Nichols cashes in for Lions at McCormick Park
Waylon Nichols of St Helens came through as a winner.
So did the Scappoose High boys.
Nichols posted a comfortable, 30-second victory in a four-team cross-country meet Wednesday at McCormick Park. His time of 17 minutes, 2 seconds was 37 seconds faster than his winning mark on the same course in a four-team race a year ago.
Three Scappoose runners — Rowen and Luke Suchoski and Gustavo Villalvazo — went 2-3-4 to lead the Indians to a 33-36 edge over rival Wilsonville. St. Helens was third with 79 points, and Putnam scored 83.
In dual scores, it was St. Helens 25, Wilsonville 30; Wilsonville 20, St. Helens 35; and Wilsonville 16, Putnam 39.
Nichols attributed Wednesday's win in part to familiarity and training.
"It's really comfortable on this course," he said. "We come out and train all the time. It felt like muscle memory to me."
Nichols, a senior whose season- and career-best is 16:25.3, said he'd like to break 16 minutes and do well in the postseason.
"At state, I want to medal and get in the top 10. It's my last year, and I really want to make it count. I want to finish with a bang," he said.
And he hopes his teammates can get to Lane Community College, site of the Nov. 9 state meet, with him.
"That's a goal we all have and really want to accomplish," he said. "If we work hard and give it everything we've got, we have the talent to do it. I know everybody has it. It's a team of athletes that's been around each other for such a long time. I've known a lot of these guys since middle school running track together. We have great chemistry, and we've been really efficient in races."
The Suchoskis, sophomores in their second year of varsity cross country, finished Wednesday in 17:32 and 17:36. Villalvazo, a senior, made it to the line in 17:53 — for big points as he nipped four Wilsonville runners who crossed in 17:54, 17:55, 17:57 and 17:59.
Scappoose junior Gage Ekstrom was 11th in 18:23, and senior teammate Josh Lull helped secure the first place for the team by placing 13th in 18:26 — one and three seconds ahead of other Wilsonville runners.
St. Helens seniors Cooper Montgomery and Evan Garrison were second and third for the Lions, finishing 16th and 17th, respectively.
"As the season progresses, our boys team will continue working on moving farther up in the finish order as a pack," Lions coach Naomi Reedy said.
Wilsonville dominated the girls race, totaling 23 points to second-place Putnam's 44. Scappoose had 75, and St. Helens scored 99, with a full squad for the first time this season.
"They're still learning a lot about racing," Reedy said, "but several girls improved their season-bests despite McCormick being a slower course."
The first girls finisher not from Wilsonville or Putnam was Scappoose senior Etosha Lopez, who placed 16th. Sophomore teammates Isabella Amaro and Maizri Chandler were 25th and 26th, respectively.
Then came the St. Helens combo of junior Hillary Barley and freshman Ellyzabeth Clark, 27th and 28th.
Scappoose had sophomores Elise Briscoe 29th, Angelina Dominguez 31st and Dylan Dietz 32nd.
Matthew Singledecker contributed
to this report.
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)