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Madras White Buffalo cross country runner finishes in the top 60 at the 4A state race.

LON AUSTIN - MHS cross country runner Vanessa Culps runs in the middle of the 4A state race.Vanessa Culps represented Madras High School in the girls 4A state cross country race at Lane Community College Saturday.

Culps was the first female cross country runner to qualify for that since Amy Harris qualified for Madras in 1998. A 20-year drought was ended when Culps placed second at the Tri-Valley League championships Oct. 24.

Culps finished her district meet with a time of 22 minutes and 22 seconds. She was beaten by Rowan DeLine, of Corbett, who had a time of 22:12:81.

In the 4A state cross country race, Culps finished in 60th place, with a time of 22:56. The first-place winner was Solace Bergeron, of Tillamook, with a time of 18:32. Anika Thompson, of Junction City, ran the race in 18:40 to place second and Sarah Pullen, of Tillamook, took third with a time of 18:59.

The women's results for the teams that qualified for state were Marist (70), Siuslaw (73), Tillamook (77), Sisters (141), La Grande (145), Philomath (148), Henley (174), Phoenix (193), Baker (203), Valley Catholic (220), Estacada (297), and Gladstone (302).

LON AUSTIN - Vanessa Culps finishes the 4A state championship race in 22:56"We were both really happy with the way things went down," said head cross country coach Andrew Jensen. "She was dealing with an injury these last couple weeks, which played into our training and lead up to the race. Overall, coming into the race, she felt confident, went out and executed and ended up placing right around where she was ranked. I would say it was a success for her."

"We talked about our goals coming in and what we wanted to accomplish this weekend," he said. "We sat down a couple of days to reflect and nothing jumped off the page for us. You always want to run fast and have a good race, but we decided leading up to the race, this was more about representing the school and community, culture and family."

"Vanessa has such a strong connection to those things, with her culture and grandfather, who passed away a couple days before," Jensen said. "We decided, her being the first girl to qualify in 20 years to just go out and leave it all out there, but more importantly, represent those people and groups."

"In that respect, I think she is thrilled and I am thrilled and I think she did a great job," Jensen said.

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