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Cross Country: Indians make statement at Mariman Invitational

Freshman takes second among heavy state title favorites


Photo Credit: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Scappoose senior Stephen Gift, who shouldered the third leg for the Indians at the Trojan Relays on Oct. 2, finished second out of the five scoring runners for the Tribe at the Paul Mariman Invitational just two days later.In what could very well be a preview of the OSAA Cross Country State Championships in November, Scappoose freshmen Linnaea Kavulich stated her name, and stated it rather loudly.

Kavulich took second at the Paul Mariman invitational meet in Philomath, Oregon on Oct. 4, was the only freshman to finish in the top eight, and beat out all five of No. 2 Molalla's heavily-favored runners — and just two days after busting up the Trojan Relays in Rainier as one of the event's top finishers.

Kavulich, who already broke the freshman 5,000 meters record set by standout Tia Carnahan, led the Tribe girls to finish in close competition with six of the top-10 teams in the state, as ranked by a coaches poll released Monday, Oct. 6. The Indians come in at 10th, behind the Cowapa League's Valley Catholic in ninth and Tillamook in eighth.

Right now, the Indians' top-three runners are set. Kavulich holds the season's best time by over a minute ahead of fellow freshman Georgia Benner, who ran step-for-step with senior Rachel Bode at the Mariman Invitational. Bode improved her season best by a full two minutes in Philomath, and is still about a minute away from snapping her career best set back on Oct. 16, 2013 at McCormick Park in St. Helens.

She'll get her chance on Wednesday, Oct. 8, as the Tribe will visit McCormick once again with the hopes of seeing improvement from what could make or break their bid for a league title — runners four through seven.

Sophomore Emily Marquardt, like Bode, set her career best a year ago at McCormick park, hitting the mark of 22 minutes even. She's about two and a half minutes beind her season best, but dropped two minutes in the space of two weeks a year ago to place sixth at McCormick with a time that would nearly have put her in the top-10 in Philomath last Friday.

The fifth spot is very much up for grabs. Four runners — senior Baylee Maloney, juniors Caley Ricker and Hanna Sleightam and freshman Abby Carrier — have all put in times within 18 seconds of one another.

The Scappose boys had a highlight individual performance of their own as well, banking on an excellent showing from senior Dan Carrier. Finally nearing the rarified air he breathed last season, Carrier is close to breaking the 17-minute mark for the first time since running a 16:54 at the 2013 state championship meet after finishing seventh at the Philomath Invitation with a time of 17:36.

Just two days earlier, Carrier had been an integral part in the Scappoose boys taking first place at the Trojan Relays for the first time in recent memory. Carrier cut four seconds from his previous career best in the 3,100 meter event.

Fellow senior Stephen Gift, like Carrier, managed to knock a few seconds off his 3,100 meter time in Rainier, and promptly turned around and set a new season-best in the 5,000 meters at 18:40.05, which is already better than his mark at the state title meet a year ago.

The Indians also got solid contributions from junior Mason Reardon, freshman John Kavulich and senior Jacob Harley, pushing their way upward to take fifth place in Philomath behind Siuslaw, Philomath, North Bend and league opponent Tillamook. All four finished ahead of the Indians in the latest Class 4A coaches poll, where Scappoose finished in 11th with eight votes. Valley Catholic, who the Indians won't see until the Cowapa League Championships on Oct. 25, swept all nine first place votes in the boys' poll.

Class 4A Top-10 Coaches Poll (Oct. 6)

Boys

1 Valley Catholic 90 (9)

2 Phoenix 79

3 Marshfield 69

4 Siuslaw 54

5 Tillamook 49

6 Philomath 40

7 Ontario 36

8 North Bend 30

9 La Grande 18

10 Elmira 17

11 Scappoose 8

Girls

1 Phoenix 89 (8)

2 Molalla 80 (1)

3 Siuslaw 74

4 Philomath 58

5 Sisters 51

6 North Bend 48

7 Hidden Valley 34

8 Tillamook 20

9 Valley Catholic 19

10 Scappoose 10

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