District 1/3A cross country can be a challenge, especially for a public school.
They’re outnumbered to begin with, while the private schools have historically dominated at the district and state levels.
And the 2016 season was no exception. Nor will it be in 2017, as the usuals gather at the starting line for another year.
On the girls’ side, the top three schools in last year’s district meet (Catlin Gabel, Oregon Episcopal and Southwest Christian) are the likely favorites again, in no particular order.
The top three runners in the district (defending champion Stephanie Finley from OES, and Catlin’s Maya Rayle and Lillian Fenner) all return.
Meanwhile, the Warrenton girls finished eighth out of eight teams in the district meet, but to counter that, the Warriors enter 2017 with good numbers.
That’s the good news for coach Hayley Espelund Rogers. On the other hand, the Warriors have several first-year runners and will be young, again.
Only three returners ran in last year’s varsity district meet (sophomore Kaisa Liljenwall, senior Alma Bolanos and junior Madison Kadera), with Liljenwall finishing 34th out of 64.
The Warrenton boys lost their top runner (Luke Liljenwall), and have just five athletes on the preseason roster — juniors Forrest Bigelow and Andrew Schenbeck, sophomore Darren Garnett and first-year runners Kale Moss and Lucas Thompson.
Southwest Christian, OES, Riverdale and Catlin Gabel were the top four teams in last year’s district meet, with the Warriors placing seventh.