Times fall at Champoeg Invitational
The shorthanded Tigers are prepped for the stretch run of their season after placing fourth at their own meet
Despite missing key runners in both races, Newberg nonetheless proved something to itself as a slew of runners set new personal bests to help the Tigers place fourth in the boys race and sixth in the girls event at the Champoeg Invitational on Saturday.
Psychologically, the performance was more important for the boys, as all five runners that entered the varsity race improved their career-best times, led by senior Dan Harpers ninth-place finish in 17:10.8.
Not only did Harper finally top the time he set last year, but has now run three of the four fastest races of his life in the past three events.
His goal is to get under 17 this year and hes in good shape to do that, head coach Bruce Sinkbeil said. Hes got four races left and a couple of them are on pretty decent courses, so it will be fun to see if he can pull that out. The other two guys are right there, too, so our 1-2-3 right now is pretty decent.
Newberg ran without Michael Miller, who was taking the SATs, and Wesley Chambers, who is out with compartment syndrome in his calves, but senior Harrison Carsh and freshman Quinton Read turned in solid times of 17:21.9 and 17:36.6 to place 12th and 16th, respectively.
Aerie Baxter, who just recently began running varsity, stepped up to record an 18:17.0 and place 34th, with senior Jared Read just over 10 seconds back (18:27.7) in 39th to round out the scoring.
In addition, Sean Ramos finished fourth in the junior varsity race at 18:13.2, which would have placed him fourth on the team in the varsity race.
I think theyre coming along pretty well, Sinkbeil said. Theyre running a lot and it was a really good day for them. They kind of needed something to boost them up a bit and make them see they have a better team than they thought they did. And they do.
Wilson cruised to the team win with 38 points in a blazing fast overall race, a fact that was hammered home when race winner Ahmed Ibrahim tied the meet record (set by NHS grad and current ultra-mountain runner Sage Canaday in 2003) by crossing in 15:36.8 to lead Reynolds (60) to second. He was three seconds off the course record, which has stood since Newbergs Todd Washburn set in while winning a dual meet in the late 1980s.
The Newberg girls were without twin sisters Debora and Rebeca DeLeon, who do not compete on Saturdays for religious reasons, but saw their top three runners record new personal bests.
Savannah Stanton (20:30.8) and Margaret Halstead (20:40.0) finished in 12th and 13th, respectively, with freshman Grace Hanna just behind in 16th (20:45.7).
Those top three girls all got PRs, which is really good because they all three had PRs on that last Wednesday meet (Sept. 25), Sinkbeil said. And they were kind of significant PRs, getting under 21 and all. Savannah had done that, but Margaret and Grace hadnt. To come back in the next meet and even improve on that is a pretty good sign. We had a pretty good workout week, so its not like theyre running on rested legs yet, either. Thats pretty encouraging.
Nicole Fawver was 47th in 22.27.1 and Kristie McWilliams placed 52nd in 23:06.3 as the Tigers finished with 122 points. Had the DeLeons raced and slotted in where they normally do (often first and second on the team), Newberg would have been right in the hunt for the team title with Wilson (66), Sherwood (70) and Clackamas (73).
Because the Tigers will have a quick turnaround to compete in the Sandelie Golf Course XC Classic Friday, Sinkbeil said his runners wont push hard in a dual meet versus Hillsboro at home Wednesday. Neither team is likely to be pushed by the Spartans, so the emphasis will be to take it a bit easy considering they will be in the midst of a stretch of three races in seven days.
The Friday meet will have like 30 teams over at the golf course at Sandelie, Sinkbeil said. Its the first year theyve had it and that will be a fast course, all on grass. That will be a chance for some of these kids to crank it up again and go fast.
Newberg will then be off until Oct. 16, when the girls will look to hold off Tigard and Tualatin to remain unbeaten and secure the leagues dual-meet title heading into the district meet Oct. 24 at Clackamas Community College.