With the Tri-Valley Conference district meet looming just two weeks in the future, the Gladstone girls cross country team believes it's ready.
The Gladiators fielded a full complement of five runners — one at the junior varsity level — at the Estacada Invite on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at McIver Park and believe they will be ready to compete at district.
"This is the first year in awhile where we have a full girls team because we had low numbers because of COVID last year," said Gladstone junior Abigail Sanderson, who ran to sixth at McIver Park. "But this year, we have a full team, and so that's really exciting with district coming up in a couple of weeks. We're just trying to see where everything lays out and if we have a chance at state."
While Gladstone didn't record a team score at Estacada — that takes five varsity finishers — the Glads absolutely showed their ability to compete. Had their fifth runner's time been counted at the varsity level, the Gladiators would have dropped a 21-34 decision to Estacada — the day's team champion — and would have tied second-place Riverdale 27-27 (though the Mavericks would have beaten Gladstone with their sixth runner).
Sanderson led the Glads' four varsity runners by placing sixth in the field of 37 with a finishing time of 23 minutes, 21.40 seconds for the 5-kilometer event. Estacada junior Heather Shaver won the race at 20:58.40, while Blanchet Catholic senior Emma Lutz was second at 21:04.40.
Estacada beat Riverdale 20-35 in a matchup of the only two complete teams among the 11 in attendance.
"I feel good," Sanderson said. "I had a pretty off physical day — I was a little nauseous so I was a little bit slower than I wanted to be — but it was a good race."
The rest of the Gladstone varsity included: freshman Smith Grace, 23rd at 26:21.80; freshman Sydney Teague, 30th at 29:16.30; and senior Alexa Armenta-Lopez, 32nd at 29:48.30.
Junior Elle Shipman ran to sixth in the JV race with a mark of 37:52.1.
Next up, the Gladiators will run in the TVC district meet, set for 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, at McIver Park.
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