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Strong returnees to pace Tigard

Tigers take high hopes into the 2013 season

by: DAN BROOD - DYNAMIC DUO -- Tigard High School juniors Hannah McGaughey (left) and Elizabeth Dean both return for the Tiger girls cross country team this season.  TIGARD — The Tigers boast a strong group of returning numbers.

They also have a some talented newcomers.

With that going for them, the Tigard High School cross country squads are taking high hopes into the 2013 season.

“The team is shaping up nicely,” second-year Tigard head coach Holly Paris said. “Both the boys and girls teams look solid in our league.”

The Tigard girls return three of their top runners from last year’s team that finished with a 4-3 record in Pacific Conference dual meets while also running to third place in the league’s district meet.

Leading the way for the Tiger girls will be junior Elizabeth Dean. Last year, Dean finished in fourth place, individually at the league’s district event with a time of 20 minutes and 36 seconds for the 5,000-meter race.

“I’m really excited to see how Ellie Dean does this year,” Paris said. “She has been training hard this summer, along with Martin Ramos III and Devin Roche (from the Tigard boys team). They all went to a running camp in Idaho together.”

The Tigard girls have another top returnee in junior Hannaly McGaughey. Last year, McGaughey ran to ninth place at the district meet with a mark of 21:14.

Senior Megan Franz also returns for the Tigers. She was 22nd at last year’s district meet with a time of 22:21.

Among the newcomers for the Tigard girls will be sophomore Veronique Camels.

The Tigard boys have a strong group of returnees from last year’s team that went 5-2 in Pacific Conference dual meets and placed third at the league’s district meet.

Ramos and Roche are two returning seniors who should help pace the Tigers this year.

Last year, Ramos ran to 23rd place in the district meet with a time of 17:59.

Tigard has another key returning senior in Nathanael Ditton.

“Nathanael Ditton will be a team leader this year and he is really stepping it up,” Paris said. “He is a hard trainer and has natural talent.”

Ditton ran to 32nd place at last year’s district meet with a mark of 18:16.

Junior John Caufield also returns for the Tigers. He came on strong for Tigard at last year’s district race, placing ninth in a time of 17:26.

Among the newcomers for the Tigard boys are freshmen Nicholas Speth and Nicholas Schloss.

As for the Pacific Conference this year, Paris is looking for her Tigard teams to make some noise.

“I hope we finish on top,” she said. “But Forest Grove always give us a run for our money.”

Tigard will open its season tonight (Thursday) when it competes at an invitational starting at 7 p.m. at Wilsonville High School.

On Wednesday, the Tiger teams will compete at the Canby Invitational, which starts at 4:15 p.m. at Molalla State Park.


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