Bulldog boys finish second in the JV race, trailing only 6A Caldera for team scores

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - The Culver boys cross country team is currently projected as the top overall team in 2A/1A Special District 2.The Culver cross country teams went out to Black Butte Ranch last week and logged some impressive times as they continue their quest for the state playoffs. Evan Powell set a new personal best and got back under the 19-minute mark, finishing in 18 minutes and 56.6 seconds to take second in the boys junior varsity race. Olivia Rydman led the Bulldogs by finishing seventh in the girls JV race, coming in at 24:18.0.

The Bulldog boys finished second to Caldera with a team score of 68 at the Clash in the Cascades, compared to the Wolfpack's 48. Mountain View took third place in the boys JV race with 75 points, narrowly edging out Sisters, which finished with 79 points. For the girls JV race, Culver did not register a team score as only four runners competed.

Powell's impressive effort led the way for Culver, but it was far from the only standout performance on the day. Aiden Guest stayed under 20 minutes for the fifth consecutive race, placing 10th out 79 runners with a time of 19:54.4. Troy Potampa finished in 20:06.3 to take 15th, while Debren Sanabria and Hudson Burgi placed back-to-back at 20th and 21st, thanks to marks of 20:26.7 and 20:27.9, respectively. Thadius Brown and Julian Sanabria also ran, but did not factor into the team score. For the second race in a row, the younger Sanabria set a new personal best, finishing in 27:41.9. Brown, meanwhile, was less than a minute back from the main pack of Bulldogs, crossing the finish line at 21:15.7 to take 32nd place.

As it has been for a few weeks, the Culver boys cross country team is projected to win a hypothetical meet in the 2A/1A Special District 2. Their next closest competitors look to be Jefferson and Western Christian, though neither has more than four runners who have posted sub-20 minute times. The Bulldogs have six athletes who have achieved that mark this season.

The girls team may have a tougher path to a team qualification, as they are currently projected to finish 10th in a hypothetical meet of Special District 2 schools. It is worth noting that the girls' classification also includes 3A schools, unlike the boys' special district. Rydman appears to have the best shot at an individual qualification, currently owning the eighth-fastest mark in the district. She will need to log a top-five time at the District 2 championships later this month in order to make it to the 3A/2A/1A State Championship.

Rydman was not on her best game in Black Butte Ranch, but still managed to finish seventh anyway. Behind her in 15th place was ninth-grader Audry Rake, who shaved three minutes off her previous time at the Paul Mariman Invitational in Philomath. Rake's time of 26:18.8 was just over a minute off her personal best from earlier this season. Also running for the Culver girls were Ariana Jeffery and Payton Petersen, who placed 21st and 24th out of 26 runners with times of 28:31.2 and 32:22.2, respectively.

Culver's final tune-up before the District Championships is a trip out to John Day to take part in the Gold Rush Run on Thursday, Oct. 21. The event, which is being hosted by Grant Union High School, has varsity races scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. at the 7th Street Complex.

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