Jesuit places third and sees its nine-year run of state championships come to an end
EUGENE - The Jesuit girls cross country team formed a huddle, arms around one another, awaiting the verdict.
South Eugene was to its right, Crater to its left.
As usual, the top four teams at the Class 6A state meet at Lane Community College were revealed in reverse order. Sunset had just received the fourth-place trophy.
Moments later, Jesuit was called forward and given the third-place trophy, officially putting an unprecedented streak to rest.
For the first time in 10 years, the Crusaders were not state champions.
'You can't win them all,' said disappointed senior Adrienne Demaree, whose 11th-place finish was tops among Jesuit runners.
Demaree was one of just two runners back from last year's state lineup, which cruised to the program's ninth consecutive title. But Jesuit has a tendency to reload rather than rebuild, meaning expectations weren't any lower this year.
'I don't want to say we were necessarily expecting to win … but it's heartbreaking to see the streak end,' said senior Olivia Artaiz, who played a part in Jesuit's previous two titles.
Artaiz finished the 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes and 20 seconds, good for 17th. Freshman teammate Dylan Hite finished two seconds later in 18th.
South Eugene, which won the meet with 53 points, placed three runners in the top 10. Crater, second with 63 points, placed two runners in the top 10. Jesuit finished with 70 points.
Jesuit was surprised with how well the teams in front of them ran.
'We kind of underestimated our opponents,' Demaree said. 'We came into the race with this notion of 'Oh yeah. We've got it.' But in reality, we should have taken it more seriously.'
'We had a pre-conceived notion that we were going to do well, just by looking at the times of the runners in our race,' Artaiz added. 'But for some people, their times on paper aren't reflective of how they run at state.'
Jesuit got a 21st-place finish out of junior Megan Mullaney (19:37) and a 34th-place finish out of junior Lindsay Scheaffer (19:48). Freshman Zani Moore (36th in 20:07) and sophomore Taylor Moscoe (48th in 20:27) rounded out the list of Crusader participants.
Sunset, competing at state for the first time in four years, finished with 94 points.
The Apollos were led by junior Karen Qu, who finished 14th in 19:02.
'My goal was to finish in the top-18 individually and to get a trophy as a team, so I'm pretty happy,' Qu said.
Sunset freshman Sarah Fahmy also placed in the top 18, finishing 18th in 19:26. Sophomore Charlotte Corless crossed the finish line in 19 minutes and 48 seconds (29th place), while senior Emma Gosser came home in 19:54 (31st).
The race went as planned for the Apollos, who finished 52 points ahead of fifth-place St. Mary's.
'We knew South Eugene and Crater were really good, and then you have Jesuit, so fourth is kind of what we expected,' Qu said.
Senior Greer Davis (39th in 20:11), sophomore Ana Harvey (54th in 20:43) and senior Dorthy Zhang (57th in 20:57) also competed for Sunset.
Beaverton freshman Erin Gregoire continued a family tradition by placing well at state. Her sister Hayley, who now runs at Boise State University, placed in the top 10 at state in 2009 and 2010.
The younger Gregoire just missed out on the top-10 podium this year, finishing 12th, second-best among Metro League participants.
'It was hard, a lot different than I expected,' Gregoire said. 'There's so many girls (but) it was fun.'
Gregoire finished six seconds behind 10th-place finisher Lauren Morgan of South Medford.
'I was hoping for top-10, but I've still got three more years,' Gregoire said.
Other Metro League individual entrees included Westview sophomore Sarah Medved, who came in 19th with a time of 19:30, and Aloha junior Amanda Stowe (33rd in 19:57).