Cross Country runners from the Valley Zone qualify for state
Newberg boys grab conference title on the way to state
At the Pacific Conference cross country championships, it was the Newberg boys team that shown brightest. The team, led by senior brothers Anthony and Zachary Giesch, who finished in first and third place respectively, took first as a team by 17 points to qualify seven for the state title meet.The Giesch's, senior Zoltan Eszenyi, junior Caden Smith, sophomores Arran Kay and Isaac Bikis and senior Robert Cross will race for the blue and gold at Lane Community College on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Anthony Giesch will be the strongest Newberg runner at the state meet, posting a personal best 15 minutes, 25.0 seconds on Oct. 8. That time is the 14th fastest at 6A going in, and 39 seconds off No. 1 West Salem junior Jack Meier.
The Newberg girls qualified three for the state meet, the fastest among them being junior Dominique Eszenyi with a season best time of 21:10.9 to take sixth in the Pacific Conference. The other qualified harriers are freshman Abigail Wheatley and sophomore Helmi Landwehr.
Canby's Oliver qualifies for state
The lone Cougar to make it to the 5A state championship meet is senior Maddox Oliver. The longtime cross-country runner took sixth place at the NWOC Conference Championships with a time of 16:17.9, 12 seconds off his career best at the NWOC Preview.
That run was a personal best time and 14th fastest in the state at 5A, with a host of Crater runners and other NWOC competition between Oliver and projected first place.
Other Canby boys racers at the NWOC championships had solid showings as well; junior Rhett Smith, freshman Corbin Stoddart, Jacob Tilden, and Andrew Dewar set personal bests, and the boys team as a whole took third place with 81 points.
The girls side of the team saw each competitor set personal or seasonal bests at the NWOC championships, with senior Kaitlyn Doman running her fastest time of the season with a 22:39.0.
Molalla girls draw with Crook County for league title
Molalla's girls team will send the entirety of its roster to state after scoring 46 points to go even with Crook County at the top of the leaderboard.
Freshman twin sisters Anika and Annalyse Jenson took first and second respectively, both with personal best times. Senior Kenna Wood, freshmen Violet Bickford and Madison Clark, and sophomore Katya Coleman each set personal best times, and will be joined by sophomore Sophia Olson at the competition.
Anika Jenson will be one of the favorites to win the 4A state title. Her conference championship time of 19:12.8 is five seconds faster than that of Phoenix senior Kyla Potratz, the third fastest in the state at 4A, and just slightly slower than La Grande's Emily Tubbs. Sister Annalyse will be a near lock to grab a top five spot, with a time eight seconds faster than the sixth fastest time.
The Kennedy girls cross country team will be the second team out of the 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 to compete at the state competition. The group came in second with 66 points, trailing only Central Linn. Led by sophomore Yulissa Chavez Cortes with a time of 22:06, the state qualifiers include juniors Briar Hachenberg, Nora Brenden and Alyse Williams, as well as sophomores Paityn Garcia and Stephanie Cardenas, and senior Haley Kline.
The long Kennedy boy to qualify for state was senior Jesus Cortes, who took fifth place with a personal best time of 18:39.3.
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