PHS junior Adele Beckstead had a personal-record time and placed third in Thursday’s Country Fair Classic. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath High School girls cross-country team placed three runners in the top 10 and won the Country Fair Classic by 30 points Thursday over runner-up Crescent Valley.

Competing on a fast course at the Oregon Country Fair Grounds near Veneta, Warriors junior Adele Beckstead placed third overall with a time of 19:25.4, the second-fastest 5-kilometer time she’s run in high school competition. The time was 9.1 seconds off her personal best, which she accomplished last season at a regular-season meet on the Lane Community College course.

Sophomore Ana Candanoza came in with a personal-record time of 19:51.3 for fifth place individually. Sophomore Lucy King also had a PR with her time of 21:00.2, which was good for ninth place.

Junior Hallie Morrison was the team’s No. 4 runner with a time of 21.22.5 for 13th overall. The fifth scoring runner was junior Kateri Pindell in 17th in 21:47.3. The team’s No. 6 and No. 7 runners weren’t far behind with junior Hanna McDaniel in 19th in 22:13.5 and senior Alexa Eckhold in 20th in 22:17.1.

Crescent Valley’s Lillian Weiss was the individual winner in 18:52.0.

The Warrior performance added up to 37 points in the team standings, well ahead of the runner-up 5A Raiders with 67. There was a good battle for third place with Sisters getting the spot with 94, followed by Junction City’s 96 and Siuslaw’s 99.

Coach Joe Fulton said the boys continue to improve. Sophomore Leo Pausch has been running in the team’s No. 1 position all season and that was again the case at the Country Fair Classic with an eighth-place finish individually. Pausch covered the course in 17:16.8, which was a PR by 12.5 seconds.

Junior JJ Lewis was the team’s No. 2 runner at the meet with 37th in 18:55.2. Freshman Galen Murch (51st, 19:23.9), sophomore Mason Stevens (55th, 19:29.5) and sophomore Isaac Avery (74th, 20:39.8) each had PR times.

Two of the team’s varsity runners, Lukas Hernandez and Jacob Hernandez, were not available for the meet with their participation in boys soccer at Estacada.

Newport took first place with 63 points in the team race, followed by Crescent Valley’s 91 and Central’s 97. The Warriors finished eighth among the 15-school field.

Cottage Grove’s Carter Bengtson was the individual winner in 15:42.6.

In junior varsity, the Philomath girls took first place by a 16-point margin over runner-up Crescent Valley. The Warriors had five of the top eight individuals with Kyah Weeber second (23:20.4), Brooke McDaniel third (23:23.5), Phoebe Coen fourth (24:27.0), Ava Panico fifth (25:24.1) and Annaleise Brown eighth (26:05.0).

The boys JV finished eighth with Oakley Pausch the top PHS runner (25th, 21:43.7).

Philomath will next head to the Northwest Classic on Sept. 23 at Lane Community College in Eugene. The schedule shows the 1A-2A-3A-4A varsity races at 12:20 p.m. (girls) and 1 p.m. (boys).

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.

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