Philomath girls miss state cross-country title by 1 point

As Philomath High’s runners crossed the finish line during the state cross-country meet Saturday in Eugene, veteran coach Joe Fulton tried to calculate team scores. Siuslaw, Philomath and Marist were all in the running for the top trophy and it was going to be close.

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“For a while there, I thought we had it because they were showing scores and it looked like we were at least tied with Siuslaw, which means we would have beat them because our sixth runner beat their sixth runner,” Fulton said. “But then once all of the results were in, they scored it and we lost by one.”

Siuslaw 85, Philomath 86.

“The girls, they don’t have anything to be ashamed of,” Fulton added. “They raced their hearts out. Every one of them had a good race and they’re all excited about coming back next year and winning the whole thing.”

Philomath freshman Adele Beckstead was the team’s top finisher with seventh in 20:13.20 and junior Ingrid Hellesto placed 10th in 20:25.80.

PHS girls cross-country team
The Philomath girls pose for a group photo with the runner-up trophy. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Beckstead came into the state meet at not quite 100%, she said, with a left shin split issue.

“I just wanted to run my best, honestly,” Beckstead said when asked if she approached the race with any particular strategy. “I was trying to stay with the first people out and just keep up from there.”

Fulton was impressed with the effort.

“She’s so gutsy; she really hasn’t been able to train properly for the last three weeks,” he said. “She got an X-ray and there was no stress fracture, so she wanted to give it a try and see if she could help the team and boy, she just moved up steadily.”

Beckstead was back in 12th through the first mile but made a move and got up to sixth by the second mile.

“I think you know, had she been able to stay healthy, she would have had a fair shot at winning the race,” Fulton said.

Beckstead still has three years of high school cross-country in the future with this freshman campaign just a glimpse into her capabilities in the sport.

“I love the constant challenge of getting better,” Beckstead said, “and just building upon everything.”

Ingrid Hellesto
PHS junior Ingrid Hellesto had a top-10 finish at Saturday’s meet, a key performance that helped the Warriors contend for the top trophy. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Hellesto had a strong finish to make the top 10.

“Ingrid had a tremendous kick,” Fulton said. “She came onto the track and she really is the one that brought us up to have a chance to actually beat Siuslaw because she passed several people on the track.”

Senior Kaeleigh Houchin wrapped up her PHS cross-country career with 21st place in 25:55.60. Freshman Kateri Pindell was 23rd in 21:01.10. Audrey Gerding, a senior, was the fifth runner to round out the scoring with 35th in 21:25.90.

Freshman Hanna McDaniel, 39th in 21:47.10, and freshman Hallie Morrison, 41st in 21:58.70, completed the varsity contingent.

Kaeleigh Houchin
Senior Kaeleigh Houchin was 21st individually in her final race for the Warriors. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

“We had four girls make all-state and then we were backed up pretty good by Audrey and the other gals (McDaniel and Morrison),” Fulton said. “I’m super pleased with how our girls raced.”

All-state status goes to Beckstead (first team), Hellesto (second team), Houchin (third team) and Pindell (honorable mention).

Behind Siuslaw and Philomath in the final team standings was Marist with 93 points. Sisters out of the Oregon West ended up eighth.

“It was a great team effort. … They were out there running to win,” Fulton said. “We expected Marist to be the team to beat and Siuslaw always manages to step it up.”

La Grande sophomore Emily Tubbs was the individual winner in 19:04.60 — winning by just over 14 seconds with Phoenix senior Sophia Stubblefield second in 19:18.90. Beckstead was the top Oregon West runner with Newport senior Aliya Larsen 5 seconds behind her in eighth.

Philomath will lose two senior runners off the varsity roster but the program as a whole is very young and very competitive. As Fulton has pointed out in the past, the Warriors’ junior varsity squad could beat a lot of 4A varsity teams.


Class 4A Championships
Saturday, Nov. 6, at Lane CC, Eugene

Team Scoring
1, Siuslaw 85; 2, Philomath 86; 3, Marist Catholic 93; 4, La Grande 111; 5, Valley Catholic 120; 6, Phoenix 139; 7, Klamath Union 161; 8, Sisters 184; 9, Baker 199; 10, Tillamook 244; 11, Estacada 268; 12, Corbett 347.
Top 10 Individuals
1. Emily Tubbs, La Grande, 19:04.60
2. Sophia Stubblefield, Phoenix, 19:18.90
3. Kyla Potratz, Phoenix, 19:20.30
4. Jennifer Tsai, Marist Catholic, 19:31.20
5. Rylee Colton, Siuslaw, 19:39.90
6. Emilie Nelson, Marist Catholic, 20:04.60
7. Adele Beckstead, Philomath, 20:13.20
8. Aliya Larsen, Newport, 20:18.20
9. Cecilia Villagomez, La Grande, 20:25.30
10. Ingrid Hellesto, Philomath, 20:25.80
PHS Results
7. Adele Beckstead, 20:13.20
10. Ingrid Hellesto, 20:25.80
21. Kaeleigh Houchin, 20:55.60
23. Kateri Pindell, 21:01.10
35. Audrey Gerding, 21:25.90
39. Hanna McDaniel, 21:47.10
41. Hallie Morrison, 21:58.70
Note: The race featured 85 runners.


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