Madras boys place third in varsity run with 100 points, girls varsity takes fourth.

WILL DENNER/MADRAS PIONEER - In each team's lone Jefferson County meet of cross country season, Culver and Madras runners found success at the Kah-Nee-Ta Invitational last Saturday. Culver senior Emma Knepp (left) finished third in the girls varsity race (21 minutes 19 seconds), and in the boys varsity race, Madras senior Tyler Anderson (right) took fourth (17:38).
As Culver's most experienced cross country runners, Emma Knepp and Hannah Orey are often grouped together.

But last Saturday at the Kah-Nee-Ta Invitational, each girl's result in the 5,000-meter varsity race perfectly illustrated their contrasting racing styles.

Knepp pushed the pace and kept up with Bend runners Allie Wilber and Carrington Fastelin, finishing third in 21 minutes, which set a season-best time.

"That pace was fast for her, but she was ready to run today," Culver head coach Tom Kirk said. "She said she wanted to go out with the front pack, and when she realized she had a chance to be right in the front with them, she said 'I took that opportunity and ran as hard as I could to stay with.'"

Orey, meanwhile, ran a time of 24:47, as she put her calculated and consistent tactics to use.

"Hannah's strategy is to go out and run a race where she knows she can be moving and passing, and have enough to do that the entire race," Kirk said. "They both have different strategies ... Everybody runs their own race."

Also competing in the girls' varsity event, junior Mikayla Haessler clocked a time of 29:30, and sophomore Lucy Potampa finished in 33:54.

Freshman Jacob Horat shattered his previous personal best by nearly two mintes (23:11). Gabe Gibson and Austin Williams, both competing in their first-ever 5,000 meters, finished the JV boys race in 28:23 and 29:59, respectively.

"They (all) prepared and ran their best," Kirk said. "A very proud day for Culver."

Tyler Anderson leads pack of Madras runners

Madras senior standout Tyler Anderson appears to be coming into his own.

Following his junior season, in which he won the Tri-Valley Conference district meet and went on to finish seventh at state, Anderson clocked his best time of the 2017 season last Saturday on the Kah-Nee-Ta golf course.

Anderson's mark of 17:38 put him in fourth place among varsity boys, and more importantly, gave him the fourth-best time of TVC boys so far this season. The top time (17:14) belongs to Estacada senior Nathan Backwell, who also established the mark last Saturday, at the Nike Portland meet.

Combined with Genesis Lucei's 10th-place finish (18:26), the Madras boys finished third with 100 points, trailing only Bend (22) and Redmond (75). Israel Tapia ran a 19:08, and not far behind, Stefaughn Jackson finished in 19:41.

In the JV boys race, Thomas LeClaire finished in 20:52, trimming more than two minutes off of his previous PR.

In the girls' varsity 5,000 meter, junior Vanessa Culps, led Madras with a 15th-place finish, clocking a 23:50. Freshman Jayden Davis also finished in 24:56. The girls placed with 94 points.

Both Madras and Culver are entered to run the Oxford Classic on Friday at Bend's Drake Park. The first race is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

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