The Astoria cross-country team opened the 2019 season Saturday in the annual “Ultimook Race,” held at the Hydrangea Ranch just outside Tillamook.
The Astoria girls brought home their third straight trophy from the meet with a fourth-place team finish out of 18 scoring teams. On the boys’ side, Astoria placed seventh out of 34 scoring teams, the highest finish for the Fishermen since 2015.
Sophie Long had Astoria’s highest individual finish, taking sixth out of 158 runners in the girls’ 5,000-meter race. Long crossed the finish line in 21 minutes, 7 seconds.
Freshman teammate Ella Zilli took 23rd (23:16), with Lindsay Riutta, Allyson Pritchard, Emma Roe, Annalyse Steele and McKenna Long rounding out Astoria’s varsity seven.
Tillamook was the team champion with 71 points, followed by Philomath (72), Stayton (113) and Astoria (131). Seaside was 13th.
For the Astoria boys, freshman John Clement had the top finish for the Fishermen, clocking an 18:14 for 19th overall out of 241 runners.
He was followed closely by junior teammate Nikolai Boisvert (22nd, 18:20). Jack Colquhoun, Elias Harding Coe, Jacob Matlock and Cole Hudnall rounded out Astoria’s varsity roster.
Newport was the team champion with 79 points, followed by Philomath and Columbia River.
Knappa was 20th and Seaside placed 25th. Logger senior Robert Piña-Morton was 16th overall in 18:02. Seaside’s Luis Moreno was 34th (18:49).
“The day was full of a lot of positives,” said Astoria coach Andrew Fick. “We had a lot of good races, and some of our runners had big improvements from last year.
“Overall the atmosphere is a lot of fun, and the course is exciting with a mud pit and river crossings,” he said. “Some of our runners were bogged down in a pretty swampy mud pit this year, which affected our individual and team finishes.”
Fick said, “I’m feeling excited about the potential that we have for this season. There is a lot of strength in the way that we can stay positive and keep moving, even if we hit a challenge. Today was both a good learning day and a good stepping stone for the races we have coming up.”
Astoria competes in the Logger Elk Run, which takes place Saturday near Jewell.