Lady Cats pounce on rivals at Catherine Creek Scamper
UNION — Steve Sheehy is happy to be a bad host.
So are the team, the cross country team boosters and parents.
They were bad hosts again Friday — at least during the race — as the girls from Union/Cove ran away with a lopsided win in the annual Catherine Creek Scamper.
Led by Katriel O’Reilly and McKenzie Evans, the Lady Cats gave the rest of the field a one-two punch — literally — that floored them.
O’Reilly pulled away for an easy win in 21:11 over the tough 5-kilometer course.
Evans edged freshman Harlie Sorrell of Parma (Idaho) for second in the final stage of the race by two seconds (21:45 to 21:47) to grab second place. Sorrell, a freshman, was competing as an individual after winning the individual Snake River Valley League title by a two-minute margin earlier in the week.
Union put five runners in the first 15 to finish, as the Lady Cats scored just 28 points. Southwestern Christian-Beaverton came in second with 75 points, while Enterprise edged Vale for third by just two points (96 to 98).
McLoughlin came in fifth with 101 team points, while Umatilla came in sixth (130) and Baker took seventh (182).
Seven other teams competed, but didn’t have enough runners to score.
Josie Lonai of McLoughlin finished fourth in the race with a time of 22:18.
Union’s Stormy Bullard may have lost a battle with La Grande’s Amanda Welch for fifth in the race, but when Bullard crossed the line, it gave Union three of the first six runners.
Welch took fifth in 22:35, while the Union sophomore stopped the clock at 22:57.
Enterprise exchange student Hanna Graf edged Union freshman Elly Wells at the finish line by one second to take 11th in 23:51. Wells gave the Lady Cats four finishers among the first 12, but Lynn Shoemaker slammed the door shut on any hopes for an upset when she placed 15th in 24:22. She was the fifth Lady Cat to cross the finish line.
Hannah and Sarah Brazil closed out the Lady Cats in the race, placing 19th (25:00) and 25th (25:29), respectively.
According to Sheehy, the girls put in another strong performance. “Our varsity girls team showed their strength by putting all seven varsity girls in the top 25 placers.
“With the incredible varsity 1-2-6 punch of Katriel, McKenzie and Stormy, and the very strong races from Elly, Lynn, Hannah and Sarah, the girls team put out a really impressive win.”
The victory was impressive because of the talent of the field, Sheehy added. “The varsity girls field was pretty strong up front, so for Katriel and McKenzie to go first and second is amazing.
“I feel pretty lucky as a coach to be able to win both the girls and boys team titles.
“The Scamper team competition is very difficult to win,” he said.
Union JV also wins
That strength also showed in the junior varsity competition. “We also had Morgan Reddington, Allie Griffiths, and Kendra Hackwith place first, third, and fifth in the girls JV race,” he said.
The junior Lady Cats also won the JV team title with 31 points, while Umatilla was second with 44 and Vale took third with 45 points.
Reddington’s winning 25:48 time was fast enough to take 28th in the varsity race.
Alexandra Griffiths was third in the JV race with a time of 25:50, while Hackwith took fifth in 26:56. Josey Koehn was eighth in the JV race with a time of 29:06 for Union, while teammates Dani Noble and Molly DelCurto placed 22nd (34:33) and 25th (36:52), respectively.
Also in the junior varsity race, Enterprise had Zoe Mathias (seventh, 28:57) and Landra Skovlin (17th, 32:13), while La Grande’s Jesica Timm was 12th (29:28).
Welch top local individual
Among the local individuals, after Welch of La Grande finished in the top five, Elgin’s Emily Schmittle was the next non-scorer to finish, taking 17th overall in 24:38. Jackie Wanta of La Grande placed 18th in 24:58, beating out Elgin/Imbler’s Angela Stafford (21st, 25:18) and Autumn Wheeling (24th, 25:27). Grace Ridder of La Grande was 49th in 28:09.
After Graf’s 11th-place finish, the Outlaws got help from Linsey VanDoozer (16th, 24:25), Natalie Reimer (26th, 25:41), Dawn Mist
Movich Field (34th, 26:06) and Parker Spear (39th, 26:57) to help them score just enough points to edge Vale for third in the team race.
Hanna Mariah Elvindson (51st, 28:24) closed out the team of
While the runners ran away with title Friday, many of the visitors stayed long enough to thank their hosts from Union — especially after they were cooking hot dogs and providing meals to many of the runners from the races.
Some of the runners, like the ones competing for Southwest Christian, were even staying overnight in local homes.