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Gresham girls make surprising run to state meet

CROSS COUNTRY - Centennial's Michelle Dettmann wins individual honors
by: David Ball, Centennial's Michelle Dettmann led from start to finish at Wednesday's district meet, holding off Gresham's Khalia Tidwell in the early stages.

SANDY - The Gresham girls cross country team lost its lead runner halfway through, but didn't let that stop it from advancing to state with a runner-up finish at Wednesday's district meet.

The Gophers relied on a full team effort to claim the No. 2 spot out of the Mount Hood Conference.

Gresham appeared to be is solid position early on, but those hopes were put in jeopardy when freshman Khalia Tidwell, slipped on a wet downhill going into a wooded section of the course. She was in second place at the time, but was unable to finish the race.

That meant Gresham's supporting pack needed to make up ground. And each runner came through with a big effort. All five of Gresham's scoring runners finished within a minute of each other, led by Jaime Demars in seventh place overall.

'I saw her (Tidwell) in the forest holding her ankle, and I knew I had to run faster and work harder,' Demars said. 'I passed three girls before getting out of the woods.'

Still, Centennial held the inside track for the final state berth until Gresham's No. 5 racer Sarah Hurwitz beat her Eagles' counterpart by six places to send the Gophers to Eugene.

Centennial's Michelle Dettmann won the individual title, pacing the pack from start to finish and completing the course in 19 minutes, 7.8 seconds.

St. Mary's filled three of the first five spots to win the team title with 35 points.

Look for expanded MHC district meet coverage in the Saturday, Oct. 28, issue of the Gresham Outlook.