to claim the Mount Hood Conference district crown with ease.

The Rams packed their entire team into the top 10 overall, led by senior Kyle Thompson, who turned away a challenge by Reynolds’ Ahmed Ibrahim and won the 5K race in 15:17.50.

The race started with Thompson, Ibrahim and David Douglas freshman Ahmed Muhumed racing alongside each other over the first mile. Thompson and Ibrahim broke away during the middle stages of the race, neither willing to slow the pace.

Ibrahim made his move with about 1,000 meters left, charging up a short hill to pull into the lead. It wouldn’t last long, as Thompson shifted into another gear and lengthened his lead. Coming down a hill onto the track at the end of the race, Thompson was about five strides in front — a gap that was never challenged on the sprint to the finish line.

“I got right back in front and pushed it to the finish,” Thompson said. “I came down to the track, 300 meters to go, and that was familiar territory.”

The Rams, winners of six of the last 10 big-school state titles, expect to be in the mix in Eugene again this year.

“State’s definitely huge for us,” Thompson said. “Our workouts have been amazing and we’re coming in with a lot of confidence.”

Joining the Rams at state will be Reynolds, which held off David Douglas by a single point to earn the league’s second spot. The difference coming with the team’s final scoring runners where Grant Turner of Reynolds beat his David Douglas counterpart to the line by 1.4 seconds.

View an online photo gallery of the boys race at …

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