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Gophers bring full lineup to the course, punch ticket to state


Kennedy Martin and Haley McDonald score top-10 finishes for the Gresham girls

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Haley McDonald, 458, battled with a pack of St. Marys runners throughout Wednesdays 5K district meet.

The Gresham girls cross country team punched their ticket to state Wednesday simply by showing up.

The Gophers have been battling injuries and illness all season, leaving them shorthanded throughout the two-month dual-meet season. Haley McDonald missed early-season training with the flu bug, Erica Keathley was out of the lineup with a knee injury and Kennedy Martin, the team’s top racer from last year, has been held in check due to asthma.

“It was the first time I’ve been able to go all out this season, and my focus was definitely on staying up there,” Martin said.

Wednesday’s district meet also marked the first time that the Gophers team has been able to run at full strength.

Martin stayed with the lead group throughout and finished fifth overall, covering the 5K course in 18:33.5. McDonald was close behind, beating a pack of St. Mary’s racers to the line to finish seventh in 19:09.10.

Keathley came in 15th with a time of 20:06.4, beating the No. 2 racers from Barlow and Reynolds, which proved to be the back-breaker that sent the Gophers onto Eugene over their East County rivals.

Gresham finished second in the team tally with 77 points — 23 ahead of Barlow in the battle for the league’s last spot to state.

St. Mary’s won the meet with 21 points, placing their full varsity seven among the top 10. Paige Rice led the race start to finish, coming in at 17:46.80 — a full 100 meters ahead of teammate Ellen Patterson.

Look for extended meet coverage in the Friday, Oct. 26, edition of The Outlook.

View a photo gallery from the meet at …