Bulldogs also compete well at Henley Invitational last Friday in Klamath Falls; gearing up for Heppner event

TONY AHERN  - Jacob Horat has led the Bulldogs in each of their three races so far this season. After running in North Lake on Wednesday, the Culver Bulldog cross country team was back in Southern Oregon on Saturday when they competed in the Henley Invitational in Klamath Falls.

"We had four runners get lifetime personal records, so It was a great day to run," Culver head coach Carter Spear said. "Perfect weather and a fun race with some bigger schools."

Culver finished fifth out of six teams in the boys race, while with only one girl, they did not factor in the girls team scoring.

Klamath Union ran way with both the boys and girls competition, taking first in the girls with 27 points and in the boys race with 39.

Rounding out the boys team scoring were Phoenix 46, Hidden Valley 46, Henley 119, Culver 122, and Mazama 138. The girls team scoring saw Phoenix place second with 44, while Henley was third with 52. No other schools fielded complete girls teams.

Jake Sorani of Cascade Christian was the overall winner in the boys meet with a time of 16:14 for the 5,000-meter course. Jacob Horat was the top Culver finisher, placing 20th with a time of 19:15. Other Culver finishers included Evan Powell 26th in 19:59, Troy Potampa 31st in 20:24, Hudson Burgi 36th in 20:55, Aiden Guest 38th in 21:00, and Tyler Wright 57th with a time of 32:29.

Lakeview's Kaley Schneider won the girls race with a time of 20:33. Freshman Kailee Macy, who was Culver's lone girl racer, ran her first high school race and finished 28th with a time of 27:45.

"She completed her two goals," Spear said. "Not to walk and not to get last."

Spear added, "With so much up in the air with sports, most of my runners didn't train too much through the winter months. I was excited that we would get another short season where we could run against other schools, build personal confidence, overcome mental obstacles, and have positive and fun experiences as a team traveling and competing in meets. For youngsters not getting to put on the jersey, lace up their shoes, and compete against other schools for the last year has taken its toll. Most teenagers haven't experienced competition nerves in over a year, so it was important to learn how to manage nerves and find ways to break through barriers in order to physically perform well in sports. It feels good and right getting to coach the athletes through these opportunities again."

North Lake

The Culver Bulldogs won the North Lake Invitational cross-country meet March 10.

Although the Bulldogs ran well, the team's victory came because none of the other three teams in the meet fielded complete teams.

"It was a small meet, but beautiful scenery out in North Lake," said Culver head coach Carter Spear. "They ran very well given the craziness of sports this year."

Jack Ellis of Trinity Lutheran was the first runner across the finish line, with a time of 20:09. Culver's Horat was pounding right behind Ellis and finished just one second back, with a time of 20:10 to take second place. Paisley's Peter Yoder finished third in 20:21. Culver's Powell finished fourth in 20:51.

The remaining Culver runners were Potampa, fifth in 21:42, Guest, eighth with a time of 22:16, Burgi, ninth in 23:21, and Wright, 15th in 32:52.

Culver is scheduled to run again on Thursday at the Thompson Ranch in Heppner.

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