Despite missing one of its top varsity runners for Saturday’s Woahink Lake Invitational, the Philomath High School girls cross-country team still easily took the top team trophy.
The Warriors placed five runners among the top 11 and finished with 29 points to beat out runner-up Siuslaw and three other schools on a course that winds its way through three peninsulas on the picturesque Woahink Lake at Honeyman State Park south of Florence.
The boys had a similar situation with a varsity runner not available to compete yet the team performed well in the standings. Philomath and Crater both finished with 58 points but the squad out of Central Point was awarded first based where each team’s sixth runner finished.
Sophomore Adele Beckstead finished second individually for the girls with a time of 20:40.2, less than 3 seconds behind Crater senior Samantha Payne. Senior Ingrid Hellesto placed sixth in 21:44.9, sophomore Kateri Pindell was eighth in 2:11.2 and freshman Lucy King placed 10th in 22:14.8.
Sophomore Hallie Morrison finished 11th in 22:35.9 to round out the team’s point scorers. Rounding out the varsity results were sophomore Hanna McDaniel in 19th (23:40.4) and sophomore Brooke McDaniel in 29th (25:12.0).
Freshman Ana Candanoza was not available to run in the meet.
Individually for the boys, senior Ben Hernandez placed second in 17:07.1, which was 3 seconds behind the winner, senior Jaden Owens of Cottage Grove. Senior Mateo Candanoza placed third in 17:21.6 and senior Brody Bushnell placed 10th in 18:14.3.
Freshman Leo Pausch came in with a 19:00.7 for 19th, freshman Lukas Hernandez was 27th in 19:46.5, senior Kellen Houchin finished 35th in 20:16.4 and sophomore Warwick Bushnell was 52nd in 21:54.5.
In the tiebreaker to settle the meet’s winner, Crater’s No. 6 runner edged Philomath’s No. 6 by 5.6 seconds.
Senior Jesse Erickson was not available to run for the Warriors.
Philomath will now prepare for its home meet this coming Saturday, the 36th annual Paul Mariman Invitational. The day begins with middle school races at noon, followed by junior varsity teams at 1 p.m. and the varsity competitions at 2 p.m. The invite will feature the largest field ever with 33 high schools registered to participate.