Putnam girls cross country steps up at Wilsonville
It was just a regular season meet.
It wasn't district. It wasn't state. It wasn't even the 15-team Oregon City Invitational from just four days earlier.
Despite that, the Putnam girls ran like their lives depended on it on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Wilsonville Memorial Park, racing to victory in their Northwest Oregon Conference meet against Wilsonville, La Salle and Milwaukie.
In the end, the Kingsmen sped to victory with 28 points, while La Salle was second at 41, Wilsonville placed third with 52 and Milwaukie was incomplete.
"We were hoping we would (win). It was a pretty good race," said Putnam junior Noemi Lundgren, who won the 5-kilometer race with a time of 21 minutes, 20.60 seconds. "We were kind of neck-and-neck in the forest with a La Salle girl, but we pulled through and finished first and second."
"It was kind of hard with all the hills, but it's been going good," said Putnam freshman Grace Flowerday, who took second at 21:53.64.
The rest of the Kingsmen's top-five finishers included: freshman Gabriella Salvione, fifth at 22:02.85; junior Kendra Heath, seventh at 22:18.82; and senior Lucy Rose, 13th at 25:22.06.
"It gives us motivation to run together, knowing that we're all together in the lead," Lundgren said. "We work off each other and try to pull forward and create a bigger gap."
"It's really nice (having a good pack)," Flowerday said. "We just have to keep practicing hard and working hard."
For second-place La Salle, senior Erin McGinnis and freshman teammate Maya Crimin placed third and fourth overall to keep the Falcons competitive.
"I feel really good. I feel really strong and I'm really proud of how I did," McGinnis said. "I think we did a good job. We went into it hopeful and we did our best and I think it turned out really well."
McGinnis crossed the finish line in 22:01.69, followed by Crimin (fourth at 22:01.95), sophomore Meredith Shea (ninth at 23:10.44), junior Marieka Kaufman (11th at 24:39.81) and freshman Kari Tatsushiro (14th at 25:42.54).
"We have really strong girls this year and I'm really happy with how we're looking and I'm excited to see what we do," McGinnis added.
For third-place Wilsonville, it was sophomore Ella Milanovich who set the pace with her sixth-place finish at 22:02.92.
"I feel really good," she said, noting that her team rested a couple of its regulars on Wednesday. "This wasn't supposed to be a really super-fast race (for us), but I just have a drive to run."
After Milanovich, it was freshman Jadyn Kipe (eighth at 22:40.53), junior Caydence Rodriguez (10th at 24:15.65), senior Esme' Krause (12th at 25:11.60) and sophomore Sophia Gordon (16th at 26:13.95).
"I definitely think we can run with Putnam," Milanovich added. "By the time the season's over, I think we'll be up really close with them."
For Milwaukie, the Mustangs fielded just three runners and only two of those finished, with freshman Alice Harris 30th at 31:53.05 and fellow freshman Millie Gardner 33rd at 41:12.93.
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