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The Tiger boys finish just out of the top 10; girls team features one individual runner

PMG PHOTO: SOOBUM IM
 - NHS junior Asher Tatsumi finished with a personal record of 16:18 at state on Saturday, good for 59th place in 6A competition.

EUGENE – In what could only be described by coach Bruce Sinkbeil as perfect conditions for running, the Newberg High School cross-country team joined competitors from around the state last week at Lane Community College. The Tiger boys' team ran together while the girls sent one individual runner and it was an opportunity for the Tigers to compete for a state title.

"It was a great meet with the fastest times ever run at the state meet turned in by the 5A boy's winner and the 6A girls winner," Sinkbeil said in an email. "The conditions were perfect with a dry, firm course and cloudy, cool weather."

While Newberg came up well short of a title, it did see personal record times across the board from many of its runners. The boys' team finished 12th in the standings with 365 points, led by Asher Tatsumi with a personal record of 16:18, good enough for 59th place. Franklin ran away with the boys' title with 65 points, trailed by second-place Jesuit (101) and third-place Sunset (118).

Some teammates trailing Tatsumi on the course were Jonathan Rolfe at 16:27 (74th),  Zachary Giesch in 16:28 (78th), Anthony Giesch in 16:30 (81st), William Stewart in 16:50 (104th), Zollie Enzenyi in 17:05 (118th) and Chris Aquipel in 17:51 (151st).

"PR's are generally hard to come by at the state meet but the conditions were great and they were not intimidated," Sinkbeil said of the Tigers. "The top six boys' runners are three juniors and three freshmen, so the future is bright."

Senior Abigail Hein was the lone female runner for the Tigers and ran a season's best with a 20:03, good for 76th place. Hein was the third finisher from the Pacific Conference, up from her fifth-place finish at the district meet.  Last year she ran 20:39 at state (91st place), so her final high school race was one of significant improvement.

Some of Newberg's runners will move on to other sports like track and field in the spring or other winter activities, while others will continue training through the offseason for next cross-country team. Both the boys and girls teams are young, so Sinkbeil expects improvement next season when the Tigers return to action.

For a full account of 6A state cross-country results, along with results from other classifications, visit www.athletic.net and search for the OSAA cross-country championships.


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