Wilsonville girls cross country kicks off 2017 at Wilsonville Night Meet
Now that's how you kick off a new year.
The Wilsonville girls cross country team got the fall 2017 season off to a running start, welcoming almost 700 of the state's best female high school runners to Wilsonville High School on Friday for the annual Wilsonville Night Meet.
The night meet serves as a yearly opener for many of the state's top teams, with runners from 45 schools competing in 3,000-meters races segmented into multiple divisions by year in school.
It's an event that doesn't grow old, not even for the host Wildcats.
"I've done this once before and this was definitely better than last year," said Wilsonville junior Angel Bohn, who was her team's second-fastest finisher in the girls junior 3,000. "It's really nice because everyone's here, we're all racing together, there's no animosity, we're all just loving the race."
Likewise, teammate Kate Stewart — she was the fastest Wildcat in the girls junior 3,000 — enjoyed her third time participating in the Night Meet.
"It was really fun," she said.
And Wilsonville wasn't just there to host the meet — the Wildcats were there to compete. Wilsonville finished in the top half of three of the four races its runners participated in, giving the Wildcats high hopes for the coming Northwest Oregon Conference season.
"I think we're going to have a great year," Stewart said. "It was a pretty good year last year, so hopefully, it will be the same. "
"I think it will be a nice year," Bohn agreed.
Wilsonville runs in the NWOC Preview Meet today (Wednesday, Aug.30), participates in the Fort Steilacoom Invitational on Sept. 16, and hosts Hillsboro, St. Helens and La Salle in its NWOC opener on Sept. 20.
In the girls senior 3,000 race, Wilsonville racked up 92 points and finished fourth among seven teams, trailing only West Linn with 48, Sunset's 51 and Central Catholic's 90.
Krista Herlin led the way for the Wildcats there, finishing 15th overall at 11 minutes, 43.75 seconds. She was followed by teammates: Alexandra Saccente, 31st at 12:36.96; Stephanie Soderlund, 40th at 12:56.49; Abigail Hasler, 52nd at 13:25.05; and Camille Rule, 56th at 13:32.26.
In the junior 3,000, the Wildcats finished fifth among the 10-team field with 128 points. Lincoln won that division with 62 points, followed by Sunset's 63, Wilson's 117 and Central Catholic's 125.
After that race, Stewart — she was 17th in a field of 128 with a time of 12:00.62 — talked about her approach to running in a big field.
"You kind of have to be confident with your stride," she said. "I try to stay the same pace, but since this is a 3K course, it's faster than our normal cross country meets."
The Wildcats' other top finishers were: Bohn, 22nd at 12:11.47; Mia Kassab, 42nd at 12:56.80; Amanda McDougal, 50th at 13:03.80; and Kellie Yoshida, 80th at 13:51.80.
"We just wanted to get to know how other people are running and see what training has done for us so far," Bohn said.
"Me and Angel are 3K buddies so we're always pushing each other so that was awesome," Stewart added.
While Wilsonville didn't field a complete team in the sophomore 3,000, Samantha Prusse still made her mark in the race. She placed 10th overall in a field of 119 runners with a time of 11:20.20.
In the freshman 3K, Wilsonville was sixth among seven teams, finishing with 112 points while Hood River won the division with 35 points followed by Century's 78 and Lincoln's 84.
Wildcat Ava Stenstrom led the way for the freshmen, placing third at 11:56.01. She was followed by: Aurora Barkley, 37th at 13:27.37; Carly Shanklin, 56th at 14:08.81; Madison Koellermeier, 71st at 15:06.80; and Katrina Brisbois, 72nd at 15:09.21.
And in the 3,000 Novice race, Wilsonville's team finished ninth with 323 points among 19 teams. The Wildcats' top five finishers there were: Rachel Cramer, 32nd at 14:56.52; Lauren LaFreniere, 55th at 15:26.66; Makayla Bruce, 60th at 15:31.63; Allison Joseph, 158th at 18:01.25; and Kayla Bolnick, 183rd at 19:46.58.