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Oregon high school cross country 2023: Districts recap, state preview

The Oregon high school cross country state championships take place Saturday in all classifications

The Oregon high school cross country state championships take place Saturday in all classifications. (Photo by Taylor Balkom) 

Where: Lane Community College, Eugene

Meet schedule: 2A/1A boys, 10 a.m.; 3A/2A/1A girls, 10:35 a.m.; 3A boys, 11:10 a.m.; 4A girls, 11:45 a.m.; 4A boys, 12:20 p.m.; 5A girls, 1:45 p.m.; 5A boys, 2:20 p.m.; 6A girls, 2:55 p.m.; 6A boys, 3:30 p.m.

Course records: Boys—14:30.4, Evan Holland, Ashland (2019). Girls—17:26, Ella Donaghu, Grant (2015), and Ember Stratton, Sunset (2016). 


Defending champion


Returning placers

2, Ella McGillis, Central Catholic, senior; 3, Maura O’Scannlain, Jesuit, junior; 4, Keira Saavedra, Lincoln, senior; 5, Liliana Hudnut, Jesuit, senior; 6, Nelida Dalgas, North Salem, sophomore. 8, Sabine Kim, Tigard, senior; 9, Josie Fale, Ida B. Wells, senior.

District champions

PIL: Lincoln; Ellery Lincoln, freshman

Metro: Jesuit; Emma Bennett, Jesuit, junior

Pacific: Sherwood; Anna Grunow, Sherwood, junior

Mt. Hood: Central Catholic; McGillis

Three Rivers: Lakeridge; Chloe Huyler, Lakeridge, junior

Central Valley: West Salem; Delgas

Southwest: South Eugene; Elizabeth McCart, South Eugene, junior


With Bennett, last year’s 800- and 1,500-meter champion, back 100% healthy after tendinitis hampered her sophomore cross country season, the Crusaders look to defend their title against Lincoln, which beat them at the Hole in the Wall Invitational in early October led by Ellery Lincoln, who has run 17:21 this season. 

The individual race will be wide open with the absence of last year’s champion, Lake Oswego junior Ana Peters. Huyler, McGillis, Lincoln, Bennett and Dalgas figure to set the pace — Huyler is a transfer from Sage Ridge in Reno, Nevada, where she broke 1A state records in the 1,600 and 3,200 in May and was an All-American in the mile at the Nike Outdoor Nationals. She never ran cross country before this year, focusing instead on soccer. 


Defending champion


Returning placers

4, Jack Meier, West Salem, senior; 8, Caden Swanson, Jesuit, senior

District champions

PIL: Franklin; Asher Danielson, Ida B. Wells, senior

Metro: Jesuit; Swanson

Pacific: Sherwood; Dylan Weniger, Sherwood, junior

Mt. Hood: Central Catholic; Kai Miles, Nelson, senior

Three Rivers: Paul Hretcanu, Tigard, freshman

Central Valley: West Salem; Meier

Southwest: South Eugene; Malachi Schoenherr, Sheldon, sophomore


Jesuit, Franklin and Central Catholic have combined to win every state title since 2012, and those three teams should jostle for the top position again this fall. Swanson and sophomore Matthew Wroblewski were top-20 finishers for Jesuit last year, and junior Brennan McEwen is the Lightning’s top returner (22nd). 

Danielson, Meier, Swanson and Franklin junior Zafer Courcelle should form the lead pack. Danielson beat Meier by nine seconds at last month’s Rose City Championship.


Defending champions

Summit; Emily Wisniewski, Crescent Valley, junior

Returning placers

1, Wisniewski; 3, Lindsay Siebert, Crater, senior; 5, Emma West, Crater, junior; 6, Lillian Weiss, Crescent Valley, sophomore

District champions

NWOC: Wilsonville; MacKenzie Bigej, Canby, junior

Mid-Willamette: Crescent Valley; Wisniewski

Midwestern: Crater; Artana Nice, North Eugene, senior

Intermountain: Summit; Eva Dicharry, Summit, sophomore


Summit’s run of 14 consecutive state championships between 5A and 6A is in jeopardy this year thanks to the ascendence of Crescent Valley, led by Wisniewski, who has the course record of 17:26 squarely in her sights. The Storm defeated the Raiders in their only head-to-head meeting at Rose City, and with sophomores Eva Dicharry and Skye Knox leading the way, they’ll put up a spirited defense against Crescent Valley and Crater. 

Wisniewski ran 17:58 to repeat as champion last year, and she has run 64 seconds faster over 5K this season than anyone else in the field. Bigej — a soccer standout who will be jetting from Eugene to Wilsonville for the Cougars’ quarterfinal match after the race — Weiss, Nice and the Comets duo of West and Siebert should make up the second-place pack. 


Defending champion


Returning placers

6, Josiah Tostenson, Crater, junior; 8, Caleb Doddington, Crater, senior; 9, Tayvon Kitchen, Crater, junior; 10, Shaun Garnica, Crater, senior

District champions

NWOC: Hood River Valley; Liam Wilde, Wilsonville, junior

Mid-Willamette: Corvallis; Ty Cirino, Central, junior

Midwestern: Crater; Kitchen

Intermountain: Summit; Noah Laughlin-Hall, Summit, senior


The Comets posted the lowest point total since 2014 in romping to the title last year, and even without Tyrone Gorze, they have the depth to challenge their 30-point total of a year ago.

Their top four runners — Tostenson, Doddington, Kitchen and Garnica — should be in the hunt for the individual title as well. Laughlin-Hall, Cirino, Summit junior Hayden Boaz and Caldera sophomore Mason Morical will be their top challengers. 


Defending champion

La Grande

Returning placers

2, Cecilia Villagomez, La Grande, junior; 3, Emily Tubbs, La Grande, senior; 4, Brooke Perry, La Grande, sophomore; 5, Adele Beckstead, Philomath, junior; 7, Alaina Casady, The Dalles, junior; 8, Isabela Coffman, Klamath Union, senior; 9, Keira Welch, Henley, sophomore; 10, Sofia Kaaen, Baker, junior

District champions

Cowapa: Tillamook; Brooke Bush, Tillamook, freshman

Tri-Valley: The Dalles; Casady

Oregon West: Philomath; Ana Candanoza, Philomath, sophomore

Sky Em: Cottage Grove; Libby Fox, Junction City, junior

Skyline: Klamath Union; Coffman

Greater Oregon: La Grande; Villagomez


La Grande returns its big three of Villagomez, Tubbs and Perry, but Philomath enters the meet a slight favorite because of the strength of its pack led by Candanoza (17th at state last fall) and Beckstead.

The individual race should come down to those five along with Casady and Coffman. Last year’s sixth-place finisher, Molalla’s Anika Jenson, didn’t advance out of her district meet.


Defending champion

The Dalles 

Returning placers

6, Carter Bengtson, Cottage Grove, junior; 7, Connor Brown, Newport, junior; 8, Carter Harmon, Klamath Union, senior

District champions

Cowapa: Tillamook; Taiki Ogawa, Scappoose, senior

Tri-Valley: Crook County; Tyson Long, The Dalles, sophomore

Oregon West: Newport; Finn Collson, Newport, junior

Sky Em: Cottage Grove; Bengtson

Skyline: Phoenix; Samuel Iversen, Henley, senior

Greater Oregon: Baker; Daniel Brown, Baker, junior


Newport won the Oregon West district title to qualify as a team for the first time since 2018. Now, the Cubs take aim at a first state championship boasting three juniors — Brown, Collson and Noah Larsen — in the top 15 on the season list.

Iversen defeated Phoenix senior Kael Feeley and Harmon at the Skyline district meet to join the conversation of individual contenders with the Newport trio, Long (40th in 2022) and Bengtson. 


Defending champions

Enterprise; Daisy Lalonde, East Linn Christian, junior

Returning placers

1, Lalonde; 2, Lauren Tittel, Oregon Episcopal, junior; 3, Jaya Simmons, Valley Catholic, junior; 4, Delaney Draeger, Vernonia, senior; 5, Sophie Schoolmeester, Banks, sophomore; 6, Sydney White, Burns, sophomore; 9, Morgan Matthews, Oregon Episcopal, senior; 10, Lily Nichols, Heppner, sophomore

District champions

District 1: Oregon Episcopal; Simmons

District 2: Kennedy; Lalonde

District 3: Union; Nichols

District 4: Siuslaw; Alison Hughes, Siuslaw, sophomore


Oregon Episcopal won its only state championship in 1988, but the Aardvarks are the odds-on favorite to take home the blue trophy this weekend. Tittel, Matthews and sophomore Evelyn Peters have three of the 10 fastest times in the class this season.

Lalonde beat Tittel by 11½ seconds last fall to become her school’s first state champion. Simmons has run the fastest time in the field this season as the only harrier to break 18 minutes. 


Defending champion


Returning placers

4, Trevor Stewart, Vale, senior; 8, Morgan Amano, Valley Catholic, senior; 9, Diego Zambrano, Santiam Christian, sophomore

District champions

District 1: Valley Catholic; Amano

District 2: Harrisburg; Zambrano

District 3: Sisters; Stewart

District 4: Siuslaw; Brayden Linton, Siuslaw, senior


With Amano and junior Peter Davis leading the way, the Valiants hope to make up the 23-point gap on Siuslaw and win their fourth state title and first since 2016. The Vikings return Linton (13th) and junior Dylan Jensen (20th) to lead their title defense.

Amano struggled for much of the season but knocked off state leader Jayden Warner, a Warrenton sophomore, to win the district title. Those two should be part of the lead pack along with Stewart, Zambrano, Linton and Enterprise sophomore Jonah Lyman.


Defending champion


Returning placers

2, Grady Greenwood, Heppner, senior; 5, Eli Williams, Union, senior; 8, Joshua Peterson, Knappa, junior

District champions

District 1: Knappa; Peterson

District 2: Monroe; Jonathan Kintz, Kennedy, senior

District 3: Union; Greenwood

District 4: Reedsport; Curtiss Heier, Illinois Valley, junior


The Loggers edged Union by two points in the meet’s closest finish last year, and it should be just as razor-thin a margin this fall. Each team has a dynamic duo — Peterson and sophomore Wyatt Jacobson (12th) for Knappa, and Williams and junior Nathanael O’Reilly (14th) for the Bobcats — so it will come down to how well each team’s fourth and fifth runners fare when the field strings out.

Greenwood and Williams put on a thrilling duel at the district meet, with the Mustangs senior winning by less than three seconds. He hopes to keep the state title in the family after Trevor Nichols won last year.