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Tigard girls run to a championship

The Tigers capture the top spot at the district meet


by: DAN BROOD - TIGER TEAMWORK -- Tigard freshman Marley Johnson (419) and junior Bailey Hardinge run together during last week's Pacific Conference district cross country championships. OREGON CITY — During the running of the varsity girls race at the Pacific Conference District Cross Country Championships, a runner for the Hillsboro High School boys cross country team made an observation.

“The Tigard girls must have eaten their Wheaties today,” he said.

Whether or not the Tigers had their breakfast of champions that morning, one thing was for sure — they got to celebrate as champions that night.

The Tigard High School girls cross country squad, running strong and seemingly peaking at the right time, overwhelmed the field on their way to capturing the team title at the Pacific Conference district meet, held last Thursday at Clackamas Community College.

“We did it,” Tigard junior Elizabeth Dean said after the Tigers received their championship trophy. “It’s amazing.”

“We’re so excited,” Tigard junior McKenna Masterson added.

“We really wanted it,” Tigard sophomore Veronique Calmels said.

Tigard, which finished in third place in the final Pacific Conference dual meet standings at 5-2 (putting the Tigers behind 7-0 Newberg and 6-1 Forest Grove), was expected to battle Newberg and Forest Grove for the top spots at the district meet.

But, in last Thursday’s race, it was all Tigard.

The Tigers claimed the district meet championship with a score of 48 points. Forest Grove was second at 58 and Newberg placed third with a total of 74.

“It was all hard work,” Tigard coach Holly Paris said. “And we all love each other.”

“We all dug deep down,” Masterson said.

“I think we all up-lifted each other,” Dean said. “We wanted it so bad. I’m so proud of the team.”

The Tiger are now looking forward to running at the Class 6A state championships.

The top two teams from the district meet, as well as the top four individuals who are not part of the two qualifying teams, advance to compete at the Class 6A state meet, which will be held Saturday at Lane Community College in Eugene.

The Tigard girls will be going to state as a team for the first time since 2010.

by: DAN BROOD - TIGARD'S TROPHY -- Members of the Tigard High School girls cross country team gather with the Pacific Conference championship trophy following their triumphant performance at the district meet. “I’m really excited that we get to go as a team,” Tigard junior Hannaly Duff-McGaughey said. “This showed that we work together as a team. We worked really hard in practice.”

“I’m so excited about state,” Tigard freshman Marley Johnson said. “We’re going to get matching spandex.”

“It’s going to be important for us to work as a team,” said Dean, who qualified for the past two state meets as an individual, placing 74th in 2011 as a freshman and 51st last year. “I’m curious to see how well we can do.”

At last week’s district meet, the Tigers did about as well as they could, placing five runners in the top 14.

“We wanted to go out strong,” Dean said.

And they did.

Dean led the way for the Tigard girls at the district meet, placing fifth individually with a time of 20 minutes, 8.71 seconds for the 5,000-meter race.

Junior Bailey Hardinge provided a big boost for the Tigers. With a big finishing kick, she placed eighth with a mark of 20:35.46.

“It was hard. I was hurting at the end,” Hardinge said. “But I pushed myself. I had to help the team.”

Duff-McGaughey took 10th place with a time of 20:37.90. Calmels was right behind her in 11th place, at 20:52.33.

For Calmels, it was her first district meet with the Tigers, as she transferred to Tigard from Summit this year.

“It’s been great,” Calmels said of her first year with the Tigers. “I love the team. It’s been a great experience.”

Masterson finished in 14th place at the district meet with a time of 20:59.89. Johnson was 23rd at 21:36.21 and senior Katherine Soldewel was 27th at 21:49.66.

Not long after the finish, the Tigers found out that they were district champions.

“I wanted to cry,” Calmels said.

“Cry in a good way,” Masterson added with a smile. “We knew it was a possibility.”

“We knew we had a good chance if we ran well,” Johnson said.

McMinnville sophomore Whitney Rich won the girls race with a time of 19:31.33.

The Tigard boys finished in fifth place in the team standings at the Pacific Conference district championships with a score of 119.

Tiger junior John Caufeld earned an individual bid to compete at state by finishing in eighth place at the district meet with a time of 16:49.54.

Tigard senior Martin Ramos III was 17th at 17:20.45 and Tiger freshman Nicholas Speth was 20th at 17:25.57.

Also for the Tiger boys, senior Devin Roche was 32nd at 17:59.70, freshman Nicholas Schloss was 42nd at 18:28.42, sophomore Zachary McFall was 45th at 18:38.19 and senior Joel Harbolt was 49th at 19:10.54.



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