Lincoln's boys are in the running for a high finish at the state cross country meet Saturday at Eugene's Lane Community College.
Central Catholic is favored to repeat as champion after winning the Mount Hood Conference district meet last week by 50 points over runner-up Reynolds. Metro League district champ Jesuit, Lincoln and Canby are among the other teams who will line up with trophies in mind.
Veteran coach David Bailey's Cardinal boys were solid in winning the PIL 6A district meet last week at Grant. 'They ran a brilliant race - they were controlled and confident, like the winners they are,' Bailey says. 'They took it up a notch, and they can take it up one more. It's one of the great groups I've had the pleasure of working with.'
• Central Catholic has won the last four individual boys title (two for Kenny Klotz, two for Galen Rupp). Junior Taylor Morgan, the district champion, is the Rams' top threat this year.
• Jesuit is favored to repeat as girls cross country champion, with Sunset a contender and MHC champ St. Mary's Academy also strong. Lincoln is coming on, too, with a mix of newer runners and mainstay Marsha Lampi, the senior who overcame physical problems in time to capture her third consecutive league title last week.
Lampi discovered in midseason that she was 'very, very anemic.' She says 'it got to the point where I could barely run for 30 minutes and there was a question as to whether I'd be ready for district.' She's been taking iron and eating iron-rich foods and says she feels good again. 'It's a blessing to be able to run,' she says.
• For complete stories on the PIL 6A and 5A district meets, go to www.localnewsdaily.com.
• Boys and girls soccer playoffs start this week, with Grant's PIL 6A boys champions and girls runner-up both welcoming South Medford on Saturday, times and sites to be determined.
'This team has exceeded my expectations,' Grant boys coach Manolis Tjuanakis says. 'We lost 13 seniors from last year, so I thought this would be a rebuilding year. I knew I had skillful players, but they were young (only two seniors) and undersized. The chemistry has worked really well.'
Cleveland swept the PIL 5A boys and girls titles, with the girls winning just about every league match 10-0. That should make for an interesting all-league team, which will be determined when the coaches meet Wednesday. 'I'd like to nominate everyone on my team, but I'm going to send in a paper with nine members and say I didn't know who to leave off,' Cleveland coach Brian Taylor says.
• State volleyball also gets under way this week.
Central Catholic, last year's runner-up to Ashland (now 5A), has earned a first-round bye in the 6A playoffs. The Rams will open Saturday at home against the winner of Wednesday's Lake Oswego-Sunset match. Central clinched the MHC title with a five-game win over No. 2 Gresham. Those two teams have been top-ranked all season.
PIL 6A champ Lincoln also will be at home Saturday, facing either Aloha or West Salem, who meet Wednesday.
In 5A volleyball, PIL No. 1 Cleveland will be at home Saturday against Summit or Mazama in the second round, vying for a state tourney spot. PIL 5A No. 2 Roosevelt also is at home Saturday, facing the winner of Monday's Wilsonville-Sherwood match in the second round.
Second-round winners in 6A and 5A advance to their eight-team state tournaments Nov. 10 and 11 at Chiles Center.