The sophomores use personal motives to help the Cougars on their quest to end a six-year drought of state representation.

by: JEFF GOODMAN - Quinton Wiltshire runs Oct. 2 at Molalla River State Park. The standout sophomore had the third-fastest time for the Canby boys at the meet.Steven Cranston could easily complain about all the training, all the running, all the pain.

Then he thinks about his mother, Sally, who has cerebral palsy.

“It’s my mom’s birthday,” he said Oct. 2 at Molalla River State Park. “But I race for her every single day. She’s never really been able to walk by herself, so it’s kind of like I’m doing it for her.”

Quinton Wiltshire, too, could grumble about all the practice, all the hours, all the aches.

Then he thinks about his mother, Lynn, whose breast cancer is currently in remission.

“I don’t let it bother me that much,” said Wiltshire, whose mother was diagnosed a few years ago. “I do a lot of things for her, and she’s a great role model. She’s very inspirational.”

Cranston and Wiltshire have become sources of inspiration for the Canby boys cross-country team, which is vying to end a six-year drought of representation at the state championships.

Cranston crossed the finish line in 17 minutes 6.52 seconds to lead the Cougars at the recent meet on their home course, placing fifth overall. Wiltshire took 11th with a time of 17:27.23.

The standout sophomores helped Canby finish with 57 points, good for third place behind West Linn (26) and Lakeridge (47).

If aspects of their personal lives motivate them as athletes, coach Tom Millbrooke said, more power to them.

“Successful people have come from very challenging situations,” said Millbrooke, who added that Cranston and Wiltshire spent ample time running in the offseason. “They can use it to their advantage. They have to deal with it as best as they can, and if it helps them running, that’s fine.”

Both Cranston and Wiltshire clocked career-best times Sept. 21 in Oregon City. Cranston ran a 16:41.15, and Wiltshire crossed the finish line in 16:52.59. Those marks put them in the top 16 in the Three Rivers League, whose district championships are slated for Oct. 23.

And it seems the efforts of the two sophomores have motivated other members of the program.

“Steven and Quin are showing spirit for the team,” said senior Morgan Webber, who was second for Canby and ninth overall with a time of 17:16.83. “And it’s something that everyone notices.”

At the team’s Sept. 28 meet at Kah-Nee-Ta Resort, Wiltshire started humming along as the Bend-Summit boys sang “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” before the race. Then Cranston started singing the tune.

“Pretty soon, the whole Canby team was singing their song,” Webber said.

The Cougars made a joke of it by belting out the jingle at the starting line before their Oct. 2 race. All five of their scoring runners on the boys side ended up placing in the top 18 that day.

On the girls side, sophomore Ginny Link had Canby’s fastest time with a 21:47.29. She placed 13th out of 56 runners.

“I just felt really good,” she said. “I usually try to conserve my energy and then push at the end, and that’s what happened.”

The Cougars tallied 117 points to take fifth behind meet champion St. Mary’s Academy (38), Lakeridge (44), West Linn (63) and Barlow (94).



Oct. 2 at Molalla River State Park

BOYS (team scores): 1. West Linn, 26; 2. Lakeridge, 47; 3. Canby, 57; 4. Barlow, 97.

Canby (top five): 5. Steven Cranston, 17:06.52; 9. Morgan Webber, 17:16.83; 11. Quinton Wiltshire, 17:27.23; Brendan Seehaver, 17:35.36; Ethan Patterson, 17:39.67.

GIRLS (team scores): 1. St. Mary’s Academy, 38; 2. Lakeridge, 44; 3. West Linn, 63; 4. Barlow, 94; 5. Canby, 117.

Canby (top five): 13. Ginny Link, 21:47.29; 18. Hannah Stobie, 22:03.17; 28. Sarah Dietrich, 22:30.70; 36. Sarah Gent, 22:54.46; 38. Shaillyn Hestand, 23:07.99.

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