SALEM — Bolstered by senior Casey Novak's first appearance of the season, the Newberg girls cross-country team ran away with the title at the Saxon Invite Saturday at Bush Park.
Novak led a pack of three Tigers who placed in the top 10, boosting Newberg to an easy win with 69 team points, 32 points ahead of runner-up La Center, Wash.
Crossing in 20:15.15, Novak placed sixth overall, with fellow senior Savanna Salmons taking eighth with a new personal-best time of 20:24.66 and sophomore Abigail Hein finishing ninth in 20:25.68.
"They ran really well," said NHS coach Bruce Sinkbeil. "That was Casey's first race and everybody else's second race. Savanna has had a heck of a summer and track season, so she's in pretty good shape right now."
A state qualifier last year, Novak's primary sport is soccer, so she is often not available for midweek races, but speaking to the team's improved depth this season, Sinkbeil noted Newberg still would have won without her.
"It would have been about a three or four-point win, so that makes them feel good too," he said. "It was a good win and to have three in the top 10 was pretty nice."
Junior Bailey Sherwood was fourth for the Tigers and 25th overall in 22:11.20, with sister Rachel, a sophomore, right on her tail in 27th (22:11.70).
If there was any disappointment from the meet, it was the gap between Newberg's third and fourth runners, but the good news is that there are a number of girls competing for the fourth and fifth spots on the team. That includes Macy Showalter (31st in 22.22.53), Jaci Smith (33rd in 22:31.24) and Elise Fawver, who sat out the meet due to illness.
"Almost two minutes between our third and fourth is the thing we're going to work on and they know that," Sinkbeil said.
Led by James Busch, who placed 19th in 17:36.81, the boys placed eighth with 182 points. The Tigers were without Hunter Whitehead, one of just three returning varsity runners on the squad, but saw senior returner Carson Herrick take 34th (18:08.71) and varsity newcomer Hunter Bensman place 38th (18:13.48).
The good news for the boys is that the gap between their first and fifth runner was just 1:14.
"They have a ways to go, but they have a good workout group that is fairly close," Sinkbeil said. "It will be kind of fun to watch how they develop."
St. Paul 3, Regis 0 — The Bucks swept an otherwise close match 25-15, 25-21, 25-22 Sept. 5 in Stayton, getting 11 kills from Isabelle Wyss and nine digs from Emma Connor.
Canby 3, Newberg 1 — After the Cougars (6-0, 4-0 Three Rivers League) won the first set 25-17, the Tigers won the second 25-17 to hand Canby its first set loss of the season. The home side went on to win the third 25-19 and the fourth 25-11 at its Sept. 7 match.
Jewell 3, C.S. Lewis Academy 0 — The Watchmen fell 25-5, 25-7, 25-11 at home Saturday. CSLA (0-4, 0-2 Casco League) will travel to Crosshill Christian Friday for a 7 p.m. contest.
Grant Union 2, St. Paul 1 — In a rematch of last year's 2A state quarterfinals, the Prospectors once again got the upper hand, prevailing 23-25, 25-17, 15-13 in a tight match. Wyss led the Bucks with 10 kills and Marley Martinez dished out 18 assists Saturday in the opening contest of the Les Schwab Reedsport Invitational.
St. Paul 2, Oakridge 1 — The Bucks got seven kills from Erin Counts, 10 digs from Logan Robinson, five aces from Connor and 14 assists from Martinez in a 25-14, 27-29, 15-9 win.
North Douglas 2, St. Paul 1 — The Bucks won the opening set 25-17, but fell 25-23 and 15-10 to drop their final match of the tournament. Wyss notched a team-high eight kills and Robinson totaled five kills, eight digs and three aces for St. Paul (3-2).
Tigard 3, Newberg 0 — Tigard (2-2, 2-1 TRL) left McGrath Gymnasium Monday night with a 25-16, 25-14, 25-20 sweep. Newberg (0-3, 0-3) will play in the Century Tournament on Saturday.
Cascade Invitational — The St. Paul girls placed second out of the four teams to post team scores, finishing with 48 points to finish runner-up to host Cascade (33) Sept. 7 in Turner. Rachel Vela paced the Bucks, placing 12th overall and sixth in team scoring after crossing in 25:37. Jackie Diaz was 16th overall and eighth in team scoring at 26:42, with Taysha Veeman also cracking the top 20 overall (19th 27:20) for St. Paul, which has a full girls team for the first time in many years. In all, nine teams entered runners in the girls race. Led by freshman Broden Lear, who was 20th overall in 19:38, the Bucks placed seventh out of nine teams with 178 points. St. Paul will race again Sept. 20 at the Big Cross Portland event at Pat's Acres in Canby.
Tualatin Invite — Veritas was eighth overall in both the boys and girls events, but was the top finisher on both sides among teams in the 3A/2A/1A classification. Cam McChesney was ninth overall in 17:23 to lead the Watchmen boys, with Chloe Wassei pacing the Veritas girls with a 36th-place finish in 23:01.
Aloha 3, Newberg 2 — After falling behind in the 21st minute, senior Casey Novak scored the equalizer for the Tigers, finishing an attack that was initially prompted by Ashley Morse. Newberg (0-2) fell behind 10 minutes later after surrendering a penalty kick and Aloha added a third goal on the counter attack. Maggie Hodgdon made it 3-2 with a goal around the 65th minute, but the Warriors (1-2) held on from there.
Newberg 2, Roosevelt 0 — The Tigers dominated play in the first half, but missed a penalty kick to leave the contest scoreless after 40 minutes.
Nick Carsh broke the deadlock in the second half on a great individual effort, according to head coach M.J. Tate, and freshman Christian Morales converted a second penalty kick to secure the result.
Girls water polo
Newberg 16, Southridge 0 — Nicki Rubottom and Paris Boileau paced the Tigers with three goals apiece, with keepers Grace Kavanagh and Maile Walls combining for the shutout Sept. 5.
Newberg 16, Sunset 3 — Mackenzie Russell poured in five goals and assisted in two others Thursday at home. Jordan Trantham added four goals and Kavanagh had eight saves.
Newberg 8, South Eugene 2 — Boileau, Rubottom and Russell scored two goals apiece Saturday in Newberg's first road contest of the season. The Tigers led 3-0 at halftime, then scored four times in the third quarter to pull away.
Newberg 16, Hillsboro 3 — Hailey Day exploded for five goals Monday at the Chehalem Aquatic Center. Rubottom also had four goals, with Natalie Kisling and Trantham chipping in two goals apiece for Newberg (6-0).