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Cav rookie shines at state


Maia Edwards earns a spot in the Border Clash

EUGENE — Clackamas distance runner Maia Edwards turned a few heads at Saturday’s Class 6A high school cross country championships.

The freshman standout placed 16th in a field of 107 class 6A girls, covering the Lane Community College 5,000-meter state-meet course in 19:18. It was the highest placing by any Class 6A freshman girl.

“She grabbed the last 6A spot in the Border Clash, which is what she wanted to do,” said Clackamas coach Randy Walruff. “She knew going in that she needed top 16, and she made it. We told her she was 22nd coming onto the track near the end of the race and she passed six girls in the last 200 meters. She was like lightning in the final 100 meters.”

Edwards beat out West Salem senior Brooke Chuhlanteseff (19:18) by a fraction of a second to finish 16th and earn her spot in the Border Clash, a Nov. 30 race run on the Nike campus that features the top distance runners from Oregon and Washington.

“It was the second highest placing [at state in cross country] ever by a Clackamas High School girl,” said Walruff. “Second only to Claire Michel’s four high placings [2003-2006].”

Michel went on to star for the University of Oregon, after placing first, second [twice] and sixth at state in cross country in her four years as a Cavalier.

Michel, as a freshman, placed second at state, with an 18:45 clocking.

“We don’t know if she can do it, but we think Maia will make a run at Claire’s school record before she graduates,” said Walruff. “Maia’s a competitor, and she’s improved in leaps and bounds since I first saw her last summer.”

Edwards’ performance on Saturday was all the more impressive because she ran much of the state-meet race on a sprained ankle.

“She twisted it about a mile and a half into the race,” said Walruff. “I didn’t know it happened until her parents came to me and told me after the race. Her ankle was pretty swollen at the end, but she didn’t complain....”

Grant sophomore Ella Donaghu (18:01) set the pace for this year’s Class 6A girls race, as she led the Generals (108 points) to fifth place in the girls team scoring — behind Sunset (56), St. Mary’s (71), South Eugene (97) and Jesuit (99).

Clackamas girls struggled as a team, scoring 259 and placing 11th out of 12 teams.

“The girls were disappointed,” said Walruff. “But they’ll be back, and the experience should help them next year. We’ve got everyone coming back and I think and they can contend for a team trophy [next year].”

Walruff also noted: “Maia says we’ll have two eighth graders coming in next year who beat her in middle school. They should help the team, but I don’t think they could beat her now.”

Oregon City junior Miranda Nelson (20:21) placed 44th in last weekend’s state meet.

Sophomore Roman Ollar (15:55) placed eighth to lead West Linn boys (148 points) to fifth place in the Class 6A boys race.

Central Catholic senior Kyle Thompson (15:22) set the pace in the Class 6A boys race and he led the Rams (33 points) to the Class 6A boys team title. Sheldon (94), South Eugene (118) and Aloha (148) placed second through fourth respectively.

Oregon City senior Al Lacey had a good race, placing 27th, with a time of 16:33. He improved his time by 24 seconds over last year, when he placed 43rd.