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NHS sports round-up: Boys 15th, girls 18th in Class 6A championships; both water polo teams eliminated from competition with losses

COURTESY PHOTO - NHS junior Zachary Geisch earned a 29th-place finish at the Class 6A cross country championships at Lane Community College on Saturday.

EUGENE — The Tigers made the long trip down to Lane Community College to challenge the best runners in the state on Saturday. The boys team finished in 15th place out of 21, and the girls 18th out of 21.

The boys team, which scored 388 points, was led Zachary Giesch, who ran the 5,000 meters in 16 minutes, 6.6 seconds. Shortly behind him was brother Anthony Giesch in 35th place with a time of 16:18.50.

In 85th was junior Zoltan Eszenyi with a time of 17:14.80; in 113th, sophomore Caden Smith ran his race in 17:47.10; in 141st place was freshman Everett Bensman with a time of 18:57.30; in 146th was junior Finley Williams with a time of 19:11.40; and in 150th place was sophomore Alexander Delay with a time of 19:24.30.

On the girls side of the action, Newberg scored a team score of 505 points. Newberg's fastest girl runner by a wide margin was senior Breanna Schmitt, who finished in the top 20 out of 150 racers who finished. Schmitt claimed 19th overall with a time of 18:54.20.COURTESY PHOTO - Senior Breanna Schmidt was the Tigers' top finisher in the girls competition, finishing in 19th place with a time of 18:54.2.

The next Newberg racer to finish would be sophomore Dominique Eszenyi, who clocked in at 22:06.00 to take the 112th spot. After her, junior Acadia Czuk finished in 129th place with a time of 22:53.40; in 132nd was junior Sage Bensman with a time of 23:13.00; freshman Sophia Taylor took finished her race in 23:45.60 to take 137th; sophomore Tricia Seto finished in 24:09.10 to take the 139 spot; and sophomore Leesie Matthiesen finished in 144th with a time of 24:51.50.

NHS water polo

Boys -- The Newberg High School boys water polo team was edged 14-13 by rival South Eugene on Friday to end its 2021 season and stop it from progressing to the state championships for the first time in many decades.

The Tigers advanced to the first round of the state championships with a convincing 21-4 win over South Salem on Friday morning. Grant Waldal led the Tigers' drubbing of the Saxons with four goals, with Asher Stone and Mateo McKay each pitching in three goals.

On Friday evening, the Tigers faced a tough South Eugene squad coming off a one-sided 22-12 victory over Tualatin in the playoffs Friday morning. Ryan Dickerson and Waldal led the way for Newberg with four goals apiece, with Mikey Mesneak earning two goals as well.

The Tigers finish the season with a 17-10 overall record, 6-4 in the Three Rivers League and in third place. Newberg took second in the state in 2019 and won the championships four straight seasons from 2014 to 2017. The Tigers have won 18 state championships since 1979.

Girls -- The NHS girls also succumbed to South Eugene in the first round of the 6A tournament, losing 10-6 to the Axe on Saturday. The Tigers earned a place in the first round via a forfeit by Reynolds earlier in the day.

Amelia Bayha was the top scorer for the Tigers in the loss, logging three goals. Micalah Gurel added two goals and Sonia Brenner one.

The Tigers finished the season with a 15-4 overall record, 7-2 in conference.

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