by: TIMES PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - The Aloha boys cross country team took fourth place a the 6A cross country state championships on Saturday.

At Saturday’s Class 6A state cross country meet, Aloha senior Devin Sellers finished 38 spots higher than he did at last year’s state meet, and improved his time by more than a minute.

But after the race, which was held at Lane Community College in Eugene, Sellers did not choose to focus on his personal accomplishments. Rather, he wanted to talk about how great it was to have his team there with him.

“Last year I felt like I was just sitting around, waiting forever, spinning myself into a mental spiral,” said Sellers, the only Aloha runner who qualified for state last year. “Having them here today, it was like home. Everyone was here. It was normal. Everything was right.”

This year marked the first since 1987 that Aloha boys cross country qualified for state as a team.

“It was a great accomplishment for us,” said senior Joel Kramer, who finished 37th overall in 16:41. “We worked so hard during the summer. We always had that one goal to go to state as a team. Last year, we kind of let Devin down.”

“I would have killed to have my team here (last year),” said Sellers, who finished 56th last year and 16th on Saturday. “This year, we got it. We made it our goal and we ended our senior year extremely well.”by: TIMES PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - Aloha senior cross country runner Glapougbae Garmondeh helped the Warrior boys place fourth overall as a team at state.

The Warriors raced to a fourth-place finish in the team standings, finishing tied with West Linn with 148 points. Though Sellers, who clocked in at 16:07, was Aloha’s only runner to place in the top 35, all seven Warriors placed in the top 62 - a testament to their lineup’s balance, considering the field consisted of 107 runners.

Six of the seven Warriors who ran on Saturday were seniors. Kramer said the team’s chemistry helped propel them to state.

“We’ve always been close,” Kramer said. “Me and Daniel (Rodriguez) ran freshmen year, and then sophomore year the rest of them joined us. It was really great to have that close group to run with, always knowing that they’re there with you.”

Sophomore Luis Torres was the only non-senior to run for the Warriors. He finished in 55th-place with a time of 16:57, seven seconds behind Aloha’s No. 3 finisher —senior Brent Marsonette (46th in 16:50).by: TIMES PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - Aloha senior cross country runner Daniel Rodriguez strives for the finish line at the 6A cross country state championships on Saturday.

Aloha’s five-through-seven finishers all crossed the line within six seconds of one another.

Rodriguez finished 58th in 17:01, while seniors Glapougbae Garmondeh and Glapoujay Garmondeh placed 59th and 62nd, respectively.

Aloha was the only Metro League school that sent a team to state, but Jesuit senior Sam Remington was the league’s highest individual TIMES PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - Sunset junior cross country runner Maneet Kharia placed 32nd overall at the 6A state cross country championships on Saturday.

Remington, who finished 18th at state last year and 35th as a sophomore, snagged a spot on the top-10 podium by finishing 10th with a time of 15:59. Four runners crossed the finish line within four seconds of Remington crossing it.

Fellow Jesuit senior Sahil Doshi was the Metro League’s No. 2 finisher.

Running at state for the first time, Doshi finished 15th with a time of 16:05. Also representing the Crusaders, sophomore Max Hite clocked in at 17:01, good for 57th-place.

Sunset junior Maneet Khaira, the only Metro League participant not from Aloha or Jesuit, finished 32nd in 16:38.

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