Timberwolves give it their all at state

Cross country: The Tualatin boys and Kristin Coffman race with the best at the 6A meet
by: Jaime Valdez STRONG TO THE FINISH — Tualatin High  School junior Scott Allred sprints toward the finish line Saturday at the Class 6A cross country state meet.

EUGENE - Nathan Love was exasperated.

After running to a 25th place finish at Saturday's Class 6A boy's state meet at Lane Community College, the Tualatin senior wobbled his way to a nearby railing and uttered the obvious.

'I gave it my all,' he said.

Then, after gasping for another breath of air, he collected his thoughts and touched on another aspect of the 5-kilometer race.

'It was definitely excellent to have my team here,' he said.

The state meet was Love's third.

In 2009, he placed 59th as a sophomore. Last year, he placed 20th.

But this marked the first time Love was joined by an arsenal of teammates. Tualatin last qualified for state in 2008.

This year, Love and company ran their way to a 10th-place finish.

'We hadn't made it as a team in a few years, so it was great to accomplish that,' said Love, as he gave teammate Scott Allred - who was walking by - a pat on the back.

Allred finished second for the Timberwolves and 67th overall with a mark of 17 minutes and 23 seconds.

Love was slightly disappointed in his performance, considering he finished five spots lower and 15 seconds slower (16:37 vs. 16:22) than last year, but offered no regrets.

'I gave it all of my mental strength,' he said. 'I got sleep last night, so I'm not quite sure why I'm so exhausted. But I gave it all of my effort, and I admire the other competitors and their effort.'

Sophomore Tyler Snyder was Tualatin's third runner to cross the finish line, coming in at 17:34, good for 74th.

Freshman Matthew Lovos (93rd in 18:02), senior Dylan Moore (95th in 18:10), freshman Bryce Haskin (98th in 18:18) and sophomore Adam Mitchell (100th in 18:19) rounded out Tualatin's seven.

Tualatin finished with 268 points, 50 points behind ninth-place finisher Forest Grove. Lake Oswego (192) finished eighth, Lincoln (176) finished seventh and Lakeridge (164) finished sixth. South Eugene won the title with 56 points.

The Tualatin girls team failed to qualify for state after finishing seventh last year and second the year before, but they did send senior Kristin Coffman to Eugene.

Coffman, who achieved top-10 finishes at state as both a sophomore and a junior, struggled to a 20th-place finish this year, clocking in at 19:32.

'That might have been my worst race in a long time,' Coffman said.

After about 200 meters, Coffman said she began having trouble breathing.

'That's like the first time that's happened since sophomore year,' Coffman said. 'I thought 'it's going to be a long race,' but I did what I could and I'm glad I finished.'

For Coffman, it was weird to watch others stand on the top-10 podium after she had been there herself each of the past two years.

'I'm pretty much used to being up there, so I had high expectations,' Coffman said. 'But I can't do anything about it now. Everyone has bad races, it just sucks mine came at state.'

Coffman was supposed to be accompanied by junior teammate Ali Cross, but Cross had to withdraw from the race due to walking pneumonia.

Cross was replaced by Tigard freshman Elizabeth Dean, who finished 74th in 21 minutes and 29 seconds.