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Cross-country: Taryn Rawlings wins third NWOC title, helps Wilsonville girls earn berth to state finals

Prusse, Gillett play key roles as new varsity runners


by: PARKER LEE / PAMPLIN MEDIA - Wilsonville senior Taryn Rawlings (left) and Liberty sophomore Rachel Khaw lead the field at the NWOC district meet Oct. 23 at Blue Lake Regional Park in Fairview. Rawlings won her third district title in four years.Taryn Rawlings had a familiar challenger in her presence as she approached the finish line.

Over the final 200 meters, she wrote a familiar ending.

The star Wilsonville senior outpaced Liberty sophomore Rachel Khaw for the second year in a row at the Oct. 23 district cross-country championships at Blue Lake Regional Park in Fairview, capturing her third individual title in four years.

Rawlings clocked a time of 19 minutes 38.0 seconds, defeating Khaw by 2.9 seconds thanks to her signature kick in the final stretch.

“I have been dealing with a hamstring injury for the past couple weeks, so I was just planning on cruising and not pushing anything too hard,” Rawlings said. “I wanted to just see what happened at the end. I had confidence that I could pull away. I felt like if I could pull ahead at all that I would finish it.”

Rawlings’ success coincided with another important achievement for the Wilsonville girls, who took second place with 44 points to earn one of the Northwest Oregon Conference’s two team berths to the Nov. 2 state finals at Lane Community College in Eugene. District champion Sandy (41) also advanced.

Last year, Rawlings qualified for the state meet but was not joined by her teammates in the race because the Wildcats ended up one point behind the second-place team at the district meet.

This time around, Wilsonville had enough depth to hold off third-place Sherwood (58). All five of its scorers finished in the top 15 in a competition that featured nearly 50 athletes.

New varsity runners Haley Prusse and Emily Gillett had impressive outings, coming through with top-10 finishes. Prusse, a freshman, ran a 21:16.5 to place fifth — several spots higher than her ranking in the district standings. Gillett, a junior-varsity runner last year, continued her standout junior season with a 21:35.0 to place 10th.

“Both of them simply outraced and outworked the field this summer and fall,” coach David Barkley said.

Wildcats juniors Chloe Tomlinson (21:35.0) and Toni Gowen (22:04.9) rounded out the team score, taking 13th and 15th, respectively. Both runners outperformed their pre-meet district rankings.

Now the team’s attention turns to the OSAA finals.

“We want to get some state experience, place as high as we can and get fixed on the idea of chasing trophies again,” Barkley said.

***

AT A GLANCE

NWOC district championships

Oct. 23 at Blue Lake Regional Park (Fairview)

GIRLS (team scores): 1. Sandy, 41; 2. Wilsonville, 44; 3. Sherwood, 58; 4. St. Helens, 112; 5. Liberty, 114; 6. Putnam, 183; 7. Milwaukie, 183.

Wilsonville (top five): 1. Taryn Rawlings, 19:38.0; 5. Haley Prusse, 21:16.5; 10. Emily Gillett, 21:35.0; 13. Chloe Tomlinson, 21:55.4; 15. Toni Gowen, 22:04.9.




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