Horizon Christian boys to keep running strong
TUALATIN — The Horizon Christian High School boys cross country team took high hopes into the 2017 season.
And, even though the Hawks may have a bit of a different look this year, they're looking to enjoy the same success.
The Horizon Christian squad will likely be looking to rebuild this season, after graduating four seniors, including the top two finishers at last year's district meet, from the 2016 team that placed second in the Class 3A/2A/1A Special District 2 championships, and went on to compete at the state meet for the third straight year.
Still, the Hawks have some strong returnees back from last year's squad that finished in seventh place at the Class 3A/2A/1A state meet.
Among the returnees is junior Tucker Olson, who finished in eighth place in the individual standings at last year's district meet.
"He is the clear leader of the guys team, and the group will rely on him to set the tone at practice and meets," Horizon Christian coach Scott Olson said.
Senior Noah Logan and junior Zach Schreiber are the only other returnees on the Horizon Christian team who have varsity experience.
"Zach Schreiber will look to build on a breakout track season last sprint, and has looked strong in the early part of the cross country season," Scott Olson said. "Noah Logan looks to be a major factor this year."
In the mix for the remaining varsity spots will be senior Soren Lindseth, junior C.J. Panaitescu, junior Sam Stetzel and sophomore Carter Barrett. Panaitescu and Stetzel will be doing cross country for the first time this year.
The boys team will also have depth, with returning sophomore Luke Eyerly and freshmen Micah Clements and Cade Nelson.
Logan and Tucker Olson will serve as team captains for the boys squad.
"The boys will be working toward a fourth-straight state appearance this year," Scott Olson said.
The Horizon Christian girls team will once again consist of only senior Megan Black.
Last year, Black ran to 16th place at the Special District 2 championships.
"She looks to be off to an incredible start in early practices this year," Scott Olson said. "And she'll be looking to place among the top 15 in league this year."
Last Thursday, the Horizon Christian boys ran to fifth place in the team standings at the 16-school Regis/Stayton Invitational, held at Stayton High School.
The Hawks took fifth place with a score of 156 points. Stayton claimed first place with a total of 52.
Tucker Olson led the way for Horizon Christian boys at the meet.
He ran to 19th place with a time of 18 minutes, 48.3 seconds for the 5,000-meter course.
Horizon sophomore Kenta Yoshii was 23rd at 19:16.1. Also for the Hawks, Logan was 29th at 19:37.0, Schreiber was 30th at 19:37.5, Panaitescu was 69th at 20:54.1 and Barrett was 98th at 22:03.7
In the girls race, Black finished in 15th place in a time of 23:15.5.
The Hawks will be back in action Friday, when they run at the Heiser Farms XC Race, which will be held at Heiser Farms in Dayton.