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GOING TO STATE: Enterprises Austin Himes (ahead of pack, left) and Wallowas Patrick Smergut (behind Himes, right) were the areas top finishers, taking second and fourth place at Fridays District 6-2A/1A Championships. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).
GOING TO STATE: Enterprises Austin Himes (ahead of pack, left) and Wallowas Patrick Smergut (behind Himes, right) were the areas top finishers, taking second and fourth place at Fridays District 6-2A/1A Championships. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

PENDLETON The goal is to get to state, and for the seventh year in a row, Enterprises boys cross country team has done that.

A second-place finish at Fridays District 6-2A/1A Cross Country Championship at Pendletons McKay Park guaranteed one more race in Eugene a week from today.

Led by Troy Blackburns blistering victory, Stanfield won the district title and will field a full team at state for the first time in Blackburns four years.

Im really happy for Troy, said Enterprise coach Dan Moody. This is the first year hes going to state with a team. Its been a long dry spell for the teams over here.

In the last decade, state qualifying teams have almost exclusively been limited to those from the east side of the Blue Mountains, namely Enterprise, Wallowa and Union. But Stanfield got a third-place showing from junior Chuy Perches and had its top five runners finish in the top 14.

Blackburn won running away, finishing the 5,000-meter race in 17 minutes, 9 seconds. Second-place Austin Himes, a junior, of Enterprise was 25 seconds behind.

Stanfield had consistently beaten Enterprise this season, but Moody was encouraged that his team closed the gap.

Stanfield has been beating us by about 20, and we cut the distance by half, Moody said.

Enterprise has had great success at finishing second. The team has won only one district title in Moodys 12 years as coach in 2000 but has finished second six times and has gone on to outscore the district champs at state four times.

Also, in the last seven years, Enterprise has brought home seven trophies by finishing at least fourth at state.

Joining Himes at state will be sophomore Chris Lozier (eighth, 18:02), freshman Mikael Swart (10th, 18:11), junior Willie Grover (12th, 18:17), sophomore Andy Vernarsky (17th, 18:56), sophomore Andrew Gorbett (18th, 18:59) and junior Brandon Kiser (24th, 19:24).

Wallowa will send two runners to state. Senior Patrick Smergut was fourth in 17:47 and sophomore Nick Johnson was sixth in 17:52.

Both runners will make return trips to state.

They did great today, Wallowa coach Jess Turner said. Im really pleased.

Union will send freshman Bill Garrison, who was fifth in 17:50.

District 6-2A/1A Cross Country Championship

Friday, at McKay Park, Pendleton


Team scores Stanfield 37, Enterprise 45, Wallowa 69, Union 85, Umatilla 143, Weston-McEwen 150, Powder Valley 191.

Individual results (state qualifiers and local teams) 1, Troy Blackburn, Stanfield, 17:09; 2, Austin Himes, Enterprise, 17:34; 3, Chuy Perches, St, 17:46; 4, Patrick Smergut, Wallowa, 17:47; 5, Bill Garrison, Union, 17:50; 6, Nick Johnson, Wa, 17:52; 7, Bobby Christensen, Pilot Rock, 17:59; 8, Chris Lozier, En, 18:02; 10, Mikael Swart, En, 18:11; 11, Chris Tsiatsos, Wa, 18:14; 12, Willie Grover, En, 18:17; 15, Nathan Perry, Un, 18:53; 17, Andy Vernarsky, En, 18:56; 18, Andrew Gorbett, En, 18:59; 21, Dan Warburton, Un, 19:09; 22, Jared Baxter, Un, 19:10; 24, Brandon Kiser, En, 19:24; 26, Kyle Bollman, En, 19:32; 28, Caleb Pringle, Wa, 19:37; 30, Brandon Casper, Wa, 19:54; 32, Josh Steenstra, Un, 20:04; 36, Tristan Gorsline, Joseph, 20:14; 39, Brenn Sheehy, Un, 20:31; 42, Dylan Smith, Powder Valley, 20:58; 43, Ian Pine, Wa, 21:17; 46, Riley Bender, PV, 21:29; 47, Shane Records, PV, 22:07; 49, Lee Phelps, Wa, 22:20; 50, Kevin Hopson, PV, 24:23; 54, Devan Hodgson, PV, 27:39.


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