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Lady Bowmen keep up the pace at the state meet

Sherwood finishes in 10th place in the team standings at the 5A event
by: Jaime Valdez HILL CLIMBING — Sherwood junior Devon  Greene powers her way up the hill Saturday at the state meet.

EUGENE - The Sherwood girls cross country team was simply hoping to top last year's eighth-place finish at state.

Though the Lady Bowmen did not accomplish their goal - they finished 10th as a team - they left Saturday's Class 5A state meet at Lane Community College with their heads held high.

'I was just glad our team made it,' said junior Devon Greene, who led her team with a time of 20:37 and a 38th place finish overall.

Qualifying for state has become the norm for Sherwood, who made their 10th consecutive appearance after placing second at the NWOC district meet Oct. 26.

Four of the seven Lady Bowmen who competed Saturday had run at state before.

But Greene, who ran at the junior varsity level as a sophomore last year, had not.

'It was really fun,' she said of Saturday's race. 'The course was easier than I thought it would be. I'm just glad I got to be a part of it.'

Greene's transformation from a run-of-the-mill JV competitor to the team's top finisher at state seemed to catch her by surprise.

'I have no idea, this is above and beyond what I thought I was capable of,' she said. 'I guess last year I didn't take it as seriously, then I realized I liked to run.'

She referenced last year's district meet as the turning point.

'I did really good for what I had been doing, so I came into this year really excited, and I just kept getting better,' she said. 'Hopefully next year I'll improve even more.'

Seniors Kylie Thalhofer and Victoria Kalina finished second and third for Sherwood, respectively. Thalhofer, running in her fourth and final state meet, finished in 20 minutes and 44 seconds, good for 42nd.

Kalina clocked in four seconds behind Thalhofer with a time of 20:48, good for 45th.

'It went OK, but it wasn't my best,' said Kalina, who finished 37th last year.

Sophomore Avery Rosenbalm (60th in 21:20), senior Cara Smurdon (76th in 22:08), junior Kelsey Niebergall (77th in 22:09) and junior Kelli Mahoney (79th in 22:13) also helped Sherwood to their 221-point, 10th-place finish.