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Sunset stakes claim to state Crown

by: TIMES PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - The Sunset girls cross country team took first overall at the 6A State Championships at Lane Community College on Saturday with 56 team points.

Shortly before Saturday’s Class 6A state cross country meet, the Sunset girls team had a talk.

“We all kind of talked about how good we could do today and what we were capable of,” said Apollo sophomore Nicole Griffiths, a key member of last year’s Sunset team that placed fourth at state.

If they all ran their “best race possible” on Saturday, senior Charlotte Corless said, they had a good chance to capture the team title.

Then, they went out and did just that, placing three runners in the top 15 and five runners in the top 26 to finish with 56 points, 15 ahead of second place St. Mary’s Academy.

“I definitely had our team on my mind when I was racing,” said Corless, who led the Apollos with a fourth place individual finish and a time of 18:29.

Corless, the Apollos’ top runner at state each of the past two years, said she was hoping for a top-three finish after finishing eighth last year.

“I guess I lost focus of that (goal) in the last mile, but overall it was a good race,” Corless said. “A lot of good competition.”

Griffiths finished three spots outside of the top 10 a year ago, and said that was a motivating factor on Saturday.

“I was thinking (top 10) the whole time,” Griffiths said. “The last mile was really hard, I really pushed it. I knew I had a good kick and could get people on the track, so I just focused on that.”

Sophomore Audrey Huelskamp finished 15th overall for the Apollos, while senior Hailey Francis and sophomore Isabel Huelskamp crossed the line one second apart to place 25th and 26th, respectively. Sophomore Amanda Calderwood (51st in 20:28) and junior Kendall Butz (54th in 20:38) rounded out Sunset’s seven-runner lineup.by: TIMES PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - Sunset senior Charlotte Corless took third at the 6A State Championships on Saturday and helped the Apollo girls place first overall.

“I think we all did really well,” Griffiths said.

Jesuit’s girls’ team, the Metro League’s other state qualifier, finished fourth overall with 99 points. The Crusaders were led four top-30 finishers: junior Dylan Hite (18th in 19:19), sophomore Nicole McCullough (22nd in 19:26), junior Hannah Harkness (29th in 19:59) and sophomore Aimee Piercy (30th in 19:59).

Beaverton junior Erin Gregoire, who finished 12th at state as a freshman and 23rd last year, earned a spot on the top-10 podium by placing ninth with a time of 18:51.

“It’s kind of been my goal all three years, to get top 10,” Gregoire said. “I had a pretty bad race last year and I wanted to redeem myself.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - Beaverton junior Erin Gregoire placed ninth at the 6A State Championships on Saturday.

Around the two-mile mark, Gregoire wasn’t sure she was going to be able to achieve her goal.

“I was able to get out pretty well, but the second mile I kind of became an island and there wasn’t really anybody around me,” she said. “That really worried me, but I was able to make up some ground in the third mile.”

Two other Metro League runners there as individuals turned in quality performances. Aloha senior Allison Martinez, who was making her first state appearance, finished 12th in 18:58. Westview senior Sarah Medved, making her third state appearance, finished 21st in 19:26.




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  • 18 Dec 2014

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