Astoria girls cross-country team

The Astoria girls cross-country team with their latest team trophy.

The entire Astoria cross-country team set season bestsand the Lady Fishermen finished fourth in the team standings at the Nike Portland XC meet Saturday in Gresham.

Astoria continues to move up the state and league rankings following another strong showing. All 20 Astoria runners had season-best marks for their races, including 11 personal records on the soggy grass and gravel courses at Blue Lake Park.

The Astoria girls finished fourth out of 20 teams, which included schools from Oregon and Washington as well as Cowapa League rival Valley Catholic.

Sophie Long led the way for Astoria, running with the lead pack for much of the race and placing eighth out of 142 runners in a time of 20 minutes, 29 seconds.

She was followed by freshman teammate Ella Zilli (16th, 21:18), junior Allyson Pritchard (40th, 22:08) and sophomore Lindsay Riutta (50th, 22:21). Annalyse Steele rounded out Astoria’s scoring five (25:04).

The Astoria boys were missing one of their top runners, Nikolai Boisvert, but stepped up to fill the gap with five of their six running all-time bests for a 5,000 meter race.

John Clement was Astoria’s top finisher (45th, 18:02), followed by Elias Harding-Coe (18:53), Jack Colquhoun (18:59), Tommy Laman (19:04), Jacob Matlock (19:41) and Cole Hudnall (20:21). Astoria boys finished 12th out of 20 teams.

In the 5,000-meter small school race, Knappa’s Robert Piña-Morton took fourth in 16:48, out of 136 runners.

“I was really happy to see so many season bests and PRs for the day,” said Astoria coach Andrew Fick. “More and more we’re running as a team. Today was a great stepping stone and a confidence builder towards what I know we’re capable of.

“I know for some of our younger runners these big meets can provide a lot of valuable experience in race tactics, and it’s great to see them approach each race as a learning opportunity and a way to continue to improve.”

Astoria races at the Trojan Relays Thursday.

“Seeing them step up and run aggressively is a good sign of positive things to come,” Fick said. “We have a good mindset, we keep improving, and the combination of what we’re doing in our workouts and our races is setting up for a solid second half of the season.”

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or ghenley@dailyastorian.com.

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