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Columbia High Cross Country Teams Have A Hey-Day At Seaside Challenge

Saturday turned out to be a great day for a cross country meet at the coast: overcast skies with temperatures in the 60s.

Columbia High runners capitalized on the advantageous conditions to post times that helped the boys team win their small-school division and the girls team finish second in theirs at the 3 Course Challenge in Sea-side, Ore.

“It’s a bonus to take away hardware from this meet, and we took home a lot,” Bruins Coach Jill Cole said. “We also had a lot of top-10 finishers in the divisions.”

The CHS boys, led by seniors Nathan DeVaney and Hayden Gibson, totaled 381 points and won their division by 103. Eleven other schools in the division fielded complete teams.

Columbia High’s girls got strong efforts from seniors Claudia Cortez and Jaleh Kermani in finishing second to Montesano, 423 to 195.

By random drawing, Gibson, along with Cabot Roe, Jose Salguero, Rylan Idhe, and Matthew Petty, took on the 5,000-meter moderate course, which featured some hills and the mud pit that’s a favorite of athletes and spectators alike, according to Cole.

Gibson placed 44th overall on the moderate course and third in his division to lead the way for CHS. Roe was fifth in the division and 76th overall.

On the easy course covering a distance of 4,500 meters, DeVaney led the way for four CHS runners. He was 61st overall on the course but fourth in his division. Jacob Taylor placed seventh in the division and 116th overall.

Will Nuckoles posted the best time for Columbia on the 5,000-meter hard course. He finished 84th overall and sixth in his division.

On the girls side, Cortez, Melissa Fortanel, Leslie Nuckoles, and Daphne Struck drew the moderate course. Cortez placed 11th overall and third in her division, while Fortanel was 77th and ninth respectively.

Kermani, Desiray Almaraz, Carolina Reina, and Pak Srisakvarakul ran the 4,500-meter course. Kermani came in 26th overall and third in her division.

The challenge of the hard course fell to Sidra Matthias, Raven Erickson, and Lily Schwarz. Matthias had the best finish of the group, coming in 79th.

On Sept. 18, the Bruins went to Woodland to take part in a make-up Trico League meet. Thirty girls and 68 boys participated in the varsity races, which were won by La Center.

The CHS girls, though, gave La Center a run for top honors, finishing second with 38 points to the Wild-cats’ 31, thanks to Cortez’ first-place finish on a flat 5,000-meter course around the New Holland Bulb Farm.

Kermani, Nuckoles, Mat-thias, Fortanel, and Almaraz rounded out the Bruins’ scoring unit. They finished, in order, sixth, ninth, 10th, 17th, and 18th.

“It was a thrill to see Claudia win the race and show she can be the best runner in the league,” Cole said.

The boys race was not as close scoring-wise, as La Center took four of the five top spots. Columbia, though, had enough legs to hold off Woodland for second place, 62 to 64.

Gibson’s eighth-place finish was tops for Columbia, which also claimed the 12th through 16th spots, thanks to strong runs by Nuckoles, Roe, DeVaney, Colin Howe, and Taylor.

“La Center continues to be a powerhouse but our boys ran hard and ran strong as a pack, which is one of our goals this year,” Cole noted. “We are now working on moving the pack up closer to the front of the race.”

Goal-setting for each meet is an important tool for cross country runners, because it helps them keep their momentum building.

“All the goals lead to athletes improving themselves as runners and as a team,” Cole said. “The teams are self-motivated, and they have big goals for the season, which drives them. They are hungry to be one of the best teams in our district and to compete again at the state meet. We are on our way.”

“La Center continues to be a powerhouse but our boys ran hard and ran strong as a pack, which is one of our goals this year,” Cole noted. “We are now working on moving the pack up closer to the front of the race.”

Goal-setting for each meet is an important tool for cross country runners, because it helps them keep their momentum building.

“All the goals lead to athletes improving themselves as runners and as a team,” Cole said. “The teams are self-motivated, and they have big goals for the season, which drives them. They are hungry to be one of the best teams in our district and to compete again at the state meet. We are on our way.”

3 Course Challenge

Seaside, Ore.

4,500 to 5,000 Meters

Saturday, Sept. 21

Boys Team Scoring: Col-umbia 381, Kennedy 484, Seattle Christian 506, Over-lake 665, Seton Catholic 697, Salem Academy 848, Three Rivers Christian 980, Warren-ton 1,145, Neah-Kah-Nie, 1,150, Ocosta, 1,151.

CHS Placings: (Easy) 61, Nathan DeVaney, 17:46. 116, Jacob Taylor, 18:52. 251, Tyler Mann, 21:24. 257, Isaac Black, 21:31. (Moderate) 44, Hayden Gibson, 20:49. 76, Cabot Roe, 21:42. 128, Jose Salguero, 22: 52. 270, Rylan Idhe, 25:20. 298, Matthew Petty, 25:51. (Hard) 84, Will Nuckoles, 22:23. 116, Colin Howe, 22:59. 218, Fletcher Andrews, 24:56. 264, Shawn Tardiff, 25:48. 307, John Foley, 26:44.

Girls Team Scoring: Mont-esano 195, Columbia 423, Ocosta, 477, Portland Wal-dorf 566, Overlake 636, Seton Catholic 1,043.

CHS Placings: (Easy) 26, Jaleh Kermani, 20:51. 128, Desiray Almaraz, 24:05. 183, Carolina Reina, 25:54. 325, Pak Srisakvarakul, 30:55. (Moderate) 11, Claudia Cortez, 23:53. 77, Melissa Fortanel, 27:38. 122, Leslie Nuckoles, 29:06. 173, Daphne Struck, 30:51. (Hard) 79, Sidra Matthias, 27:57. 230, Raven Erickson, 34:22. 257, Lily Schwarz, 39:08.

Trico League Meet

Woodland HS

5,000 Meters

Wednesday, Sept. 18

Boys Team Scoring: La Center 20, Columbia 62, Woodland 64, Seton Catholic 97, King’s Way 155.

CHS Placings: 8, Hayden Gibson, 18:54.7. 12, Will Nuckoles, 19:22.5. 13, Cabot Roe, 19:44.1. 14, Nathan DeVaney, 19:47.2. 15, Colin Howe, 19:-58.2. 16, Jacob Taylor, 20:19.6. 20, Jose Salguero, 20:37.0. 22, Shawn Tardiff, 20:57.2. 29, Fletcher Andrews, 21:52.7. 31, John Foley, 22:09.6. 36, Rylan Idhe, 22:42.4. 40, Isaac Black, 23:21.2. 42, Matthew Petty, 23:36.9. 46, Tyler Mann, 24:-34.7.

Girls Team Scoring: La Center 31, Columbia 38, Woodland 75, Seton Catholic 91, King’s Way incomplete.

CHS Placings: 1, Claudia Cortez, 21:28.1. 6, Jaleh Kermani, 22:48.7. 9, Leslie Nuckoles, 23:49.3. 10, Sidra Matthias, 23:57.6. 17, Melissa For-tanel, 25:17.9. 18, Desiray Almaraz, 25:34.4. 24, Daphne Struck, 28:27.9. 29, Lily Schwarz, 33:44.0.

Coming up: Columbia High was scheduled to run in a Trico meet at Kalama on Wednesday. Tomorrow, the Bruins will take part in the Bridgitte Nelson Invitational at Sorosis Park in The Dalles.

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