TILLAMOOK — The Astoria girls cross country team is ranked 10th in the state at the Class 4A level.
Unfortunately for the Lady Fishermen, Tillamook and Scappoose are ranked first and second. And that’s how it played out Thursday at Alderbrook Golf Course in Tillamook, where the Cheesemakers hosted the Cowapa League championships.
The Lady Mooks had the home course advantage, and used that edge to win the girls’ Cowapa League team title. The top four Tillamook runners finished in the top six spots to score 26 team points, ahead of Scappoose (42), Astoria (74) and Valley Catholic (89). Banks and Seaside did not field complete teams.
Valley Catholic won the boys’ team championship with 31 points, ahead of Tillamook (43), Scappoose (72), Seaside (126), Astoria (132) and Banks (135).
The top two teams and top five runners in each race qualify for next week’s state meet at Lane Community College.
The North Coast will have one representative in Eugene, as Seaside senior Rafi Sibony placed third to qualify. Sibony covered the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 53 seconds to finish behind Scappoose senior John Kavulich and Valley Catholic senior Nate Schmidlin.
Beau Johnson was the next highest finisher for the Gulls, placing 23rd in 18:40.
The Astoria boys — who did not have a senior among their seven runners — were led by freshmen Cameron VanRaden (19th, 18:32) and Nikolai Boisvert (25th, 19:16).
On the girls’ side, Tillamook sophomore Solace Bergeron won in 18:41, just ahead of Scappoose senior Linnaea Kavulich (18:44).
Senior McKenzie Burnett was Astoria’s top placer, finishing ninth in 20:45.
Teammate Sophie Long was 12th in 21:41, followed by Kathy Perez (17th, 23:02).
The Lady Fishermen will return strong next season (and for the next three years), with Long, Emma Roe (19th) and Abigail Groncki (20th) all freshmen.
“It is definitely tough to miss state qualifying for our girls, but I’m still really happy with with how we ran and the effort that they gave,” said Astoria coach Andrew Fick. “We came in as underdogs, knowing that we were running against championship level competition and really went for it, but today just wasn’t our day to finish in the top two.”
Junior Ana Rojas was Seaside’s top finisher, 26th in 25:39.
Knappa runner advances to state
BEAVERTON — In the Class 3A/2A/1A District 1 cross country meet Thursday at Tualatin Hills Recreation Center, Knappa’s Robert Piña-Morton continued his big season, finishing fourth out of 90 runners, crossing the finish line in 17 minutes, 52 seconds, to qualify for next week’s state meet.
Just a sophomore, Piña-Morton became the first Knappa runner since Stevie Allen in 2007 to qualify for state. He will also be the top returning runner in the district next season, as the top three finishers in Thursday’s race were all seniors. Oregon Episcopal’s Jack Casalino took first in 17:07.
Riverdale won the boys’ team title, while OES won the girls’ championship.
The Knappa boys had just three runners and did not score as a team. Sophomore Kale Moss was Warrenton’s top finisher (24th, 19:44.99), finishing just behind Jewell senior Thomas Meehan (23rd, 19:44.91).
On the girls’ side, Catlin Gabel senior Maya Rayle was the individual winner (19:21).
Junior Adriana Dejesus led Warrenton (19th, 23:13), with sophomore Kaisa Liljenwall 25th (24:09), as the Warriors scored 130 points to take fourth out of six teams.