The Huskies beat out Molalla for second place at the Tri-Valley Conference district meet.

by: DAVID BALL / PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - North Marion senior Christian Parr runs Oct. 23 at McIver Park during the Tri-Valley Conference district meet, leading a group of La Salle Prep runners at the 1-mile marker.ESTACADA — The North Marion boys cross-country team was all smiles Oct. 23 at McIver Park after learning it had earned two more weeks of workouts on the trails by punching a ticket to Eugene for the Class 4A state meet.

The Huskies finished with a 50-point team score at the Tri-Valley Conference district championships, beating Molalla by 22 in the battle for second place. North Marion held a sizeable advantage at the 2-mile marker and expanded its lead over the Indians on the way to the finish line.

The Huskies secured the spot when their No. 3 racer, Ben Hanberg, came through the finish line 18 seconds ahead of Molalla’s lead runner.

“When it comes to this race, every guy matters. Every time we passed someone in orange and black it felt like a huge achievement,” Hanberg said. “My goal for today was to be their No. 1 guy. I saw him ahead of me halfway through, and I just managed to push ahead.”

Teammate Christian Parr led the race through the first two miles but had a pack of La Salle Prep runners on his heels the whole time. Eventually, he gave way to the powerful Falcons’ squad, which ended the meet with a perfect score of 15.

Parr came through the line in sixth place with a time of 17:03.9.

“I wasn’t scared being up there, it was more, ‘Let’s go do this’,” Parr said. “I did my research and going my hardest I was aiming for a spot in the top three — I just fell back a bit at the end.”

Parr, a senior, is in his second season on the trails. He suffered a knee injury playing football in eighth grade and didn’t turn out for fall sports in high school until joining the cross country team his junior year. He is a middle-distance runner during the track and field season.

Teammate Colin Barrow (8th, 17:40.6) and Hanberg (9th, 17:52.9) gave the Huskies three racers in the top 10. Grant Barrow (12th, 18:22.1), Ulises Vargas (15th, 18:43.1), Klayton Pippert (19th, 19:12.9) and Elbert Giron (23rd, 19:52.2) each beat their Molalla counterparts, as well.

“It’s been awhile since we’ve sent a team, so we’re thrilled to be going to state,” Parr said.

La Salle Prep's Will Thompson won the boys race in 16:35.8.

Hannah Surcamp was a one-person team in the girls race, coming in 12th overall in 22:17.59 for the Huskies.

Molalla ran away with the team title, scoring 18 points after packing four runners into the top five overall. The Indians’ Emily Bever won the race in 18:56.63.

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