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Lady Bowmen claim their state meet berth

Greene, Kalina run strong to pace the Sherwood girls at the district event
by: DAN BROOD OFF AND RUNNING — Members of the Sherwood High School girls cross country team get off to a fast start at last week’s NWOC district championships.

GRESHAM - Going into the Northwest Oregon Conference District Cross Country Championships, Devon Greene was nervous.

One of the reasons why is that she didn't have her watch. She mistakenly had left it at home.

Well, maybe she should forget her watch more often.

Greene, a Sherwood High School junior, turned in a strong performance, running to sixth place in the individual standings at the NWOC district meet, held Oct. 26 at Blue Lake Park.

'I'm pretty much happy,' Greene said after the race. 'I was so nervous. I didn't have my watch. I left it at home, but that might have helped. It made me push.'

Greene, and her Lady Bowmen teammates, will next be competing at the Class 5A state championships.

The top two boys and girls teams from the district meet, as well as the top five individuals, advance to the state meet, which will be held Saturday at Lane Community College in Eugene.

'It's a big deal,' Sherwood senior Victoria Kalina said of the state meet. 'That's three years in a row. I hope we place better than we did last year (when the Lady Bowmen placed ninth in the team standings).'

Greene, who ran for the Sherwood junior varsity team last year, will be making her first appearance at the state meet.

'It's exciting. I'm looking forward to it,' she said. 'I get to run this year. I'll be nervous, but it will be fun.'

Kalina, as a senior, will be making her final appearance at state.

'It's special, but sad,' she said. 'I'll really push it, no matter what, for my last state race.'

The Sherwood girls earned their bid to the state meet by placing second in the team standings at the NWOC district meet with 52 points. That put the Lady Bowmen just four points behind district champion Milwaukie, which had a score of 48. Wilsonville was a distance third with a score of 82.

Greene seemed to run at a consistent pace at the district meet, finishing strong to place sixth in a time of 20 minutes and 11 seconds for the 5,000-meter race.

'It was good,' Greene said. 'I'm always nervous before a race, but I think it helps me.'

Kalina was right behind Greene, placing seventh with a mark of 20:29.

'It was OK,' said Kalina, who was icing down her right knee, which she says has been injured throughout the season. 'It wasn't my best, but it still was good.'

Kalina got off to a blazing start to the race, holding down the second-place spot in the early stages.

'It was a good start,' she said. 'But maybe I went out a little too fast.'

Still, Kalina also had an impressive finish to the race.

'I always have a kick at the end,' she said. 'I try to save a little extra.'

Behind Greene and Kalina were a pack of other Sherwood runners.

Lady Bowmen sophomore Avery Rosenbalm placed 10th in a time of 21:03, senior Kylie Thalhofer was 11th at 21:06, senior Cara Smurdon was 18th at 21:54, junior Kelli Mahoney was 25th at 22:22 and junior Kelsey Niebergall was 34th at 23:19.

'Everyone did a good job keeping close together,' Kalina said.

Milwaukie's Shannon Susbauer won the district girls meet individual title with a time of 18:46.

The young Sherwood boys team finished in sixth place in the team standings at the district meet with 129 points.

Freshman Tristan Bishop led the way for the Bowmen. Using a strong finish, he finished 12th in the race with a time of 17:22.

'That was really fun,' Bishop said. 'Ever since I started cross country, I had this kick.'

Bishop's time was 56 seconds faster than his mark of 18:16 at the NWOC preview meet, held Sept. 14 on the same Blue Lake course.

'I shaved off almost a minute,' he said. 'It's due to the training and the help of all the coaches.'

Also for the Sherwood boys, senior Peter Alley finished 22nd at 17:40, senior Evan Heslop was 30th at 18:06, sophomore Ryan Pierce was 32nd at 18:07, junior Connor Anderson was 33rd at 18:09, junior Erik Bennett was 35th at 18:14 and junior Cody Thompson was 42nd at 18:42.

Ryan Byrd of St. Helens won the varsity boys district race in a time of 16:04.

Wilsonville won the boys team title, with St. Helens placing second.