Glencoe, Century and Liberty runners get a chance to impress coaches with their first races of the year

The prep cross country schedule officially kicked off last Thursday with the annual Night Meet in Wilsonville, and three Hillsboro schools were on hand to gauge their prospects for the upcoming season.

Glencoe, Century and Liberty all sent squads to the meet last week, which featured a series of 3,000-meter races, one staged for each class and gender (freshman girls, junior boys, etc.), as well as a race for novice runners.

Among the local teams, perhaps Glencoe fared best, with three boys cracking the 10-minute barrier, led by Mason Rouches, who finished seventh in the senior boys race with a time of 9:18. Twin brother Miles Rouches was 31st in the same race, clocking a time of 9:45, and Landon Apeland finished 14th in the junior boys race at 9:56.

One of the most intriguing performances came from Century’s Angel Salazar, who posted a time of 9:25 to finish third in the sophomore boys race. Salazar ran in only two cross country meets last year, but emerged as a budding distance star for the Jaguar track and field team, finishing sixth in the 1,500 meters at the Pacific Conference district meet while also taking seventh in the 3,000 (he ran 9:20.33 in that race).

Century teammate Drew Scott ran a time of 10:03 to finish 44th in the senior boys race, and Ryan Barclay ran 10:18 to take 41st in the junior boys race.

For Liberty, Michael Francy claimed 22nd place in the senior boys race with a time of 9:35, and a total of eight other Falcons came in under the 11-minute mark — senior Ashton Hunger (10:36), juniors Dominick Marshall (10:07), Austin Finster (10:17), Jonathan Fookes (10:18), Alex Dickinson (10:36) and Spencer Brown (10:44), plus sophomore Jack Stemm (10:25) and freshman Jacob Espinosa (10:51).

The top girls performance came from Century’s Braanna Weber, a track star in her first season of cross country, who finished fifth in the junior girls race with a time of 11:27.

Century teammate Kyra Jorgensen ran a time of 12:57 to finish 56th in the senior girls race, and Liberty’s Alexanna Fisher ran 12:54 to take 50th in the junior girls race.

All three schools, as well as neighboring Hilhi, will be back in action today for the 15th annual Bill Chapman Invitational, which is being staged at Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro.

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