Roughly midway through season, top cross country runners are starting to distance themselves from the pack
Editor’s note: Information in this article was up to date as of The Reflector’s Monday deadline.
Despite cooler weather and the arrival of seasonal rain, North County’s cross country racers are heating up. At this point in the season, most runners are getting close to their prime performances, and several have set new personal records.
In La Center, the girls team is dominating the Trico League. Although the fastest time in the league for the season so far is held by Sydnee Dyer, of Seton Catholic, at (19:10), five of the top 12 racers are Wildcats. Natasha Lewis is ranked second with the 19:22 time she recorded last week. Right behind her in third is Roselynn Martin, whose best time is 19:25.
Ranked seventh and eighth in league are Bethany Whitten and Emily Graham. Whitten’s best time thus far is 20:33 and Graham’s is 20:59. The fifth-highest ranking Wildcat is Sierra Harris, who is 12th with a time of 22:27.
“I believe all five of them can make it to state,” said Head Coach Andrew Helm. “The fact that so many of them are strong runners helps them with training. They all have great training partners.”
On the boys side, La Center also has a few athletes in the top 10 league rankings. Jared Cox is ranked seventh in the Trico with a best time of 17:50 so far this season and Garett Shapovalov is ninth with a finish of 17:52. The highest-ranking Wildcat is Calvin DuBois who has a time of 17:09. For a while earlier this season, it was the fastest time in the league, but it is now fourth. DuBois and Cox are seniors. Helm said they’re extra motivated because it’s their final high school season.
“They’re looking back on what they’ve done to this point and just want to get the most out of it this year,” Helm said.
At the 2A level, Ridgefield’s Kyle Radosevich at one point held the fastest time of any racer in the state last month with 16:08. His time now ranks third in the 2A’s.
Although Radosevich is performing at an elite level, he will be busy fending off stiff competition all the way to state — presuming he makes it — because two other racers from the GSHL 2A league are also in the 2A top 10. Radosevich’s teammate, Ciarnin McNeil, has already beaten him once this season and is ranked 18th in the 2A’s with a best time of 16:41.
Other 2A runners from North County who have established themselves as contenders thus far include Ridgefield’s Miles Bethel, who ran a 16:53 last week, Hockinson’s Kai Conradie, who’s best time this year is 17:20, and Woodland’s Josiah Anderson, who posted a 17:41 season best.
On the girl’s side, 2A GSHL league elites are Allyson Peterson, of Hockinson (19:50 best), and McKenna Flanagan (20:28 best). They rank second and third in the league. Compared to the rest of the state, Peterson has the 14th ranked best time and Flanagan is 27th. A few others from North County who could end up catching up to them by the end of the season but will need to shave some time are Ridgefield’s Jane Kuebrich, Ashley Hunter and Hailey Figueras, Woodland’s Natalie Biddix and Hockinson’s Julia Zora.
In the 3A division, Prairie’s Luke Lund has been the only runner with a time good enough to be in the top 10 of the GSHL league. Over the weekend though, two teammates — Isaac Moulton and Sheldon Galipeau — joined him. At the Nike Portland XC meet on Saturday, all three runners recorded personal best times (Lund 16:48; Moulton 17:28; Galipeau 18:04).
Prairie’s girls team has only one racer in the top 10 of league, Meri Dunford. She too recorded a new personal best (18:52) Saturday and is ranked third in league. Across the state she’s ranked 10th.
Pound for pound, Battle Ground has had the least cross country success this fall. No boy on the team is inside the top 10 of the 4A GSHL league and no girl is within the top 35. Matthew Palmateer has been the most successful racer for the Tigers. His 17:15 time earlier this season puts him at 14th best in league.