The North Marion Huskies are not a frequent guest at the 4A cross country state championships, so this year's team wanted to make sure to leave its mark.
The Huskies did just that on Saturday at Marist High School, saving their best performances of the season for the biggest stage in a 11th place finish at the 4A state meet.
Led by senior Gavin Hurst and junior Owen Alvord, all seven members of the boys cross country team posted season best or personal best times to edge out Astoria in the team standings by just three points. That small victory allowed the Huskies to eclipse the last boys team to make it to state — the 2013 squad that finished 12th overall.
Hurst and Alvord were the first two members of the team to cross the finish line, doing so back-to-back for the third consecutive time to end the season. Hurst's 62nd-place time of 19:28.10 shaved nearly 30 seconds off his previous season best, recorded 11 days earlier in a home duel against Corbett, and was just the fifth time the senior broke the 20-minute barrier in his high school career.
Alvord followed five seconds behind in a 63rd-place time of 19:33.90. As the two have finished close together over the final three races of the season, Alvord too marked a season best time by nearly 30 seconds in his second time breaking 20 minutes this season.
But it was freshman Eli Gonzalez who had the most surprising finish for the Huskies, knocking off more than a minute off his previous personal best this season to finish 66th in 19:46.50.
Senior Tate Durst led the second pack of Huskies, finishing 75th in 20:11.30 to record his own season best time with an impressive 97-second improvement. Freshman Ayden Flanagan did him one better, finishing 76th in 20:12.00 for a PR by two minutes and 17 seconds.
Junior Mitch Doubrava notched his own PR as well, shaving five seconds off his previous best set last year in Estacada with a 77th-place finish in 20:34.40. Sophomore Eren Martinez rounded out the team, placing 87th in 25:18.20. It was his fourth PR in five races this season, all of which have been under 30 minutes after setting his previous PR of 30:16.90 his freshman year.
4A Boys Cross Country State Championships
1. Siuslaw - 70
2. Philomath - 77
3. Sisters - 81
4. Hidden Valley - 96
5. Tillamook - 134
6. Phoenix - 147
7. Marist - 189
8. Baker - 197
10. Molalla - 252
11. North Marion - 317
12. Astoria - 320
North Marion boys individual times
62. Gavin Hurst - 19:28.10
63. Owen Alvord - 19:33.90
66. Eli Gonzalez - 19:46.50
75. Tate Durst - 20:11.30
76. Ayden Flanagan - 20:12.00
77. Mitch Doubrava - 20:34.40
87. Eren Martinez - 25:18.20
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