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Fall sports review 2013: Wilsonville cross-country girls 'started to think bigger'

Six runners earn all-league recognition in NWOC


by: GREG ARTMAN / FILE - District champion Taryn Rawlings earned the fourth top-10 state finish of her stellar high school cross-country career while leading the Wilsonville girls this year.Six members of the Wilsonville girls cross-country team received all-league honors for their performances at the Northwest Oregon Conference district meet.

Star senior Taryn Rawlings was recognized atop the first team after winning the third district title of her career with a time of 19 minutes 38.0 seconds.

The league championship was just part of a standout season for Rawlings, who went on to place seventh at the Class 5A finals. It was her fourth top-10 state finish in four years.

Rawlings wrapped up her cross-country career with the Wildcats after setting the program’s 5,000-meter record with the 17:59.7 that she ran Oct. 11 at Sandelie Golf Course, breaking the previous best of 18:25 that Melissa Brown logged in 2004.

Rawlings participated in the NXN Northwest Regional championship event Nov. 16 at Eagle Island State Park in Boise, Idhao, clocking a 20:48.0 to place 111th in an elite field of 158 runners.

“She has made a significant move forward as a runner this fall,” coach David Barkley said. “Her improvement is a little hidden, as Oregon girls distance running is at a high point right now.”

Wilsonville teammate Haley Prusse also was a first-team all-league honoree after placing fifth at the district meet as a freshman.

Prusse clocked a 21:16.5 at the league finals and helped the Wildcats capture a team berth to the OSAA championships a year after they missed out by one point.

She had a “huge year for a freshman,” Barkley said. “She grabbed a hold of a top-three spot for us early in the year and powered through what can be a long season for freshman. Her district-race fifth place set the tone for the team’s pack at districts.”

Prusse’s career-best time of 20:50.3, which she recorded in October at Sandelie Golf Course, put her in the program’s all-time top 20.

Wilsonville juniors Emily Gillett and Chloe Tomlinson earned spots on the all-NWOC second team. Gillett (21:35.0) and Tomlinson (21:55.4) placed 10th and 13th, respectively, at the district meet.

Gillett made a major impact a year after competing on the junior varsity squad, Barkley said.

“From middle JV to third on varsity is a massive move in one year,” he said. “It will be fun to see what she can get done in one more year of hard training.”

Barkley is also looking forward to the ongoing development of Tomlinson, who improved on her 2012 district race by 10 spots this year.

“She is just starting to figure out that she can be a top runner,” he said.

Wildcats junior Toni Gowen and senior Christie Halverson received honorable mention this year. Gowen (22:04.9) and Halverson (22:15.0) placed 15th and 16th at the district meet, respectively.

“(Gowen) did a fine job of running varsity every race this year,” Barkley said. “It will be interesting to watch what she can get done in her last year of high school running. She is just starting to figure out how to jump to the next level.”

Barkley praised Halverson, a star swimmer, as “one of the toughest kids” he’s ever coached.

“She is truly a land shark, and we are grateful to have gotten a chance to have borrowed her from the pool for a while,” he said.

Halverson was part of a senior class that also included Rawlings, Alexa Dube and Meagan Koeroghlian. Halverson, Rawlings, Dube and Gillett received team leadership awards.

“Our graduating seniors all have played a huge role athletically and socially and will be greatly missed,” Barkley said.

Anouxa Vixathep was named the NWOC girls coach of the year after leading Sandy to a district title.

Wilsonville placed 10th out of 12 teams at the state meet with 240 points. Bend-Summit (33) won the 5A title. Summit sophomore Hannah Gindlesperger cruised to an individual OSAA championship in 17:53.

“(This year’s) group jelled very well together as the season progressed and has started to think bigger than just being happy to qualify for state,” Barkley said. “We have a good group of returning runners that are just starting to figure what it takes to get really fast. The group has started to think big. I am hopeful they can allow themselves the training time to become better and better runners.”

***

AT A GLANCE

WILSONVILLE GIRLS CROSS-COUNTRY 2013

District: Second place; Taryn Rawlings wins individual title

State: 10th place out of 12 teams in Class 5A finals

All-league first team: Taryn Rawlings, Haley Prusse

All-league second team: Emily Gillett, Chloe Tomlinson

Honorable mention: Toni Gowen, Christie Halverson




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