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Ranger runners struggle at districts


Johnson falls one place short of state qualification

After making the state meet as just a freshman, Mariah Johnson knew that 2012 would come with high expectations. Unfortunately, the district meet also provided a tremendous disappointment.

With new rules in place that allow only the top five runners to advance to state — regardless of which teams advance as a whole — Johnson’s sixth place finish left her just seconds away from returning to the state meet.

To make things even more difficult, Johnson still holds the third-best time in the Tri-Valley League this season, and the 14th best time in the state.

The district meet, which was held at McIver State Park, came just days after Johnson ran a personal-best 19:52 at the Country Fair Classic on Oct. 17. It was the first time Johnson had ever broken the 20-minute barrier.

As a team, the Estacada girls still finished in a strong third place, however, they were a distant third behind La Salle and Molalla, two of the top teams in the state.

Behind Johnson were Kayla Searls (15th), Nicole Wagner (17th), Kara Kammers (20th), Annie Shibahara (21st), Carissa Quasny (22nd) and Kaitlyn Haley (23rd).

On the boys side, the team event was equally as challenging.

Like the girls, the Rangers were up against some of the top talent in the state, notably La Salle, which had seven of the top nine runners in the district race.

Leading the charge for Estacada was Kieran Bryant, who posted a career-best time of 17:59, good for 10th place overall.

Bryant was the first finisher not wearing a La Salle or Molalla jersey.

Behind Bryant was Kyle Beguelin (15th), Brendan Fordyce (18th), Jonathan Jury (20th), Nathan Lusher (31st) and George Cao (34th).

Overall, the boys finished in fourth place behind La Salle, Molalla and North Marion.