The Knappa boys cross-country team scored its first league title since 2005, as the Loggers ran to victory Thursday afternoon at Vernonia in the Northwest League championships.
The no-surprise part of the win came from senior Robert Piña-Morton, who collected his third straight individual title by winning the 5,000-meter race.
It was Knappa’s depth that made the difference, said coach Stan Sporseen.
“(Finn) Corcoran, (Clay) Keyser, (Ethan) Smalley and (Shane) McMahan really pushed it big to make the difference,” he said. “For a really young group, they are not afraid to get after it.”
Corcoran, Keyser and Smalley are freshmen, and McMahan is a sophomore.
Piña-Morton will now contend for an individual state title Nov. 1, while the Knappa boys finished with 45 points to win Thursday’s league title.
Nestucca was second with 64, followed by Vernonia (71), Neah-Kah-Nie (79), Columbia Christian (131) and Faith Bible (136).
Neah-Kah-Nie won the girls’ team title over Vernonia, the only two scoring teams.
Piña-Morton won Thursday’s race in 17 minutes, .6 seconds.
Jared Doyle of Columbia Christian was a distant second (18:15), followed by Knappa freshman Isaiah Rodriguez (18:23).
Corcoran was 13th in 19:41, Keyser placed 22nd (20:11), followed closely by Smalley (24th, 20:15) and McMahan (29th, 20:25).
Sophomore Jordan White of Neah-Kah-Nie was the girls’ individual champion in 20:11, with Knappa freshman Emily Larson placing 13th in 24:29.