Tigers, Wolves take aim at state bids

Cross country: The Pacific Conference district meet will be held today at Clackamas C.C.
by: Chase allgood DEFENDING CHAMP — Tualatin junior Alli Cross, shown here at last week’s meet in Forest Grove, will try to win her second-straight district title today.

OREGON CITY - The Tigers are taking aim at state.

So are the Timberwolves.

In fact, the whole Pacific Conference will by vying for state meet bids.

And those bids will be on the line at the Pacific Conference District Cross Country Championships, which will be held today (Thursday) at Clackamas Community College.

Action at today's district meet will start at 2:30 p.m. with the girls junior varsity race. The boys junior varsity race will follow at 3 p.m. The varsity girls race will be at 3:30 p.m. and the varsity boys race is set for 4 p.m.

The top two teams and top four individual placers who are not part of top two teams in each varsity race at the district meet will advance to compete at the Class 6A state championships, which will be held Nov. 5 at Lane Community College in Eugene.

There should be some entertaining battles for the state team berths.

'The clear favorite on the guys side is Forest Grove,' Tigard coach Joel Sauvain said. 'The race for second place is really up in the air. I expect that McMinnville, Tualatin or Tigard will fill the second spot.'

Tualatin senior Nathan Love, who finished in third place, individually, at last year's district meet, looks to be among the top contenders in a balanced field this year.

'There is really not an individual favorite on the boys side,' Sauvain said. 'Nathan Love from Tualatin is who I would put my money on this year, but I'm not going to count out Tyler Shipley and Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski from Forest Grove. It really depends on how the race unfolds.'

Tigard used a strong pack of runners this season - including seniors Scott Rice and Ian Rogers, juniors Matt Carlson and John Walker and sophomore Nathanael Ditton among others - to claim the Pacific Conference dual meet crown with a 7-0 league record.

The Tigers are hoping that strategy also leads to a team state berth.

'As far as the Tigard teams go, I expect both teams to compete well and, hopefully, have their fastest race of the year,' Sauvain said. 'On the guys side, my expectation is for the team to qualify for the state meet.'

Walker placed 10th at last year's district meet.

The Tualatin boys boast another strong runner in junior Scott Allred, who was 11th at district last year.

In girls competition, Sauvain sees another good battle ahead for the state bids.

'On the girls side, it looks like it's going to be a three-way race between Newberg, Forest Grove and Tualatin,' Sauvain said.

As for the girls individual favorite, the pick looks to be Tualatin junior Alli Cross, who is the defending district meet champion.

'She's been running strong all year,' Sauvain said.

The Wolves also have senior Kristin Coffman, who was second to Cross at last year's district meet.

Senior Emily Walch, who was 19th at last year's district meet, looks to be one of the top competitors for Tigard at this year's event.

'Our girls team is a very young team that shows enormous amounts of potential,' Sauvain said.

The Tigard boys completed their perfect league dual meet season on Oct. 19 by scoring a 27-28 win over McMinnville and a 22-39 victory over Newberg in a double dual meet held at Tigard High School.

Carlson finished fourth, individually, in the 5,000-meter race to lead the way for the Tigers. Rice finished in fifth place and Walker was sixth.

The Tigard girls scored a 25-30 win over McMinnville and they were tipped 21-38 by Newberg. The split gives the Tigers a final league record of 4-3.

Both Tualatin teams came up with splits in their final league double dual meet of the season, held Oct. 19 at the David Anderson Farm in Forest Grove.

The Tualatin girls scored a 27-29 win over Century and they fell 20-39 to dual-meet champion Forest Grove. The split gives the Wolves a final league dual meet record of 5-2.

Cross was the individual winner at that race in a time of 22:11.

The Tualatin boys scored a 17-38 victory over Century and they fell 25-31 to Forest Grove at last week's meet. The Wolves finished at 4-3 in league meets.

Love placed second in the race in a time of 18:31. Allred was fourth at 18:58 and Tualatin sophomore Tyler Snyder was fifth at 19:08.