Tiger girls return a strong group from last year's title team

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - GOING FASTER -- The Tigard High School girls cross country team will be looking to get a strong performance this season from Hannaly Duff-McGaughey. TIGARD — The Tigard High School girls cross country team returns a solid group of runners from last year’s squad that enjoyed plenty of success.

The Tigard boys team will be counting on the progress of some young runners this season.

But the Tiger squads have something in common as they get ready to move into Three Rivers League competition this year.

“I am excited to take the Tigers into the Three Rivers League,” Tigard coach Holly Paris said. “It will pose many new challenges, but my runners have a good attitude, work hard and support one another. So, bring it on.”

The Tigard girls boast a strong group of returnees from last year’s squad that claimed the team championship at last year’s Pacific Conference district meet.

Among those returnees is senior Elizabeth Dean, who ran to fifth place in the individual standings at last year’s district meet. The Tigers return another key senior in Hannaly Duff-McGaughey.

Last year, Duff-McGaughey finished in 10th place at the district meet. She could be on her way to even better things this year.

“Hannaly really stepped up and had a solid cross country season last year,” Paris said. “She was very valuable and I was pleased with her progress. I am excited to see where this season will take her.”

Duff-McGaughey had the top performance for the Tigard girls at last Thursday’s night meet at Wilsonville High School. She finished 12th in the 3,000-meter seniors race with a time of 11 minutes, 26.9 seconds.

Junior Veronique Calmels returns for her second year on the Tigard varsity team.

“Veronique has been struggling with an injury since last cross country season and had been rehabilitating over the year,” Paris said. “It has been a frustrating recovery, and I am pleased that she is healthy and ready to start training.”

Other returnees from last year’s Tigard district championship girls team include junior Bailey Hardinge and sophomore Marley Johnson.

“We have a veteran roster on the girls side,” Paris said. “But we will certainly be looking at some of our younger runners on the boys side to step up and fill those varsity spots.”

The Tigard boys do have a key returnee in senior J.J. Caufield, who ran to eighth place at last year’s Pacific Conference district meet.

“J.J. has been training all summer, and it shows,” Paris said. “He is going to be a great leader for the boys team.”

Sophomore Nick Speth could be another key returnee for the Tigers.

“Nick is one of those runners you better watch out for,” Paris said. “He surprises me every race, and he also has been putting in the miles this summer. This is going to be a great season for him.”

Nicholas Schloss also returns from last year’s Tigard varsity boys squad that finished in fifth place in the team standings at the district meet.

Among the newcomers to the Tigard team is freshman Peyton Kuffel.

“I already know Peyton will be my hardest, and most dedicated runner,” Paris said. “He is also a great leader for a freshman. He will be one of those younger runners filling a varsity spot.”

The Tigard teams were scheduled to open their regular-season schedule Wednesday at the Tualatin Invitational. Results of that meet weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The Tiger squads will be back in action Saturday, when the run at the Ultimook Race XC Invitational, held at Hydrangea Ranch in Tillamook.

The Tigard teams will open their Three Rivers League schedule Wednesday when they face West Linn and St. Mary’s Academy in a double dual meet to be held at Westmoreland Park in Portland. The varsity girls race will start at 5:30 p.m. with the varsity boys race to follow at 6 p.m.

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