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Cross Country: Scappoose girls led by dynamic freshman duo

Freshman Linnaea Kavulich is already faster than former Indian standout Tia Carnahan — a two-time Cowapa League champion


Linnaea Kavulich ran a lights-out race at the Meriwether National Cross Country Invitational last Friday, taking third in the girls' race as the only freshman to break in the top-five, and leading Scappoose to a 7th-place finish, just four points behind La Salle.

And once again, Kavulich snapped her career-best and set a mark of 19:32. That's better than the career-best mark from former Indian standout Tia Carnahan, who finished either first or second in every Cowapa League championship meet from 2009-2012. It's the fourth-fastest mark since 2000, and sits behind Charlie Davidson in 2013, Megan Smith in 2005 and Jenny Elder in 2008 — all seniors when they put their names in the record book.

As much — as the early performance from Kauvulich might strike fear into the rest of the Cowapa League, they'll get just as many nightmares from the Indians' number two runner — another freshmen. Georgia Benner cut more than five minutes off her 5,000 meter time from the Three-Course Challenge on Sept. 20 to take 21st-place overall at the Meriwether classic.

The remainder of the Tribe runners finished close together, with sophomore Emily Marquardt taking 57th overall with a season-best of 24 minutes flat followed by senior Baylee Maloney, with sophomore Abby Carrier, junior Macy Gray and sophomore Caley Ricker finishing not far behind.

The Tribe boys held their own as well, pushing for a sixth-place finish and keeping pace with the Class 5A and 6A programs in the mix.

As the Indians approach the midway point of their season, senior Dan Carrier continues to live up to the hype as the man to beat in the Cowapa League with a 13th place finish with a time of 17:23, just five seconds off the career-best time from his sophomore season. It's Carrier's best time in the current year, besting his mark of 18:42 from the Ultimook Invitational on Sept. 6, and with Thursday's Trojan Relays behind him, sets the pace for a strong finish with three standard-length races left ahead of the league championships on Oct. 25.

While Carrier has distanced himself from the pack, the rest of the five scoring runners for Scappoose stayed in a tight-knit bunch. Runners two through five finished just 17 paces apart from one another. Seniors Jacob Harley and Stephen Gift were neck-and-neck, finishing 38th and 39th respectively for a pair of season personal bests, while junior Mason Reardon finished just inside the top-50. Freshman John Kavulich ran a career-best 19:05 to take 55th as the third-highest finishing freshman in the boys' race.

This season, the Indians have seen more than a handful of different looks on the cross country trail. Outside of the regular 5,000 meter race, Scappoose participated in the 3,000 meter night meet in Wilsonville, the 4,500 meter Three-Course Challenge in Seaside, and the 5,200 meter Silver Falls Oktoberfest Invitational in Silverton. The Trojan Relays, which are set for Thursday, Oct. 2 at Trojan Park near Rainier, is another off-kilter challenge.

It's a 10-mile relay, where each runner on a team of five takes a two-mile chunk before handing off to the next athlete. The relay is a different feel, and requires a different pace and different training before teams get set for the final stretch in preparation for the league and state championships.

SUMMARY

Scappoose at Meriwether National Cross Country Invitational, Hillsboro

Boys

Lakeridge 43

Union 53

Sherwood 99

La Salle 110

Liberty 110

Scappoose 171

Southwest Christian 207

McNary 227

Heritage 231

St. Helens 266

Westside Christian 305

Hillsboro 337

Girls

Union 43

Sherwood 76

Lakeridge 88

Heritage 107

La Salle 139

Liberty 172

Scappoose 176

Hillsboro 212

McNary 217

St. Helens 257

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