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John and Linnaea Kavulich were seconds from Indians' first cross country state championships

Juniors take respective second and third, Scappoose girls fifth with 131 points


PHOTO CREDIT: DEBBIE HUMPHREY - John Kavulich (left) and Linnaea Kavulich (right) ran to respective second- and third-place finishes at the OSAA Class 4A Cross Country State Championships on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Lane Community College in Eugene.PHOTO CREDIT: COLIN HOUCK - John Kavulich (785) and North Bend senior Michael Brown (764) receive their respective second- and first-place medallions. Cowapa League champion Michael Rzewnicki (790) finished fourth, Phoenix junior Robert Vos (16:20) was third and Astoria senior senior Lucas Caruana (702) came up fifth.PHOTO CREDIT: COLIN HOUCK - Linnaea Kavulich (right) watches as returning Class 4A state champion and Siuslaw senior Celie Mans, who finished ahead of Tillamook freshman Solace Bergeron (212) and Kavulich (191), receives her state championship medallionJohn Kavulich was four seconds from the Indians' first individual cross country state championship on Saturday.

The junior crossed the finish line in 16 minutes, 17 seconds behind North Bend senior Far West League ace Michael Brown (16:13) in his first boys' 5,000-meter run at the OSAA Class 4A Cross Country State Championships at Lane Community College in Eugene.

"I did what I set out to do," said Kavulich, the Cowapa League runner-up who set both the school 3,100 record (9:50) and the 5,000 record (15:59) this fall. "I qualified for the BorderClash [set for Nov. 19-20 at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton] to compete against 6A and 5A competition, and hopefully I can keep pace and [set a personal record]."

It was also Brown (8:59.20) who edged Kavulich (8:59.24) by .04 seconds for the track and field 3,000 title not five miles away on May 21 at Hayward Field.

Kavulich, the only Indians boy to reach state this year, is the highest individual finisher in school history and was the first Scappoose boy to reach state since Dan Carrier went 12th and the league champion boys were ninth in 2013.

Linnaea Kavulich (19:11) came within four seconds of Tillamook freshman Solace Bergeron (19:07) and 16 seconds behind returning state champion and Siuslaw senior Celie Mans (18:55) in her third trip to state.

"It was a rough race," said Kavulich, who set the girls' school 4,387 record (17:17) and the 5,200 record (24:31.2) in 2014, went seventh and fourth at state in the last two years and won her third league title in a row. "I didn't reach my best, but a lot of people would be thrilled to finish where I did."

Emma Jones followed Kavulich for 19th in 20:51 ahead of Georgia Benner (27th, 21:12), Grace Rieman (40th, 21:45), Emily Marquardt (67th, 23:03), Lisbeth Melgar (84th, 23:46) and Carra Johnston (86th, 23:50) as the Tribe girls finished fifth (131).

"The course had a lot of hills," said Jones, a freshman. "It was challenging, but rewarding when you finished. I love the girls, and we'll see what next year holds."

The Scappoose boys won the Class AA state title in 1981 and the girls won the Class 4A state championship in 2011.

"I really believe everyone competed very well and ran with a lot of determination," Indians coach Dave Harley said. "I was very proud of the effort."

Valley Catholic (58) won its fourth boys' state crown in six years ahead of Seaside (79) and Phoenix (121).

Cowapa League girls' champion Tillamook (71) was the best in state for the first time over La Grande (76) and Philomath (123).

John Kavulich will make his BorderClash premiere and Linnaea Kavulich will make her third run after coming up 68th last year and 53rd in 2014.

"They give everyone 'Oregon' or 'Washington' BorderClash uniforms and fire a cannon at the start of the race," Linnaea Kavulich said.

Athletes from the Oregon Project — created by Nike vice president Thomas E. Clarke in the 1980s to boost American long-distance runners' performances after Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazer won the New York City Marathon three times in a row — attend the festivities including the opening ceremony at the Tiger Woods Building's Stanford Theater on the first day as well as the Futureclasher Race, awards and a waffle breakfast.