Three local cross-country teams at three different levels, all competing for three different district championships Thursday and Friday.
It’s that time of year, when districts and leagues across the state compete to find out who’s the best, and which teams will represent districts at the upcoming state meet, Nov. 6 in Eugene.
At the 4A level, the Astoria and Seaside cross-country teams will compete Thursday at Alderbrook Golf Course in Tillamook, host for this year’s Cowapa League championships.
The Astoria boys are projected to finish second behind Valley Catholic, with Astoria junior John Clement holding the seventh-best time over 5,000 meters (17 minutes, 37.3 seconds), followed by junior Thomas Laman (ninth), junior John Colquhoun (11th) and seniors Daniel Messing (14th) and Elias Harding-Coe (16th). Seaside sophomore James Roehr has the fifth-best time in the league.
In the girls race, Astoria junior Ella Zilli has the fourth-fastest time (20:55), behind three Valley Catholic runners.
The Valiants are also the girls’ favorites, ahead of Tillamook, Seaside and Astoria.
In 3A cross-country, the expectations are high for the Warrenton boys, after the Warriors finished fourth in last spring’s unofficial state meet.
And the only way to go is up for Warrenton, which will be in the running for a state title Nov. 6, with six of its top seven runners returning from last season.
Senior Zander Moha (second-fastest district time of 16:29) will battle for the individual title, followed by seniors Phoenix Martin, Nathan Streibeck and Erik Cooley (11th, 12th and 13th).
The District 1 3A meet will be held Friday at Sherwood Middle School, along with the District 1 2A/1A championship.
The best hopes for a local state title this year belong to the Knappa boys.
The team built by Stan Sporseen and now under the direction of Amanda Isom, Knappa is the favorite to win the District 1 2A meet, and the Loggers are one of the primary contenders for a state title — with no seniors on the roster.
How tough is district? In the recent Logger Invitational, the top three boys teams were Knappa, Vernonia and Neah-Kah-Nie, who all finished ahead of 4A Estacada and Warrenton, the fifth-ranked team at the 3A level.
Statewide, the Knappa boys are projected to finish third in the state meet behind Bandon and Union, with Logger junior Isaiah Rodriguez the favorite to win the individual title.