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Prusse, Weisgerber lead Wildcats at Nike Portland XC Saturday at Blue Lake Park in Gresham

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - Wilsonville senior Samantha Prusse finished second in the Division I varsity girls race Saturday.

Wilsonville outran 20 other girls cross country teams from all over the West Coast, including the 2018 Class 5A state champions, Hood River Valley, last Saturday to tie for first at the Nike Portland XC meet.

"Hood River is a little banged up right now and will be faster at state," Wilsonville coach David Barkley said. "However, it is nice to be in the same sentence."

Running at Blue Lake Park in Gresham, the Wildcats tied Tesoro, California, and edged Hood River by one point.

Senior Samantha Prusse paced Wilsonville, finishing second in 18 minutes, 50 seconds in the Division I varsity race.

Her younger sister, Gabriella Prusse, a sophomore, placed 17th in 19:41.50 out of more than 150 runners.

Sydney Burns (20:05.20), Sarah Somerscales (20:42.70) and Fiona Dunn (21:12.80) rounded out Wilsonville's top five.

The Wildcats placed seventh in the Division I varsity boys race.

Freshman Mason Weisgerber finished 22nd in 16:53.50 out of 167 runners.

Sophomore Ben McClelland took 36th in 17:00.50. His twin brother, Jacob McClelland, placed 62nd in 17:18.40.

Sebastian Pinger (17:20.70) and Josh Aguilar (17:40.50) also finished in Wilsonville's top five.

"We are improving," Barkley said. "Boys moved up 10-plus places in that division from last year. They didn't panic about being in a packed race with 200-plus athletes on a 5-yard wide course. Lots of athletes just get lost in that crowd. We kept our heads up in the chaos of that start, which is way more crowded and difficult to navigate than the state meet."

The Wildcats will compete in the 16th annual Harrier Classic at Bryant Park in Albany this Saturday.

"Mostly we want to keep getting healthy," Barkley said. "We're working through the first fall virus right now at school. As a team we want to keep getting the nickel and dimes off our times each week. Improvement isn't linear, courses and weather are different, but we want to keep seeing smart races."

Derek Wiley
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