Cross country: Lady Bowmen sweep three opponents to clinch the NWOC dual meet title
by: DAN BROOD STARTING STRONG — Sherwood’s (from left) Victoria Kalina, Avery Rosenbalm and Devon Greene get off to a fast start at last week’s NWOC meet.

WILSONVILLE - It's not broken, and the Sherwood High School girls cross country team isn't about to try and fix it.

Last year, the Lady Bowmen, mainly running together as a pack, won the Northwest Oregon Conference dual meet and district meet champions.

Last week, the Sherwood girls, mainly close together, earned the first half of another title sweep as they clinched the NWOC dual meet crown by running past three opponents at a four-way meet held Oct. 12 at Wilsonville Memorial Park.

'We try to stay as a pack,' Sherwood junior Devon Greene said after the race. 'We score more points that way.'

'It helps a lot,' Sherwood senior Victoria Kalina added.

At last week's meet, the Sherwood girls downed Sandy 18-44, they beat Liberty 15-49 and they scored a 20-39 win over Wilsonville. The three wins give the Lady Bowmen a final league dual meet record of 7-0. Milwaukie placed second in the final standings at 6-1.

The Sherwood girls now are setting their sites on the NWOC district meet title. They'll get their chance to win that at the league's district meet, which will be held Wednesday at Blue Lake Park in Gresham.

'We're hoping to win district again - for the third year in a row,' Kalina said. 'We'll need to stay in a pack and stay ahead of Wilsonville.'

The Lady Bowmen managed to do both of those things in last week's meet at Wilsonville Memorial Park.

Greene and Lady Bowmen sophomore Avery Rosenbalm ran side-by-side near the lead for most of the race.

Greene ended up placing second, individually, in a time of 21 minutes, 26 seconds on the mushy, 5,000-meter course.

'It went pretty good,' Greene said.

'It was really muddy out there,' Rosenbalm added.

Rosenbalm ended up placing third with a mark of 21:36.

Not far behind Greene and Rosenbalm, there were a bunch of their Lady Bowmen teammates.

Kalina placed fifth at 22:08, Lady Bowmen junior Kelsey Niebergall was sixth at 22:18, senior Kylie Thalhofer was seventh at 22:26, senior Cara Smurdon was eighth at 22:36 and junior Kelli Mahoney was 15th at 23:03.

'I got off to a slow start to the season, but I think we're all picking it up,' Thalhofer said. 'We're all trying to finish strong.'

Wilsonville sophomore Taryn Rawlings, the defending district meet individual champion, won last week's race in a time of 21:09.

The Sherwood boys picked up a win at last week's four-way meet as they scored a 19-42 decision over Liberty. The Bowmen fell 24-31 to Sandy and they lost 16-43 to Wilsonville. That gives the Sherwood boys a final league dual meet record of 3-4.

Freshman Tristan Bishop ran strong for the Sherwood boys in last week's meet. He placed sixth individually with a time of 18:00.

Also for the Bowmen, senior Evan Heslop was ninth at 18:15, senior Peter Alley was 11th at 18:20, junior Erik Bennett was 20th at 18:59, junior Connor Anderson was 21st at 19:13, junior Cody Thompson was 22nd at 19:13 and sophomore Ryan Pierce was 23rd at 19:13.

Wilsonville senior Akiharu Kitagawa won the race in a time of 16:38. Wilsonville won the boys dual meet championship with a 7-0 mark.

The Sherwood teams completed at the Concordia/Adidas XC Classic, held Saturday at Fernhill Park.

The Sherwood girls placed 22nd in the varsity girls elite division team standings with 542 points.

Greene led the way for the Lady Bowmen, placing 80th in the race in a time of 20:28.

The Sherwood boys finished in 36th place in the varsity boys elite division team standings with 911 points.

Alley had the top finish for the Bowmen, placing 168th in a time of 17:41.

Action at the NWOC district meet is set to start with the varsity girls race at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. The varsity boys race will follow at 3:30 p.m.

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