Reynolds boys and Gresham girls punch tickets to Eugene

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Central Catholics Kyle Thompson checks his watch near the first mile-marker, while Ahmed Ibrahim of Reynolds and Ahmed Muhumed of David Douglas keep pace.The time it takes for you to press your remote and see your television come on is all the time that separated Reynolds and David Douglas in their battle for a spot at the 6A state cross country meet.

While Central Catholic ran away with the team title as expected, the Raiders and Scots were caught in a battle for second that couldn’t have been much closer. Reynolds carried a slight advantage throughout the race and hit the finish line with 70 points — one ahead of the Scots. The difference coming with the team’s final scoring runners where Grant Turner of Reynolds beat his David Douglas counterpart to the line by several strides — 1.4 seconds.

Central Catholic packed its entire varsity lineup into the top 10 overall to win with a team tally of 23 points. Kyle Thompson won the race in 15:17.50, overcoming a late challenge that saw Reynolds’ Ahmed Ibrahim take a brief lead with about a kilometer to go.

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Greshams Leah Russell makes a turn on the track, heading into the final loop on the course, while a pack of runners chase from behind.

• St. Mary’s ran away from the pack on the girls side finishing with 20 points — just five short of a perfect score.

That left Gresham, Reynolds and David Douglas in a tight battle for the last state berth. When the scores were tallied just eight points would separate the group.

In the end, it took a furious finish for Gresham to earn the spot. The Gophers hit the track for the final 300 meters trailing Reynolds by two points, but Gresham’s No. 4 racer Emily Rose caused a five-point shift in the team score in her sprint to the finish. She moved up three spots overall, overtaking a pair of green shirts along the way.

Leah Russell led the Gophers in sixth place overall, covering the 5K course in 19:43.30.

St. Mary’s senior Paige Rice spent most of the race by herself well ahead of the field. She crossed through the finish line in 18:19.9.

Look for expanded race coverage of both the boys and girls meets in the Friday, Oct. 25, print edition, along with a full list of the top-25 finishers.

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