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Lions senior third at district cross-country meet; depth leads Scappoose to second place

COURTESY PHOTO: KEVIN PINKSTAFF - The Scappoose High boys and girls cross country teams gather after Wednesday's Northwest Oregon Conference district meet at Blue Lake Park.FAIRVIEW — Waylon Nichols of the St. Helens Lions will join the Scappoose boys at the state cross-country championships Nov. 9 in Eugene.

Nichols, a senior, qualified for the Class 5A race by placing third Wednesday in the Northwest Oregon Conference district meet at Blue Lake Park.

Scappoose advanced as a team, placing second to Wilsonville.

The Indians did everything they needed to do, even if they came up one short of doing everything they wanted to do.

The ambitious goal was to outscore Wilsonville, but the Wildcats ran strong and wound up with 38 points. Scappoose totaled 79 and was right about on form with its scoreboard edge on Parkrose, which got 91 points and also advanced to state, and fourth-place La Salle Prep (96). St. Helens was fifth with 112 points.

"A pretty good day," Scappoose coach Kevin Pinkstaff said. "The boys had high hopes of getting Wilsonville. We ran our plan out getting out with them in the first mile, but Wilsonville ran a really strong middle mile and got away from us. So I was proud of our guys to run our plan, and Wilsonville was just too strong for us today."

With cold weather and wind, times were slower than at the 2018 district meet. Nichols finished in 16 minutes, 39.09 seconds, 10 seconds behind his third-place run as a junior a year ago.

Scappoose's fastest runner, sophomore Rowen Suchoski, took seventh in 17:02.14; he was sixth last year, 20 seconds faster in the better conditions.

The Indians had good balance on Wednesday, with sophomore Luke Suchoski 14th, senior Gustavo Villalvazo 15th, senior Josh Lull 20th, junior Gage Ekstrom 23rd and freshman Talbot Friesen 25th with a personal best for 5,000 meters.

In the NWOC girls race, Scappoose placed fourth with 99 points and St. Helens fifth with 137.

Sophomore Isabella Amaro and senior Etosha Lopez led the Indians, placing 17th and 18th, respectively.

For St. Helens, freshman Ellyzabeth Clark was 27th, junior Hillary Barley 29th and freshman Alydia Smith 30th, with Clark and Smith turning in 5K personal bests.COURTESY PHOTO: JOHN BREWINGTON - Waylon Nichols of St. Helens placed third at district on Wednesday to earn a trip to the Nov. 9 state championship cross-country race in Eugene.

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