On the prowl for some state hardware, The Dalles cross country team got a 10th-place individual finish from freshman Juan Diego Contreras to help give the boys fifth place, while the girls had Hanna Ziegenhagen and Tressa Wood end up in the top 32 at the OSAA 5A State Championships held Saturday at Lane Community College in Eugene.
“It was a good weekend for the two cross country teams,” TD head coach Bob Thouvenel said. “The boys had their highest finish in some time, so it is very exciting for them even though we finished one place from getting a trophy.”
Contreras earned a podium spot following his mark of 16 minutes and 40 seconds, marking the first time since Alex Dillard’s runner-up placing in 2011.
Also on the boys side, Samuel Alvarez and Friedrich Stelzer placed in the top-28, thus, giving The Dalles three all-state runners. Contreras was a second-team winner, Alvarez a third teamer and Stelzer chalked up honorable mention.
All told, the Riverhawk boys had four personal bests and a season best, with Alvarez capping his high school career in 21st place after a final rally of 16:28.40.
Stelzer, another senior, placed 24th overall with his final mark of 16:32.00, and Nick Caracciolo turned in a 16:40.40 to secure 31st place, out of 95 other participants.
Senior Evan Despain wound up in 67th place with a time of 17:39.90, Spencer Coburn had a run of 17:54.00 to take 73rd, and senior Noah Holloran crossed the finish line in 18:02.80 for 75th place.
With the running of individual winner Evan Holland (14:30.40), Ashland ended up with four of the top-5 places to net 41 points and the 5A state championship.
Crater (81), Crescent Valley (108), Wilsonville (138), The Dalles (145), Crook County (164), Silverton (188), Dallas (206), Scappoose (216), Corvallis (226), Parkrose (260), Churchill (270) and North Bend (315) made up the rest of the team standings.
“The boys really gave an outstanding effort, but just not enough for a fourth-place trophy,” Thouvenel said. “This was the first time all season that six of our seven boys ran under 18 minutes, so it was a very good meet for the boys.”
There was a four-horse race for the girls’ top spot, but fueled by the top placing of sophomore Madeline Nason (17:51.60), Corvallis came out on top with 67 points.
Hood River Valley (71), Wilsonville (73), North Salem (74), Crater (114), Crescent Valley (147), Ashland (229), Putnam (234), The Dalles (251), Churchill (257), West Albany (285), La Salle Prep (313) and North Bend (314) represented the final order.
Hood River Valley’s senior tandem of Josephine and Frances Dickinson placed fifth and sixth, respectively, with Josephine turning in a mark of 18:22.40 and Frances reeling off an 18:29.20.
Lottie Bromham (18:59.00), Chloe Bullock (19:24.80), Lucy Hennessy (19:53.00), Celia Acosta (20:05.40), and Mieka McKnight (20:18.40) made up the rest of HRV’s female finishers.
The Riverhawk girls team finished in ninth place, led by Ziegenhagen and Wood, who both ran under 20 minutes—something the girls team hasn’t had in a few years.
Ziegenhagen, a junior, wound up 28th overall out of the field of 90 harriers following her final mark of 19:45.80 to score honorable mention honors for the second straight season.
Wood posted a personal-best 19:53.90 for 32nd place, Caitie Wring added a personal-best 21:13.80 to take 58th place, Liz Tapia, a senior, placed 71st with her 21:39.10, and Emily Johnson took home 72nd with a run of 21:46.20.
Senior Jenna Miller put up a 22:46.80 to garner 80th place, and freshman Fiona Dunlop had a time of 23:19.20 for 85th place.
“I am very happy with what both the girls and guys teams have accomplished this year,” Alvarez said. “It was a heck of a season and going to the state meet one last time was a great experience.”
Alvarez is one of seven seniors who competed in their last high school meet, and joining him were Despain, Holloran, Stelzer, Wood, Miller and Tapia.
“For all the seniors, it was amazing to get to state again for one last time at Eugene,” Alvarez said. “I know we were all super-happy to make it back there and to have that many seniors on the team was a great experience. I hope what we accomplished shows the younger guys and girls the right way to do things and how important it is for them to lead by a good example. Now for the next group, I want them to see that big goals are achievable and for them to want to do even better.”
Looking ahead, coach Angela Hanson announced signups for the upcoming Athletics East winter slate.
The Junior Olympic State Meet is this Saturday, Nov. 16 at Western Oregon University and registration closes this Thursday, so anyone interested in running can send an email to Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.