LA GRANDE BOYS, UNION GIRLS TUNE UP
BAKER CITY The La Grande cross country boys dominated Thursday, and two defending state champions went head-to-head again in the girls' race.
The Union girls, the defending 2A state champions, beat the Baker girls, the defending 3A state champions, at the Baker Invite.
Meanwhile, the La Grande boys, with three runners finishing 2-3-4, won easily in a tune-up for the district meet next week in La Grande.
Dane Johnson came in second with a time of 16:48.50. He and Ontario's Riley Frisbee were the only runners who even came close to cracking 17 minutes.
La Grande's Travis Dixon was third, while Leif Bullock was fourth and Jake Moncrieff ninth. All four runners cracked 18 minutes.
"To have one minute between first and fourth is awesome," said La Grande coach Duane Smiley.
Union's Klamath Walker finished fifth and Billy Garrison came in eighth.
For the girls, Union garnered 34 points for first, beating Baker, which had 41 points.
The Bobcats' Shannon Mitchell came in second. Her teammates Ashley Sharratt (fourth), Shauna Nelson (seventh) and Kara Baxter (10th) also broke the top 10.
Union nipped Baker once early this season, but Baker has beaten the Bobcat girls a couple of times since. This time, Union won by a fair margin.
Union coach Steve Sheehy was excited that his girl runners, already ranked No. 1 this year in 2A, just seem to be getting stronger.
"We went to Baker just to get a workout, and they (the girls) went over there to race," said Sheehy. He said both Nelson and Baxter broke their personal record times by large margins.
"They've run so fast so many times, that to go out and get PR's is amazing," Sheehy said.
La Grande's Kirsten Johnson finished third, which Smiley said "was a great race considering her shoe was untied."
La Grande's Jessica Fulfer was fifth. The La Grande girls had a full team for the first time this season and finished third, not all that far behind Baker. All five La Grande runners finished in the top 20.
Smiley said the new runners, Kayla Arritola and Ellen Barlow, did great for their first races, finishing 13th and 17th respectively.
La Grande next runs Oct. 25 at the 3A District Meet at Eastern Oregon University. Union next runs today at pre-districts in Pendleton, then the 2A District meet is in Pendleton Oct. 24.
Baker Invitational Meet
1, La Grande 34; 2, Baker, 62; 3, Ontario, 91; 4, Union, 94; 5, Burns, 100.
1, Riley Frisbee, Ontario, 16:27.06; 2, Dane Johnson, 16:48.50; 3, Travis Dixon, La Grande, 17:22.38; 4, Leif Bullock, La Grande, 17:32.69; 5, Klamath Walker, Union, 17:37.93; 8, Billy Garrison, Union, 17:48.82; 9, Jake Moncrieff, La Grande, 17:49.61; 17, Kyle Troutman, La Grande, 19:06.81; 18, Bren Sheehy, Union, 19:08.78; 19, Johnny Bullock, La Grande, 19:19.42; 20, Ben Woodruff, La Grande, 19:21.53; 25, Ezra Axelrod, La Grande, 19:38.36; 29, Bryan Hesse, Union, 20:12.39; 36, Tyler Dixon, La Grande, 22:34.41; 37, Marc Valdez, Union, 22:41.88; 41, Michael McCrae, Union, 28:21.54.
1, Union, 34; 2, Baker, 41; 3, La Grande, 53; 4, Burns, 104
1, Sheryl Page, Ontario, 19:47.55; 2, Shannon Mitchell, Union, 20:21.22; 3, Kirsten Johnson, La Grande, 20:25.72; 4, Ashley Sharratt, Union, 20:53.95; 5, Jessica Fulfer, La Grande, 21:09.21; 7, Shauna Nelson, Union, 21:32.14; 10, Kara Baxter, Union, 21:50.38; 13, Kayla Arritola, La Grande, 22:24.17; 16, Krystal Papineau, Union, 23:10.67; 17, Ellen Barlow, La Grande, 23:21.06; 20, Mae Lee Morris, La Grande, 24:00.67; 32, Cecelia Hesse, Union, 30:10.46.