The North Marion boys cross country team made the most of the shortened 2021 season, placing second at the Tri-Valley Conference championship on Saturday to qualify for the 4A state championship.
With the hosting Estacada Rangers and visiting Madras White Buffaloes unable to field a full team for the district race and Gladstone unrepresented, North Marion was in a three team race with the Molalla Indians and the Corbett Cardinals for the two berths to the state meet.
Having bested Corbett in a head-to-head home race at the Aurora Colony Museum earlier in the week, the Huskies entered Saturday's race with confidence they could make their first state meet as a team in recent memory.
Led by Gavin Hurst, Owen Alvord and Mitch Doubrava, the Huskies scored 43 points to best the Cardinals' 75 points. Molalla took the league title with a perfect score of 15.
Just as they had done at the Aurora Colony, the North Marion trio finished back-to-back-to-back at the league race, with Hurst leading the way with a seventh-place time of 20:26.00. He was followed by Alvord at 20:29.11 and Doubrava at 20:48.33.
Alvord had bested Hurst at the Aurora Colony to win the duel against Corbett with a time of 19:53, just a second ahead of his senior teammate.
Following the three top-10 finishers, North Marion was rounded out by Eli Gonzalez (12th, 21:16.28), Tate Durst (14th, 21:45.24), Ayden Falnagan (17th, 22:33.89), Eren Martinez (25th, 25:26.80) and Jaden Lilly (29th, 30:07.69).
The girls team finished third overall with 64 points behind Corbett (51) and league-champion Estacada (21).
Freshman Kenley Doubrava led the Huskies with a sixth-place time of 24:31.08 to earn First Team all-league honors. She was followed by teammates Emma Jones (19th, 32:47.09), Avery Greear (20th, 35:35.83), Josafine Carbajal (21st, 36:09.32), Lizzie Orr (22nd, 36:37.79) and Rebecca Havel (24th, 39:17.14).
The 4A state championship meet will be held at Marist High School on Saturday. The girls race is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. followed by the boys race at noon, with unlimited space for spectators.
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