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PREP WATCH: Central Catholic finishes 19th at Nike Cross Nationals

by: PORTLAND TRIBUNE: DAVID BALL - Central Catholic's Kyle Thompson comes into the finishing area after placing 40th. The Central Catholic boys cross country team finished the season under frigid conditions Saturday with a top-20 finish at the Nike XC Nationals at Portland Meadows.

The Rams, who garnered an at-large invite into the prestigious meet, scored 375 points to take 19th in the elite 22-team field.

Senior Kyle Thompson was the top local placer, coming through the line 40th after covering the 5K circuit in 15:39.

“It’s nice to have the whole team taking part this year,” Thompson said. “But I’m a little disappointed in how I ran, and that’s tough when you train all season to get here. I executed my plan well, but maybe I just didn’t have it today.”

Ahmed Ibrahim out of Reynolds High was a few seconds behind, coming in 45th at 15:41.

Central Catholic’s Sam Truax (78th, 16:04), Sam Lomax (126th, 16:28), Gunner Vik (146th, 16:35) and Zackeria Lavier (175th, 16:57) rounded out Central Catholic’s scoring five, while Daniel Thompson (176th, 16:58) and Jean Baptist Tooley (187th, 17:23) filled the team’s support spots.

The race was contested in sub-freezing temperatures, but that didn’t seem to faze the racers, most of them in shorts and stocking caps.

“I got a good warm-up in and didn’t even notice it,” Thompson said, of the cold. “You’re only out there for 15 minutes, it’s not like you’re going to get frostbite.”

by: PORTLAND TRIBUNE: DAVID BALL - Central Catholics Zackeria Lavier leads a pack of runners around a turn on the Portland Meadows course Saturday.

It proved to be a big day for the Northwest Region, with Gig Harbor, Wash., winning the team title by 28 points over Lincroft, NJ. Wolfgang Beck led the Harbor side, taking sixth overall. The team came through with an average time of 15:35 — 13 seconds faster than its East Coast challengers.

Taylor Wilmot of North Spokane, Wash., won the race in a record-setting time of 15:00. Teammate Tanner Anderson was about 50 meters back in third in 15:09.

On the girls side, Wayzata High of Minnesota won the team crown with 108 points, beating Manlius of New York by 12 points.

Camas High standout Alexa Efraimson won the race in 16:50.1. Grant's Ella Donaghu took ninth.