The Tigers, prepping for district, beat Jaguars, Grizzlies

by: DAN BROOD - TIGERS ON THE RUN -- Tigard's (from left) Nicholas Septh, Devin Roche and Martin Ramos III run together as a pack early in last week's Pacific Conference meet held at Tigard High School. TIGARD — The Tigard High School boys cross country team isn’t sure which one of its runners is going to lead the way, week to week.

And, the Tigers say, that’s a good thing.

The team’s depth and parity sure seemed to pay off in a big way last week, and, Tigard hopes, it will also pay off in the future.

The Tigers, competing strong as a pack, swept Century and McMinnville in a Pacific Conference double dual meet held Oct. 9 at Tigard High School.

“Last year, I was the No. 1 runner for us most of the year,” Tigard senior Devin Roche said after the race. “This year, it can be any of us. That’s good. It keeps me on my toes.”

“We’re pretty solid,” Tigard senior Martin Ramos III said. “We have more depth this year. That’s nice.”

The Tigers, at last week’s meet, scored a 22-33 win over Century and they bested McMinnville by a 15-47 score. With the two wins, Tigard improved to 3-2 in conference meets, putting the Tigers in third place in the conference standings behind unbeaten Forest Grove and second-place Glencoe, which is 4-1.

Tigard was slated to finish its regular-season schedule Wednesday when it faced Tualatin and Newberg in a double dual meet held at Tualatin High School. Results of that meet weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The Tigers will next be in action at the Pacific Conference district championships, which will be held next Thursday at Clackamas Community College. At that meet, the Tigard boys will be looking to earn one of the two team berths to the Class 6A state championships.

“Hopefully, we’ll get to state as a team,” Ramos said. “Forest Grove is No. 1, but I think it will be between McMinnville, Glencoe, Tualatin and us for the No. 2 spot. I think we’ll be ready.”

The Tigers certainly seemed to be ready at last week’s conference meet.

Century sophomore Angel Salazar won the 5,000-meter varsity boys race in a time of 16 minutes, 45.03 seconds. But, right behind him was a pack of four Tigard runners.

Roche led the way for the Tigers at the meet, placing second with a mark of 16:57.69.

“I went out really fast, and that was both good and bad,” he said. “We were running a new course here, and I expected it to be fast, but going up the hills threw me off.”

Still, it turned out to be a good run for the Tigard senior.

“I haven’t broken 17 (minutes) for a couple of weeks,” he said. “So it was good. It was nice to have Marty (Ramos) up there with me. After the first meet, something clicked with him. He’s been doing really great.”

Ramos finished third in last week’s meet with a time of 17:00.47.

“It was a solid race on a new course,” he said. “My time was fast, but I could have gone a little faster.”

Right behind Roche and Ramos was Tigard junior John Caufield, who placed fourth in a time of 17:10.75. Tigard freshman Nicholas Septh was just a couple steps behind, finishing in fifth place with a mark of 17:12.06.

Also for the Tigard boys, freshman Nicholas Schloss was ninth at 18:00.18, sophomore Zachary McFall was 10th at 18:19.81 and junior Zach Sims was 15th at 19:04.75.

The Tigard girls also had an impressive showing at last week’s meet. The Tigers rolled to a 15-50 win over McMinnville and they notched a 20-43 victory over Century.

With the two victories, the Tigard girls moved to 4-1 in conference meets, putting them in a tie with Tualatin for third place in the standings. Newberg is in first place at 5-0 and Forest Grove is second at 4-1.

The Tigard girls had a strong pack in last week’s meet, with their seven varsity runners finishing in places two through eight.

Sophomore Veronique Calmels led the way for the Tigers. She finished in second place with a mark of 20:00.41 for the 5,000-meter courst.

Tigard junior Elizabeth Dean was third at 20:15.94 and junior Hannaly Duff-McGaughey was fourth at 20:41.50.

Also for the Tigard girls, sophomore Bailey Hardinge was fifth at 21:06.62, senior Megan Franz was sixth at 21:10.38, junior Mckenna Masterson was seventh at 21:21.15 and senior Katherine Soldewel was eighth at 21:36.44.

Century junior Braanna Weber took first place with a time of 19:52.18.

Action at next Thursday’s district meet starts with the junior varsity girls race at 2:30 p.m. The junior varsity boys race will be at 3 p.m. The varsity girls race begins at 3:30 p.m. with the varsity boys race to follow at 4 p.m.

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