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Area squads run well at New Balance Invitational

MONMOUTH - It was a good day for the area high school cross country teams.

The Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood squads all found some success at the New Balance Invitational, held Saturday at Western Oregon University.

The Tualatin and Tigard girls teams finished in fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the Sweepstakes Division at the meet.

The Wolves were fifth place with 130 points. Only one Oregon team, Sunset, which was fourth with 115 points, finished ahead of the Tualatin girls.

'I was pleased with being so close to Sunset, who was third at the state meet last year,' Tualatin coach Paul Zitzelsberger said. 'We need to close the gap between our third and our fourth and fifth runners.'

Freshman Emily Wheeler led the way for the Tualatin girls, she finished in 12th place, individually, with a time of 19 minutes, 58.0 seconds for the 5,000-meter race.

Timberwolf junior Devon Frazier was 11th at 20:03.2, junior Kelsey Stilson was 22nd at 20:24.2, senior Jeanette Jones was 39th at 21:08.0 and junior Hannah Points ran to 42nd with a time of 21:14.3.

The Tigard girls finished in sixth place with a team score of 140 points.

Junior Sarah Walch paced the Tigers, finishing 14th with a mark of 19:59.2. Junior Cassie Carroll was 18th with a time of 20:08.8, senior Ellie Bradley ran to 23rd at 20:28.0, junior Ali Davis was 26th at 20:38.3 and sophomore Stephanie Fekete was 59th at 21:43.6.

The Tigard boys finished in ninth place in the Sweepstakes Division with 236 points.

Senior Michael Hinds ran to 28th place for the Tigers in 17:08.4. Senior Nick Lennartz was 37th at 17:17.3, senior Jerry Carroll was 48th at 17:32.2, senior Brian Westlund was 54th at 17:40.9 and sophomore Dylan Hallums was 69th at 18:07.2.

The Tualatin boys, competing in the Invitational Division, were sixth in the team standings with 158 points.

Sophomore Timothy Plunkett was the Wolves' top finisher, placing 12th at 17:10.1. Sophomore Will Downey was 19th at 17:19.3, senior Gary Roberson was 21st at 17:21.7, sophomore Kevin Oliver was 39th at 17:55.3 and senior Michael Nelson was 67th at 18:39.3.

'The meet was a good early-season test,' Tualatin boys coach Jim Edson said. 'I was pleased with the efforts. We are going to work on closing the gaps between our fourth and the fifth, sixth and seventh runners.'

The Sherwood boys were right behind the Timberwolves in the team standings with 172 points.

Junior Joel Hale led the way for the Bowmen, running to 20th place in 17:19.8. Sherwood junior Brantley Miller-Stecher was 31st at 17:39.8, Greg Lemay was 33rd at 17:42.3, sophomore Luke Widows was 34th at 17:43.0 and senior Peter Reid was 54th at 18:16.1

The Sherwood girls, competing without defending state champion Ilsa Paulson, were sixth in the Invitational Division with 188 points.

Sophomore Marissa Ranno paced the Lady Bowmen, finishing 14th at 21:10.5. She was followed by fellow sophomores Kristin Oenning (19th at 21:33.1), Katie Powers (42nd at 22:27.4), Kelsey Tualhofer (54th at 22:48.5) and Courtney Jones (59th at 23:07.9).