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Sophomore Rowen Suchoski leads balanced effort in Class 5A championship meet

COURTESY PHOTO: SOOBUM IM - Sophomore Rowen Suchoski (849) of Scappoose High charges to the finish line on the track at Lane Community College in the Class 5A championships on Nov. 9. Suchoski would finish right behind Churchill senior Jacob Powell (788) and just in front of Dallas senior Gavin Grass (822), placing 26th.EUGENE — At the end of the day, in one respect "we broke even," Scappoose High cross country coach Kevin Pinkstaff said.

"We" being the Indian boys team, which was ranked ninth on paper going into last week's state championships and finished ninth.

Of course Scappoose would have liked to be eighth, or better.

But by the time the final 13 teams get to the Class 5A meet, much movement up or down is rare.

And the Indians accomplished several key things they went into the season hoping to do, including a finish ahead of Parkrose, which was third in the Northwest Oregon Conference behind No. 1 Wilsonville and Scappoose.

The Indians wound up with 216 points for their efforts Saturday at Lane Community College. They were 10 points behind eighth-place Dallas but 10 ahead of No. 10 Corvallis and 44 better than No. 11 Parkrose.

"The guys raced hard and gave it a really good shot," Pinkstaff said. "At the end of the day, they were happy and so was I."

Wilsonville was too much for the Indians; the Wildcats ran well and earned a trophy for their fourth-place finish and total of 138 points. Ashland ran away with the 5A title, scoring 41 points. Crater was a dominant second with 81. Crescent Valley took third with 108.

Scappoose's top guns, sophomores Luke and Rowen Suchoski, went out hard and gave Wilsonville's lead pack an early test.

Rowen wound up in 26th with a personal best of 16 minutes, 34.2 seconds. Luke was 33rd in 16:41.4, three seconds off his PR.

Senior Josh Lull was third among the Indians, setting a PR of 17:06.5 to finish 49th.

Senior Gustavo Villalvazo placed 57th and junior Gage Ekstrom 65th to complete the Scappoose scorers.

"Gustavo was his normal consistent self, and Gage ran his absolute hardest," Pinkstaff said.

St. Helens senior Waylon Nichols, the only member of the Lions to qualify for state, finished 29th in 16:38.3.

Nichols was 27th, one spot ahead of Luke Suchoski, after a 5:10.7 first mile. He was 24th, still right in front of Luke, in 10:35.1 for two miles.

It was Nichols' third trip to the state meet in the past three years. He was 57th as a sophomore and 21st as a junior.

Two relative cross-country newcomers for Scappoose also got a taste of what the big race is like. Talbot Friesen, a freshman, and Andrew Morton, a junior, placed 79th and 87th, respectively, in the field of 95.

"They both put in strong races despite it being their first appearance at the state meet, which I was proud of," Pinkstaff said.

Scappoose climbed two spots from 2018, when it was 11th in 5A.

Among sophomores in the race this year, Rowen Suchoski was fourth and Luke sixth.

The trip brought other perks for the Indians, who got a peek at the Hayward Field renovation on the University of Oregon campus as well as a chance to run famed Pre's Trail.


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