Eugene — The weather was sort of cooperating for the 10 AM start of the 3A/2A/1A cross country state championships at Lane Community College in Eugene on Saturday. After a wet overnight, everything was soggy and chilly for the state championships, as is custom in Oregon for the fall. Here are some of the headliners from Saturday’s state championship meet for 3A/2A/1A
Lalonde Wins It All
A year ago, Daisy Lalonde was a rising star in the 3A/2A/1A cross country landscape, making an impression as a freshman at state last year. With 2021 champion Makenna Houston graduated, Daisy took control of her own destiny and executed it with flying colors, winning the 3A/2A/1A state title with a time of 18:43.7, finishing ahead of Lauren Tittel from OES by around 12 seconds. The East Linn product came in with the fastest time in 3A/2A/1A entering the day and fulfilled those expectations by winning the state title.
Eastern Oregon Shines Bright
The commonly forgotten girls from Eastern Oregon showed up in full force on Saturday in Eugene, taking it straight to the rest of Oregon and sending a forceful message. A pair of freshman: Sydney White of Burns and Lily Nichols of Heppner both secured Top 10 finishes on Saturday with Sydney taking sixth place and Lily securing the tenth position. However, they shined the brightest on the team podium, as the Enterprise Outlaws took the state title with a strong 63 point performance, easily outpacing OES and their 84 points. The Union Bobcats would take fourth place at 129 points, Burns had sixth place, and Heppner took home ninth place, placing a state champion and 40% of the top ten teams over in Eastern Oregon.
Freshmen and Sophomores Dominate
A fountain of youth has been found in 3A/2A/1A cross country, and they showed up strong in Eugene on Saturday. Out of the entire top ten placements, the makeup looked like this: 1 senior, 2 juniors, seven freshman and sophomores. If you want more, the top 20 consisted of two seniors, three juniors, and 15 freshman and sophomores. State champion Daisy Lalonde is a sophomore, and Sophie Schoolmeester of Banks was the fastest freshman with a fifth-place finish. Team champion Enterprise is anchored by freshmen sisters Piper Harvey and Abigail Harvey, state runner-up OES is led by sophomore Lauren Tittel and junior Morgan Matthews, freshman Alison Hughes is the best runner for Siuslaw, and Union is anchored by sophomore Josie Patton. For the next years to come, the youth will be the headliners in the 3A/2A/1A landscape of cross country.