The Philomath High School’s boys and girls cross-country teams both finished atop the final standings Thursday at the fourth annual Harrisburg Gatorade Challenge.
The boys had three of the top 10 runners to outduel Monroe for the team title by seven points. The girls had only two of its varsity athletes available but still won the meet handily by 39 points over runner-up Santiam Christian.
Harrisburg’s flat course took runners around various athletic fields on campus with a finish on the school’s track. Santiam Christian sophomore Diego Zambrano, Philomath sophomore Leo Pausch and Amity senior Brennan Hake all finished in under 18 minutes. Zambrano crossed first in 17:12.9 with Pausch second at 17:34.5 and Hake third in 17:58.3.
Warriors senior Simon King ran in his first-ever high school cross-country race and placed fifth in 18:06.5. Heading into the season, it was believed King wouldn’t be able to compete because of a serious toe injury that required surgery.
Junior JJ Lewis placed 10th overall with a time of 18:36.5, missing his personal record by 4.4 seconds. Rounding out the varsity lineup was sophomore Mason Stevens in 17th (18:48.7), freshman Galen Murch in 20th (18:56.1) and senior Andrew Leonard in 53rd (21:13.7).
The boys were running without sophomore Lukas Hernandez and freshman Jacob Hernandez, dual athletes who were both playing with the soccer team.
Philomath finished with 49 points with Monroe second (56), Santiam Christian third (88) and Harrisburg fourth (90) among the 10 schools that had full teams participating.
In the girls’ race, Philomath competed without its top two runners — junior Adele Beckstead and sophomore Ana Candanoza — and were also missing juniors Melea Lattin, Hanna McDaniel and Kateri Pindell but it didn’t impact the end result with the Warriors notching another meet victory.
Sophomore Lucy King was Philomath’s top finisher with a fourth-place performance in 20:49.9. Junior Hallie Morrison was not far behind in fifth in 20:54.6. East Linn Christian junior Daisy Lalonde won easily in 18:52.1.
Philomath’s deep cross-country roster moved up four girls from the junior varsity with two of those runners placing in the top 10 and a third in the top 15. Junior Brooke McDaniel was seventh in 22:33.7, senior Alexa Eckhold placed 10th in 22:46.4 and junior Kyah Weeber was 15th in 23:26.7. Senior Phoebe Coen finished 25th in 24:54.0.
Philomath finished with 30 points to Santiam Christian’s 69. Harrisburg was third (87) and East Linn Christian fourth (98) among the six full girls’ teams competing.
Next up for the Warriors will be the Oregon West Conference Championships, scheduled for Oct. 28 on Philomath’s home course. This year’s host school, Newport, does not have a home course and requested the Philomath venue. The day’s schedule includes varsity girls at 11:15 a.m., varsity boys at noon and a JV coed race at 12:30 p.m.