Sherwood runners get sweep in league finale
HILLSBORO — Perfection.
When it comes to racing in the Pacific Conference, the Sherwood High School boys cross country team achieved it.
The Sherwood girls squad did as well.
And the Bowmen teams aren't done yet.
Both Sherwood squads wrapped up perfect Pacific Conference dual meet seasons by running to impressive victories over Glencoe in a conference dual meet finale held Oct. 23 at Glencoe High School.
"It means that we've built a really good program here," said Sherwood senior Thomas Osborne, who ran to second place in the varsity boys race. "What we've done is really important to our school, and to what we've been doing the past four years."
"That's our goal," said Sherwood junior Brooke Smith, who took second place in the varsity girls race. "Now we want to race hard at district next week. We've got some really good competitors this season."
Both Sherwood teams will take perfect 6-0 conference dual meet records into the Pacific Conference district championships, which will be held Wednesday at Joe Dancer Park in McMinnville. The top three teams in each varsity race at the district meet, as well as the top seven individuals, if they are not part of the top three teams, advance to compete at the Class 6A state meet, which will be held Nov. 8 at Lane Community College in Eugene.
"We're looking to go to state, and possibly get a trophy. We're trying to be in that top-three mix," Osborne said. "After that we're going to NXR (the Northwest Regional Championships, to be held Nov. 16 in Boise, Idaho), and see if we can be an NXN (Nike Cross Nationals, which will be held Dec. 9 at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland) team, because we have the caliber of team to do that, and we've really been pushing each other these past few weeks."
The Sherwood boys, at the Pacific Conference championships, will be trying to win their third straight district meet title. They took first place at the Three Rivers League district meet two years ago, and won the Pacific Conference district crown last year.
If the Bowmen's performance at the meet at Glencoe is any indication, they certainly look ready to make it three in a row. The Sherwood boys defeated Glencoe by a perfect 15-50 score, giving the Bowmen their 6-0 record in conference dual meets.
"It was pretty good," Osborne said. "We did really well as a team, and we came out here and wanted to set a precedent. A lot of us were at the low 16 (minute) range, so we all wanted to try and break that number."
Five of them did. Leading the way for the Bowmen was senior Nate Hicken, who took first place in the varsity boys race with a winning time of 15 minutes, 47.56 seconds for the 5,000-meter course.
Osborne, who ran close to Hicken throughout the race, finished in second place with a mark of 15:53.50.
"That was the plan (staying close to Hicken)," Osborne said. "At least that was my plan, to try and hit that sub-16 number, and that's what I thought I should do today to hit that number."
Hicken and Osborne were followed closely by a pack of Bowmen. Sherwood sophomore Jeffery Rogers finished in third place with a mark of 15:57.25. Sophomore James Crabtree was fourth at 15:59.12, junior Ismael Alvares was fifth at 15:59.17, senior Jaron Homer was sixth at 16:03.19 and sophomore Ethan Sturdivant was seventh at 16:21.18.
"We were all pushing each other. That's the best thing about this team," Osborne said. "We're a very competitive group of guys, and we love what we do, and we're all together in our training. So that helps us push each other, especially in a league like this one. We do really well for ourselves."
The Sherwood girls got a 16-48 win at Glencoe to wrap up its 6-0 conference dual meet record.
"It's really important to us," Smith said. "The last league we were in (the Three Rivers League) we were trying really hard, but changing leagues have having success has been really nice. We've worked hard in the offseason, and tried to get everyone unified and pushing together."
Sherwood junior Kari Eddington was winner of the varsity girls race at Glencoe with a time of 20:29.57. Smith was close behind in second, with a mark of 20:35.56.
"I think it went well," Smith said. "My goal was to stay behind Kari. I was feeling strong and pushing hard."
Also for the Lady Bowmen, freshman Kaylyn Murphy was third at 20:39.56, junior Mckenzie Abiley was fourth at 20:41.10, senior Vanessa Van Winkle was fifth at 20:45.27, freshman Rilyn Blanchard was seventh at 20:59.18 and junior Maia Oliver was eighth at 21:01.83.
"I think it went really well," Smith said. "Our goal was to pack up at the beginning. Everyone kind of pushed together, and we had a good race today."
The Lady Bowmen are now taking high hopes to the Pacific Conference district meet.
"We're hoping to win district, that's our goal, and then go to state," Smith said. "We have fun. We all love each other. I love cross country, and I like doing it with my team."
The varsity girls race at the Pacific Conference district meet is set to start at 4 p.m., with the varsity boys race to follow at 4:45 p.m.
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