Crook County Cowboys take second at state cross country meet
The Crook County Cowboys did what they have been doing all year this past Saturday at the OSAA State Cross Country Championships.
The Cowboys started slowly, then moved up as the race went on, running in a tight pack as they surprised everyone with a second-place finish at the meet, which was held at Lane Community College in Eugene.
The Cowboys were expected to maybe earn a trophy at the state meet, but not many people expected them to finish second.
Crook County went into the meet seeded fourth but were able to pass enough people late in the race to move up to second.
"I'm ecstatic about it," Crook County head coach Tracy Smith said. "We move up to 5A, and you look at the top 30 times in the 5A, and they are just amazing times that the kids run. But our kids peaked at the end of the season when I think that a lot of the teams were getting tired."
As expected, the No. 1-ranked Crater Comets ran away with the team title, finishing with 58 points. Crook County was next with 120 points. They were followed by Ashland, 136, Crescent Valley, 144, Dallas, 146, and Hood River Valley, 150.
The Cowboys were led by a strong performance from junior Cade Catterson, who finished 10th overall with a time of 16:34.
"I left it all out there for sure," Catterson said. "I definitely struggled in the second mile, but I made up for it on the last mile."
Senior Miles Chaney was next in for the Cowboys, finishing 22nd overall with a time of 17:00.
"I feel pretty good about how the day went," Chaney said. "I got a chance to leave it all on the course one last time. We had kind of high hopes, but more like a lower reality I guess, but I think that we hit our hopes. It feels pretty good because now we know that we can compete up here in 5A."
Following Chaney to the finish line was junior Jonas Rice, who placed 29th overall with a time of 17:12.
"I'm happy and very surprised," Rice said. "We just came in running and knowing that whatever we put out it was going to be our best."
One place behind Rice was sophomore Alec Carne, who finished 30th with a time of 17:13.
Carne ran ahead of both Chaney and Rice for most of the race but struggled down the stretch, finally collapsing in the chute one step after the finish line. According to Smith, Carne was ailing during much of the race and had to tough out the finish.
"I'm satisfied with how everybody else ran," Carne said. "Myself, not so much. I'm disappointed with my time, but I'm satisfied with the effort. Team wise, I think it's a big step us for us. "
Alex Vail was the fifth and final scorer for the Cowboys.
The sophomore placed 37th overall with a time of 17:21.
The remaining two Cowboys in the race were seniors Hunter Eller and Logan Tanner.
Eller finished 75th overall with a time of 18:34, while Tanner was 80th in 18:53.
"It feels great," Eller said of the team's second-place finish. "It makes me know that we can compete at any level that we are put in. I know that we all work hard during the off season and then during the season. I'm extremely proud of my teammates because they were able to win last year, and we were able to get a trophy again this year."
Tanner was also happy with the team's performance.
The senior didn't even compete in the varsity race at district but ran one second faster in the JV meet than the team's seventh varsity runner. As a result, he moved onto the varsity team for the final race of his career.
"It was a shock that I made it to state," Tanner said. "I'm super happy that I did, and I'm really proud of these guys. They ran awesome. I might not have had the best race individually for myself, but it was a well-given effort, and I'm proud of it."
Smith said that he was pleased with the team's discipline as they were able to have the patience to start slowly, while everyone else raced toward the front, then gradually reel people in as the race progressed.
"I said don't be worried if you are back because you are going to catch more people if you start out at a reasonable pace then if you go out too fast," Smith said. "They all believe in themselves. I can't run with them anymore, but Chuck Coats (former CCHS runner and current assistant coach) does, and he's constantly talking to them about doing amazing things like this and that helped a lot."
As expected, Ashland's Evan Holland ran away with the meet.
Holland, who has the 17th best time in the nation this year with a 14:33, pushed the pace early, opening up a huge lead, but the senior coasted the final mile, running nearly a minute slower than his season best time as he cruised to victory with a time of 15:30. Holland was nearly jogging the final 100 meters as he celebrated the victory, which was so dominant that just one other runner was able to get to the track before Holland crossed the finish line.
Jantz Tostenson of Crater finished second with a time of 15:47, while Ahmed Ibrahim of Parkrose was third in 15:55.
Rounding out the top 10 were Arlo Davis of Ashland, 15:59; Peter Lechman of Churchill, 16:02; Haile Stutzman of Silverton, 16:10; Trevor Cross of Dallas, 16:10; Gage Reed of Crater, 16:14; Toby Ruston of Dallas, 16:27; and Catterson.
Smith credits his high school coach for Crook County's recent success.
"It kind of goes back to my high school coach," Smith said. "All these years I have been coaching, and I hadn't been in contact with him. Two years ago, I started talking to him about 'give me your philosophy again.' He said this is what we used to do and it really worked for us. So I started implementing it with our team. I had done little bits and pieces of what I used to do in high school, but then I really 100 percent implemented it. It's worked well. He just passed away last year, and I have to give him a lot of credit. I hope he's watching from up in heaven because he has a lot to do with this."
Smith added that the team believes in each other and that no one cares who places where as long as the team is successful.
He added that in addition to Coats, assistant coach Orie Gamez has also been instrumental in the team's success.
"Orie is a really positive coach too," he said. "Being positive and believing that you can do it and not letting those other people get to you because they've got a big image really helps. The state championship doesn't seem to faze them. They just let it roll off their shoulders and go to work."
Coats added that team chemistry is really special with this year's Cowboys.
"They are a tight-knit group, and being so tight knit, they are comfortable with each other," he said. "Each one can take over at any time in any race. There are no ego fights at all. It's so awesome to see them get along together. We have a team leader in Miles, the seniors kind of move in and do that, and they are showing the younger guys what it's like to be a team and not just an individual runner. That's what makes us so tough as a team."
OSAA Class 5A State Cross Country Championships
Lane Community College
Saturday, November 3
Team scores — 1. Crater, 58. 2. Crook County, 120. 3. Ashland, 136. 4. Crescent Valley, 144. 5. Dallas, 146. 6. Hood River Valley, 150. 7. Churchill, 170. 8. Silverton, 177. 9. Wilsonville, 181. 10. Central, 205. 11. Scappoose, 258. 12. Parkrose, 281. 13. Springfield, 285.
Individual results — 1. Evan Holland, Ashland, 15:30. 2. Jantz Tostenson, Crater, 15:47. 3. Ahmed Ibrahim, Parkrose, 15:55. 4. Arlo Daivs, Ashland, 15:59. 5. Peter Lechman, Churchill, 16:02. 6. Haile Stutzman, Silverton, 16:10. 7. Trevor Cross, Dallas, 16:10. 8. Gage Reed, Crater, 16:14. 9. Toby Ruston, Dallas, 16:27. 10. Cade Catterson, Crook County, 16:34. 11. Josh Haynes, Hood River Valley, 16:38. 12. Jack Burns, Wilsonville, 16:40. 13. J.C. Herring, Crater, 16:45. 14. Omar Quintana, Hood River Valley, 16:45. 15. Jonathan Brown, Central, 16:46. 16. Gavin Grass, Dallas, 16:52. 17. Ryland McCullough, Crater, 16:52. 18. Matthew Schenk, Crater, 16:532. 19. Sam Alvarez, The Dalles/Dufur, 16:53. 20. Logan Pawlowski, Crescent Valley, 16:58. 21. Waylon Nichols, St. Helens, 16:59. 22. Miles Chaney, Crook County, 17:00. 23. Miles Decker, Silverton, 17:02. 24. Rowen Suchoski, Scappoose, 17:06. 25. Jacob McClelland, Wilsonville, 17:06. 26. Logan Aucier, Springfield, 17:10. 27. Cade Byer, Crescent Valley, 17:11. 28. Joshua Humann, Hood River Valley, 17:12. 29. Jonas Rice, Crook County, 17:12. 30. Alec Carne, Crook County, 117:13. 31. Jaydon Aydelotte, Central, 17:13. 32. Legend Lamer, Crescent Valley, 17:16. 33. Matthew Medina, Crater, 17:16. 34. Blake Byer, Crescent Valley, 17:17. 35. Kyle Phillips, Churchill, 17:17. 36. Luke Suchoski, Scappoose, 17:21. 37. Alex Vail, Crook County, 17:21. 38. Devin Greeley, Milwaukie, 17:22. 39. Jordan Mortensen, Ashland, 17:27. 40. Cameron Stein, Ashland, 17:28. 41. Reid Kerr, Crescent Valley, 17:28. 42. Jacob Powell, Churchill, 17:32. 43. Keller Norland, Crescent Valley, 17:32. 44. Hal Barnett, Churchill, 17:33. 45. Maynard Dewitt, Central, 17:33. 46. Haben Weldemariam, Parkrose, 17:34. 47. Conner Sutton, Crater, 17:35. 48. Raine Melby, Hood River Valley, 17:35. 49. Jonathan Hansen, Silverton, 17:37. 50. Ben Sheirbon, Wilsonville, 17:40. 51. Antonio Barrientos, Dallas, 17:40. 52. Trevor Johnson, Wilsonville, 17:44. 53. Joseph Wilde, Wilsonville, 17:45. 54. Jadon Mansur, Silverton, 17:46. 55. Wills Driscoll, Churchill, 17:46. 56. Charles Petrick, Silverton, 17:47. 57. Braeden Blakeney, Hood River Valley, 17:47. 58. Trevor Ortega, Silverton, 17:47. 59. Caylen Thomas, Central, 17:50. 60. Gabriel Wilson, Crescent Valley, 17:52. 61. Henry Williams, Ashland, 17:52. 62. Grant Ferguson, Putnam, 63. Carter Gauvin, Silverton, 17:53. 64. Josh Lull, Scappoose, 17:55. 65. Kilano Loyd, Springfield, 17:57. 66. Ethan Hass, Springfield, 18:11. 67. Gabe Smith, Central, 18:13. 68. Aydin Timmons, Ashland, 18:14. 69. Gustavo Villalvazo, Scappoose, 18:15. 70. Joshua Rodli, Dallas, 18:22. 71. Ryan Jones, Dallas, 18:27. 72. Kevin Ward, Springfield, 18:33. 74. Pierce Simmerman, Springfield, 18:34. 75. Hunter Eller, Crook County, 18:34. 76. Abdi Sido, Parkrose, 18:37. 77. Josh Aguilar, Wilsonville, 18:40. 78. Ben Kaden, Hood River Valley, 18:47. 79. Dillon Stuhr, Dallas, 18:51. 80. Logan Tanner, Crook County, 18:53. 82. Geoffrey Shoaf, Hood River Valley, 19:03. 83. Joe Simmonds, Parkrose, 19:03. 84. Toby Rasmussen, Churchill, 19:08. 85. Thomas Felton, Springfield, 19:24. 86. Tristan Hopkins, Scappoose, 19:30. 87. Sean Stephenson, Central, 19:33. 88. Jacob Leith, Parkrose, 20:29. 89. Abdi Ibrahim, Parkrose, 20:49. 90. Justice Gaines, Churchill, 20:54. 91. Jonah Eades, Parkrose, 20:56. 92. Jared Jeffries, Central, 21:03. 93. Rodrigo Rivas, Springfield, 22:27.