Milwaukies Gonzalez third at district
The Mustang senior holds her own with the best in the NWOC
Milwaukie High School senior Sasha Gonzalez is fast proving herself one of the top Class 5A high school distance runners in the state.
Gonzalez was in top form last week, when she raced to a 19:10.2 clocking over the 5,000-meter Northwest Oregon Conference District Championships course at Blue Lake Park.
Gonzalez time earned her third place in the 48-runner varsity field. Her time was a 42-second improvement over the 2011 district meet, where she placed fourth.
And Gonzalez is closing in on the NWOCs top runners, Wilsonville junior Taryn Rawlings and Liberty freshman Rachel Khaw, who rank fifth and ninth in the state respectively.
Sasha ran a really solid race, said Milwaukie coach Jen Seibel. She ran out front, with Taryn and Rachel until the final 600 meters....
Sashas goal is to get on the podium at state, and I think shes got a shot. The state-meet course is challenging, with a lot of hills. But Sashas been at state before and she does good on hills. Shes one of the better hill racers weve had at Milwaukie.
Rawlings and Khaw were clocked at 18:47.5 and 18:53 respectively at last weeks district meet. Rawlings ran the district meet course in 19:28 last year and she went on to place 10th at state.
Gonzalez wasnt the only local runner to qualify for this coming Saturdays Class 5A State Championship Meet. Putnam senior Kelsey Hilsenteger placed fourth at district with a 19:28 clocking, and shell make the trip to state for the third straight year.
Kelseys been getting a little better each race [this season] and I think she still has more in her tank, Putnam coach Brent Eggers said of Hilsenteger, who placed ninth at state as a sophomore and 15th at state last fall.
Milwaukie had another strong finisher in junior Becky Ponnay, who placed 11th, in 20:31.3. Her time was a 15-second PR.
Sherwood (41 points) and Liberty (78 points) were the top two girls teams at this years NWOC district meet; Wilsonville (21 points) ran away with the boys meet, topping the runner-up St. Helens Lions (80) by 59 points.
Junior Nik Walters paced Putnams youthful boys team, completing the district meet course in 17:51, a 37-second PR, and placing 27th. Junior Chris Spanovich led Milwaukie boys, racing to a 17:37 clocking, good for 21st place.