Valiants tops at district
After a sweep at district, the Valiants aim to repeat that feat at the state meet
BEAVERTON - This may be the year of the Valiant.
The Valley Catholic cross country teams, both second at the 2010 state meet, are ready to do that one better this year. The Valiants - who both won District 1 team titles last week - will get that chance on Saturday at the Class 3A/2A/1A state meet, with the girls race set for 10 a.m. and the boys at 10:35 a.m.
'We just want to approach it the same way we approached district - just race the same way we always do,' said Valley Catholic junior Josephine Chau, who was second in the District 1 championship. 'Don't do anything different and be confident.'
'All we have to do is what we did today and we'll do good,' added Valiant junior Sophia Chau, who took third at district.
The VC boys are in the same boat, aiming to win their first-ever title at state after a strong performance at the District 1 meet, held Oct. 27 at Tualatin Hills.
'I think we can do it. All we've got to do is go out there and run our race and we'll be able to take state,' said Valley Catholic senior Connor Garcia, the runner-up at district. 'This would be our first state title chance for cross country so it would be really cool to be part of the first team that did it.'
'We'll have a chance,' said fellow VC senior Andy Holstrom, who was fourth at district. 'This is our last year, so all season we've been trying really hard so we can get that state title.'
District 1 Boys Meet
In the boys meet, the Valiants won their second straight district championship, this time running to victory with a score of 24 points while second-place Oregon Episcopal School was far back at 66.
Garcia and Holstrom placed second and fourth for the Valiants, and their efforts helped VC set the stage for what they hope is a historic run at state. OES' Nick Obletz won the individual title at 16 minutes, 12 seconds, while Clatskanie's Adam Siltala was third at 16:23.
'I'm really happy with it,' Garcia said of his second-place finish at 16:16. 'I just let (Obletz) get away a little at the end, but I know I can outkick him at state if it comes to it.'
'My goal was top four and that's what I got,' Holstrom said after finishing in 16:40. 'I wanted to be up with the front pack,and I felt great, but I just wasn't mentally in it today.'
Also helping push VC to victory were Cooper Roach (fifth at 16:48), Danny Hernandez (seventh at 17:19) and Anthony Alfieri (10th at 17:50).
Now, with another district crown in hand, the Valiants can turn their attention to what they hope will be a memorable performance at state.
'I'm hoping to win state this year so I've just got to get a good week of training in, do all the right things, and I'll be good to go,' Garcia said.
'I have a lot of hope for state,' Holstrom added. 'I can do better - I just have to get myself into the race. When it really matters at state, I'll be there.'
District 1 Girls Meet
The Valiant girls faced down a tough challenge from defending District 1 champion Catlin Gabel to win their crown, Valley Catholic finishing with 29 points while the Eagles took second at 34. Catlin's Mckenzie Spooner took the individual title with a winning time of 20:19.
'We knew it was going to be really close and we just wanted to go out there and see what we could do,' said Josephine Chau, after finishing second at 20:51. 'Catlin was pretty close so we decided to race our best.'
'Going in we were a bit nervous looking at the points - we (knew) we were really close
to Catlin,' said Sophia Chau after clocking in at 20:59. 'It looked like it would be really close and every point would count, so our goal was to do our best.'
After the Chau sisters came home, sophomore Annika Holstrom was fourth at 21:03, followed by sophomore Grace Mannen took 11th at 22:41, and sophomore Morgan McDougal placed 13th at 22:56.
'We worked really hard this year and it really paid off,' Josephine Chau said.
'We knew if we kept doing it like we did all season we'd do great,' Sophia Chau added.
To see a complete photo gallery from these meets, go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.