On the first rainy day of the fall season, it made for a wet and muddy scene at the Oregon City Invitational and Northwest Classic 2021 in Eugene. These were the next round of major meets for the cross country scene, which has started to take shape after the Ash Creek Festival last weekend in Monmouth. Out of the storylines, here were the most intriguing ones from a Saturday of packed action….
Siuslaw Takes Down Philomath, Win Their First Meet Of 2021
After a mellow opening round, the Siuslaw Vikings wanted to remind everyone that they hadn’t gone away at all. At the Northwest Classic in Eugene, Rylee Colton took third in the event with Philomath Freshman Phenom Adele Beckstead being another winner this season for the Warriors. Ingrid Hellesto took 13th for Philomath, but the Vikings had a collaborative effort to take the dub. Addison McNeill, Jane Lacouture, Macy McNeill, and Corduroy Holbrook all finished in the Top 27, outdueling the loaded Philomath lineup to take the meet by a slim three point margin over Philomath. This is a sneak preview of what the 4A Cross Country State Championships will look like in November, as two of the best teams in 4A clashed and dueled to the very last finisher. Two extremely talented programs that are capable of winning the state title this season, and it’ll be exciting to see how they both improve as we continue on in 2021.
Ava Betts And Isabel Swain Perform On Wednesday And Saturday
Ava Betts of Corvallis and North Salem’s Isabel Swain went with a double dip of cross country competition this week, competing at the Silver Falls Oktoberfest Invite on Wednesday and their respective large invites on Saturday in Oregon City and Eugene. Betts won the event at Silver Falls with a 19:36 run, 19 seconds ahead of second place Hannah Tranby from Mountain View, while Swain rounded out the Top 5 as the best finisher for the Vikings. Moving to Saturday, Betts took third at the Oregon City Invitational, finishing behind Franklin’s Kaiya Robertson and Makena Houston of Columbia Christian, wrapping up two top 5 finishes in four days and an impressive week on the course. For Swain, she took sixth at the Northwest Classic in Eugene, finishing behind a shuffle of Summit runners and Charlotte Richman of Ida B. Wells. With fifth and sixth place finishes this week, Swain has been the leader this season for a depleted Viking roster after the graduation of arguably their best athletes in program history.
Franklin Edges Corvallis, Spartans Smash 5A
The Portland Interscholastic League struck again on Saturday, with the Franklin Lightning putting on a show in Oregon City and taking down Corvallis 35-46 to win the event. Kaiya Robertson won the race, setting a course record with a 17:47.51, while Ava Betts brought home third for the Spartans and Avery Nason in sixth for Corvallis. After those two, it was all Franklin in 7th, 8th, 11th, and 12th with Kate Middleton being the lone Spartan in the mix. Ronja Soares, Hannah Middleton, and Finn Hanson all put up strong finishes, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Franklin’s studded front for the dub. Franklin’s showing was a huge bright spot for the program, who had been dueling with Wells and Lincoln for the label of best PIL team. For the Spartans, it was an absurd showing time wise that all but certainly puts them near or at the top of 5A after being unheard from the first few weeks of the season. For perspective, their seven fastest runners all place in the Top 20 in the state with their performances after Saturday, showing Jesuit and Summit level dominance at the 5A level. Rival Crescent Valley led the way for a few weeks, but Corvallis is showing why they’re still the defending state champions.