GERVAIS — The Astoria girls cross country team remains unbeaten over the second half of the season, as the Lady Fishermen won again Saturday.
Astoria took first place in the Bronze Division team standings of the George Fox Classic, held at Willamette Mission State Park.
The Lady Fishermen tied for first in team scoring with Stayton, but a tiebreaker between the sixth runners of each school gave the win to Astoria, with Libbie Nash placing 31st ahead of Stayton’s Cailyn Riordan (38th).
McKenzie Burnett was Astoria’s top finisher, covering the 5,000-meter course in a personal best 20 minutes, 34 seconds, for eighth overall.
Sophie Long placed 12th in 20:58, one second off her personal best; Kathy Perez ran a 40-second PR (21:36); Emma Roe and Abby Gronki also had personal best marks (22:01 and 22:13, respectively); and McKenna Long rounded out the varsity team with a PR time of 23:29.
The Lady Fishermen are ranked eighth in the state at the Class 4A level, and rising as they near the postseason races.
On the boys’ side, Seaside’s Rafi Sibony was eighth overall in 16:51, out of 149 runners. The Gulls did not field enough runners to place as a team.
The day was full of personal records for the Astoria boys, who finished 11th out of 19 teams.
The top finisher for the Fishermen was freshman Nikolai Boisvert (50th, 18:37). Teammate William Berezay also had a personal best (63rd, 18:53).
“It was another great day for us, and another day of big improvements,” said Astoria coach Andrew Fick. “Anytime we’re having 19 PRs in a day, that’s something to be happy about. I was really impressed to see a lot of our guys stepping up today and running really great races.”
For the Astoria girls, “they just keep running stronger and faster,” Fick said. “I know that some of them came in a little tired today since we’ve been training really hard this past week, but they went out there and worked together to run great races and come out with the team win.
“I’m really pleased with how everyone ran, though seeing Libbie PR by almost a minute and have that be the difference for the team coming home with first place is pretty incredible. It really highlights that this is a team sport, and even though everyone is out there running their own race, they’re also part of something bigger.”
The Lady Fishermen are behind Tillamook and Scappoose in the state rankings, but Astoria could be running as the favorite by the time of the Cowapa League championship meet, Oct. 26 in Tillamook.