Tigard boys soar with their pack attack
Tualatin senior Nathan Love and the Timberwolf girls also run to victory
TUALATIN - Nathan Love was running all by himself right from the start.
Meanwhile, the Tigers were running in packs.
Both of those strategies sure seemed to work out great.
Love, a Tualatin High School senior, and the Tigard High School boys cross country team each claimed victories when the Timberwolves and Tigers, along with Hillsboro, met in a Pacific Conference opening double dual meet held Sept. 21 at Tualatin High School.
'It was a good race today,' Love said. 'On our course you have a little less traction. I could have had a PR (personal record), but I think that will come next race.'
Love triumphed in the 5,000-meter race in a time of 16 minutes and 53 seconds. Hillsboro senior Bo McCullough placed second at 17:13.
Meanwhile, Tigard came up with a pair of wins in the team results. The Tigers topped Hillsboro by a 20-43 score and they bested the rival Timberwolves by a 21-40 margin.
'It went well,' said Tigard senior Scott Rice, who ran to third place in a time of 17:21. 'We had our top three try to stay up with Nathan Love, but he went out really fast.'
'It was a good race for us,' Tigard senior Ian Rogers said. 'We work to run in two packs. We've got Scott, Matt (Carlson) and John (Walker) up front and then the rest of us in a pack behind them. We don't have any star runner this year. That's why we want to run as a pack.'
Rice had plenty of his Tigard teammates close behind him in last week's race.
Walker, a Tiger junior, was fourth in a time of 17:40. Carlson, also a junior, was fifth at 17:41. Rogers was sixth at 17:56, sophomore Nathanael Ditton was eighth in a time of 18:25, senor MacKenzie Smith was ninth at 18:31 and freshman John Caufield was 10th at 18:32.
'We try to go as a pack,' Carlson said. 'Scott, John and I try to run up front. At the Canby meet, we also had Ian and Devin (Roche) running up there with us.'
'We work as a team,' Rice said. 'Cross country is a team sport.'
And the Tigers, as a team, are hoping to repeat as Pacific Conference district champions.
'That's what we've been talking about since the start of the year,' Rice said.
'We're worried a bit about Forest Grove,' Carlson said.
While the Tigard boys are motivated about the league championship, they were also motivated in last week's meet.
'It feels good to beat Tualatin,' Rogers said.
'It's a good rivalry,' Rice added.
That rivalry also may have pushed Love to his strong performance.
'There's some extra motivation running against Tigard,' he said.
Love, who placed third at the Pacific Conference district meet and 20th at the Class 6A state meet last year, is looking for a big senior season.
'Ultimately, this year I want to run a sub 15:30,' he said. 'I'd like to get in the top 10 at state. I know there are a lot of good juniors out there, and I want to get to Borderclash (a race pitting the top runners from Oregon and Washington).'
Also for the Tualatin boys (who scored a 19-44 win over Hillsboro) at last week's meet, sophomore Tyler Snyder ran to seventh place in 18:05. Freshman Benjamin Love was 11th at 18:32, freshman Bryce Haskin was 13th at 18:50, freshman Matthew Lovos was 14th at 19:01, freshman William Calder was 15th at 19:07 and junior Ryan Elder was 21st at 19:46.
'We've got a good group of young runners and JV runners,' Nathan Love said. 'We should be strong for the next few years.'
For the girls in last week's meet, Tualatin scored a 23-33 win over Tigard and the Wolves topped Hillsboro 15-50. Tigard also beat Hillsboro 15-50.
Junior Alli Cross led the way for the Timberwolf girls. She triumphed in the 5,000-meter varsity girls race in a time of 19:30.
Tualatin senior Kristin Coffman was second in a time of 21:23.
Also for the Tualatin girls, sophomore Alyssa Fuji was fifth at 22:01, junior Christine Ho was eighth at 22:47, senior Aubrey Brown was 11th at 23:15, junior Megan Shockloss was 12th at 23:45 and junior Miranda Petrone was 15th at 23:55.
Freshman Elizabeth Dean paced the Tigard girls. She finished third in a time of 21:37.
Also for the Tigers, senior Emily Walch was sixth at 22:26, freshman Hannaly Duff-McGaughey was seventh at 22:43, freshman Kela Apau was 10th at 23:13, junior Marilyn Wallenburn was 13th at 23:49, senior Teddy Faller was 14th at 23:49 and sophomore Iulia Patru was 22nd at 25:07.