The Philomath High School boys and girls cross-country teams opened their seasons on Saturday by sweeping the team titles in the Ultimook Race’s 1A-4A division at Hydrangea Ranch near Tillamook.
The girls were especially potent with a 48-point win over runner-up Washougal (Washington). Three PHS runners were among those in the top 10 with sophomore Adele Beckstead placing fourth in 20 minutes, 24.3 seconds. Freshman Ana Candanoza had a positive high school debut with sixth place in 21:06.0. Senior Ingrid Hellesto begins her final go-round on the high school circuit with ninth in 21:34.5.
Sophomore Hallie Morrison also broke the 22-minute mark with 12th in 21:50.6. The rest of the team all finished within the top 25 in a race that featured 139 competitors — sophomore Hanna McDaniel in 18th (22:17.3), sophomore Brooke McDaniel in 19th (22:27.1) and sophomore Kateri Pindell in 23rd (22:37.2).
Molalla freshman Anika Jenson won the race in 19:37.9.
The Philomath boys took first place by 35 points over runner-up Shelton (Washington) with 125 despite placing no individuals among the top 10. That’s because Philomath racked up a lot of points with five runners among the top 30.
Senior Ben Hernandez’s season is off to an encouraging start with 11th overall in 17:14.7. Teammate Mateo Candanoza, also a senior, was not far back in 12th at 17:22.6. Senior Brody Bushnell finished 21st in 18:26.4.
Freshman Leo Pausch’s first high school race turned out well with 26th place in 18:43.7. Senior Jesse Erickson was 30th in 18:53.3.
Senior Seth Arthurs finished 38th (19:26.2) and sophomore Warwick Bushnell was 51st (20:14.2) to round out the Philomath results. An even 200 runners competed in the 1A-4A race.
The Philomath junior varsity teams also swept the boys and girls titles in those races.