WARRENTON — Large numbers, plus good athletes plus a running tradition is a good combination to have in high school cross-country, as the two Tillamook teams showed Wednesday afternoon at Camp Rilea.
The Cheesemakers cleaned up at the Cowapa League championship meet, sweeping the girls' and boys' team and individual titles in a strong tune-up for the state meet, Nov. 9 in Eugene.
Astoria will also be well-represented in Eugene.
Team-wise, the Astoria girls had four runners among the top 10 finishers to earn a solid second place in the team standings, which qualifies the Lady Fishermen for state.
“That was real exciting,” said Astoria coach Andrew Fick. “I think it's the first time since 2007 that the Astoria girls have qualified for state as a team. They've been working hard all year, and they showed up today.”
Individually, the Astoria boys will send two runners to Eugene.
Seaside's Luis Moreno initially took second overall behind Tillamook junior Marshall Bush, but Moreno was later disqualified, moving Fishermen junior Nikolai Boisvert from fifth to fourth, and Astoria freshman John Clement from sixth to a state-qualifying fifth place.
But it was Tillamook that stole the show.
On the boys side, the Cheesemakers scored 20 team points with six runners in the top 10, easily outdistancing second place Valley Catholic (54), followed by Astoria (62), Banks (115) and Seaside (124).
Bush was timed in 17 minutes, 13 seconds over the 5,000-meter course at Camp Rilea. Tillamook swept the top three spots, followed by Biosvert (18:01) and Clement (18:05).
“Nikolai ran one of his best races of the season,” Fick said. “And John had a good day, as he took another step up in the competition level as a freshman.”
Rounding out Astoria's top five were Elias Harding-Coe (15th), Tommy Laman (16th) and John Colquhoun (22nd).
Freshman Cole Jervis was officially the first finisher for the Gulls (13th, 19:07).
In the girls race, Tillamook had seven runners among the top 12 finishers, for 24 team points. Astoria was second with 48, followed by Valley Catholic (63) and Seaside (96).
Tillamook junior Sarah Pullen won in 20:08, ahead of Valley Catholic sophomore Georgia Hicken (20:20), while the Lady Fishermen were paced by junior Sophie Long, third in 20:38.
“She did great,” Fick said of Long, last spring's state champion in the 800 meters. “She's really starting to feel more comfortable with the longer distances. She and Georgia have kind of been going back and forth all year, so I was anxious to see how that would play out.”
Three more Tillamook runners finished before Astoria sophomore Lindsay Riutta crossed the line in 21:56 for seventh.
One more Tillamook runner completed the team scoring for the Mooks, and she was followed by Astoria teammates Ella Zilli (ninth, 22:19) and Allyson Pritchard (10th, 22:29).
Seaside's first runner was sophomore Elise Seppa (14th, 23:14), followed by Tara Lair (18th, 24:42), while Annalyse Steele (19th, 24:54) was Astoria's fifth runner to complete the team scoring.
Races at the state meet begin at 10 a.m., Nov. 9 at Lane Community College.