Runners from Glencoe, Century and Liberty are challenged at various invitational meets

They just keep getting better.

Three Hillsboro-area cross-country programs were in action over the weekend. Continuing early-season storylines, runners from Glencoe, Century and Liberty demonstrated that they could be major players in the late season and championship meets.

Competing in the Ash Creek Invitational staged on Saturday in Monmouth, Liberty’s Rachel Khaw pushed Creswell junior Olivia Powell to the wire in the varsity girls 3,000-meter race before taking second place. Both Khaw and Powell, the 2011 Class 3A/2A/1A state champion and 2012 third-place finisher, were timed in a swift 10 minutes, 31 seconds.

Khaw led the Falcons to an eighth-place finish in the 15-team field, which consisted of a mix of Class 3A through 6A squads. Corvallis won with 33 points. Liberty finished with 189 points. In addition to Khaw, varsity scorers were Alexanna Fisher (46th, 12:53), Rebekah Fookes (50th, 13:01), Hannah Hill (53rd, 13:06) and Kiley Bonin (57th, 13:15).

Michael Francy led Liberty’s boys to a fourth-place result with a fourth-place finish of his own. Francy completed the 5K race in a personal-best time of 16:18. Corvallis won with 61 points, followed by Marist (87), Valley Catholic (99) and Liberty (133).

Dominick Marshall (17th, 17:18), Austin Finster (29th, 17:40), Ashton Hunger (43rd, 18:05) and Alex Dickinson (44th, 18:08) rounded out the scoring for the Falcons.

Angel Salazar led the Century boys to a respectable sixth-place finish out of 16 teams at the Saxon Invite, which took place at Bush Park in Salem on Satuday. The sophomore standout took fourth in the boys 5K field in a personal-best of 16:25.

Other Jaguars scorers were Drew Scott (33rd, 17:36), Ryan Barclay (39th, 17:40), Caleb Younk (58th, 18:16) and Hao Pham (88th, 19:18).

On the girls side, Braanna Weber took 19th place in 20:28. Summit sophomore Hannah Gindlesperger won in 18:15 and led the Storm to the team crown with 21 points. The Jaguars wound up ninth with 258 points.

Rounding out Century’s scoring were Mira Gill (56th, 22:25), Celeste Montoya (69th, 22:49), Valarie Bittleston (77th, 23:13) and Ryann Fadden (79th, 23:23).

Finally, Glencoe tested itself Saturday in the Festival of Champions at Clackamas Community College, site of the Pacific Conference district meet later this spring. Two flights were staged at the varsity level, one for each team’s first through fourth runners and the second for squads’ fifth through eighth runners.

Mason Rouches led the Crimson Tide with a third-place effort in the boys first flight race. He finished the 5K in 16:36, behind Forest Grove’s Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski (16:04) and McMinnville’s Nic McDaniel (16:31). Abe Teklu was ninth in 17:03, Mason Rouches was 13th in 17:08 and Brian Gerig took 37th in 18:25.

Kari Zickel was 19th in the first flight in 22:04 to pace the Tide girls. Sunset’s Charlotte Corless won the race in 18:22. Also running for Glencoe, Megan Lince was 33rd in 23:04 and Erin Ruark was 36th in 23:29.

On Wednesday, the Tide hosted Glencoe in a Pacific Conference dual, while Hillsboro hosted Century and Tualatin at Rood Bridge Park (results not available at press deadline). Liberty is scheduled to compete in the Northwest Classic in Eugene on Saturday.

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