The Cougars racers wrapped up the cross country season with the state championship meet in Eugene.

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby junior Cole Thomas (right), senior Tristan Oakes (left), and junior Trevor Taylor (middle) were some of the best runners for the Canby Cougars this past season. Canby—The Cougars cross country team wrapped up their season at the district meet at Clackamas Community College, and the final few Canby representatives ran their race at the state meet in Eugene on Nov. 4.

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Senior Ashley Ambrose was named the most inspirational athlete at the end of season banquet for her part in the 2017 cross country season. For Canby, the top runners were recognized at the awards dessert on Tuesday Nov. 7. The most outstanding runners went to sophomore Izabela Kacalek and junior Cole Thomas, and the most inspirational members of the teams were senior Ashley Ambrose and sophomore Matthew Powell. The most improved runners, as voted by their teammates were freshman Ben Bailey and freshman Caleb Chupp on the boys team, and junior Emma Rondeau and junior Sadie Thomas for the girls team.

Head coach Tom Millbrooke believes the team showed steady progress and met the expectations set out at the beginning of the season.

"The expectations for the team is always that we will work hard and improve," Millbrooke said. "We also had the goal to be the most improved team in the Three Rivers League. Our girls' team was certainly the most improved. Our boys were on the way, but we did not finish as well at the district meet. Most of our athletes showed improvement. If you look on the site and the season results grid, it is pretty impressive to see the progress." HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Sophomore Izabela Kacalek was Canby's lone female representative at the state meet at Lane Community College on Nov. 4. Kacalek was consistently Canby's top female runner.

To continue improving it will require a dedication to a healthy regimen and be open to new athletes, according to the longtime head coach.

"Our needs moving forward are to have the athletes continue to lead an athletic lifestyle," Millbrooke said. "Stay involved in sports and continue to improve fitness levels. We are always trying to increase our number of participants. We try to practice inclusion and welcome anyone with the willingness to work hard and the desire to improve."

Looking back on this season and his athletes, Millbrooke will remember them fondly because of the drive they showed.

"I will remember this season as one of enjoyable progress," Millbrooke said. "The athletes showed up each day to get better and help the team improve. We have a great group of young men and women, who are positive in life."

Despite the end of the official season, Canby runners Thomas and Powell will be competing in the Nike Cross Northwest Regional Championships in Boise Idaho on Now. 11.

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