Foerster, Jesuit girls cross country takes Metro League title
Fast is fast.
Speed, no matter where it's used, in any athletic arena, crushes.
Jesuit sophomore Chole Foerster is a blur. Put her on the track and she'll outsprint the competition. Take to her a cross country course? Turns out she can elongate those wheels to distance, too.
Foerster dashed to a 17:17.90 at the Metro League District Championships on Oct. 30 to take first overall and helped Jesuit (22) win the meet over Sunset (45) and Aloha (79) at Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation Center. Just in the early stages of her running career after playing soccer as a youth, Foerster is a two-time state champion in track and now a district champ in a sport that favors the indefatigable. The training for cross country, Foerster said, is much different than track. Simply, it's putting in a lot of miles, every day, for months at a time. To do so on your own is far from amusing. But Foerster is close friends with Paige and Molly Grant and other stars on the cross-country team, who make the overall experience both bearable and enjoyable, even amid perpetual pain.
"It's a different mindset because you're running with your team and your friends instead of just yourself, which is really fun," Foerster said. "It gives you a little more inspiration. Even when you're hurting, you know your teammates are hurting too and trying their best. We're all going toward a goal."
The Apollos are raised and tried by rigorous in-season workouts, regiments like a dozen 75-second sprint repeats on the track with 90 seconds of rest in-between sets. Every summer Sunset welcomes its team back to training with 18 jaunts up and down 200-meter hills around Cedar Mill. Sunset senior Lucy Huelskamp took second overall (17:41.70), fellow senior Jasmine Wang ran a personal best 18:10 for fourth and freshman Paige Wiley was ninth (18:22).
"It's the team aspect, we all motivate each other and want to do it to see Sunset's name at the top of the race," Wang said. "We give it our all because we see our teammates trying hard too."
It's not by accident that the Apollos annually put heat on Jesuit's heels. Sunset places power in running for one another and grinding to improve.
"Running for our team is what has made (cross country) so fun all four years, being with the team and being able to motivate each other," Huelskamp said. "At the end of the season, knowing you put in all that work with your teammates, it gives you a little bit of confidence when you're racing."
Aloha always puts on a solid district showing with stars such as senior Emily Foote. Foote was mere seconds away from the top-five overall and took eighth (18:18.80). She will finish her cross country career with four Class 6A state championship meet berths when Aloha, Jesuit and Sunset suite up at Lane Community College on Saturday.
"She's so speedy and awesome," Aloha senior Annalise Fagliano said of Foote. "She'll run five minutes ahead of me and then come back and cheer for me at the end of my race. She's so kind and sweet. She never lets anything get to her. She just goes and runs her race."
As Foote said, Aloha has turned state trips into a "tradition". Junior Keira Coye took 15th, senior Danielle Wachter took 22nd, Fagliano finished 24th and senior Cynthia Torres took 25th.
"We all really enjoy spending time with each other," Fagliano said. "We have a good work ethic, but we also have fun while we run. That's a really important part. It's a fun sport to be a part of."
"We're basically a big family," Foote said. "Taking everybody to state…I just feel that Aloha pride. It's a great way to finish off my four years and just celebrate with everybody."
Foerster said she "had fun" the first mile and then went for it over the last two. The Crusader was never truly challenged and won the race by more than 25 seconds. The former club soccer standout has found her calling in running, a sport that still fulfills her competitive need and contributes to the overall good of her team.
"I love to race," Foerster said. "I like competition, running against fast people and trying to get personal records."
Jesuit senior Alexis Kebbe (17:57) took third, Molly Grant was sixth, freshman Naya Wrenn placed seventh, freshman Natalie Jack was 11th and sophomore Claire Cooney took 13th overall. It's a young, underclassmen-heavy unit, but one that's close-knit and already primed to storm the state stage.
"We all work so hard together every day," Foerster said. "We all know each other's strengths and work off of each other."
Westview senior Irene Nagasaka (12th place), Mountainside sophomore Elizabeth Satterlee (17th), Southridge freshman Erin Cosgrove (19th overall) and Beaverton junior Ava Skubic (32nd) were the top finishers from their respective schools.
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