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The Union/Cove boys cross country team reacts after learning they won the 3A/2A/1A team state championship Saturday at Lane Community College. Emma Sheehy - for The Observer
EUGENE -— One point.
That was just enough for Union to claim a narrow win over East Lane Christian at the 3A/2A/1A state championship cross country meet on the campus of Linn Community College.
Union finished with 93 points.
East Linn Christian had 94 points.
Neither team had a finisher in the top five runners, but it was the team depth that became the battleground that decided the state champion.
“It was our boys’ fifth state championship with the previous ones coming in 1978, 1997, 2007, and 2008,” coach Steve Sheehy said.
East Linn Christian was led by Kody Osborne’s eighth-place finish in 16:48, while Kenneth Sipp was 10th in 17:01 for Union.
But Ethan Black helped to turn the tide to the Bobcats with his 16th place finish in 17:26 — ahead of the second runner from East Linn Christian (19th, 17:30).
Riley Sheehy did the same, beating the third East Linn Christian runner with his 23rd-place finish (17:48).
Samuel O’Reilly (41st, 18:16) and Daniel Colton (42nd, 18:18) finished the scoring for Union and both beat the fifth scoring runner from East Linn Christian — Orin Osborne (44th, 18:26).
Zack Wyllie finished 48th in 18:31, while Cory Andrews rounded out the championshop squad with a 53rd place finish in 18:47.
“Kenneth Sipp ran a great race to get on the podium for the boys team,” Sheehy said.
“He made a very good move in the last mile to go from 12th to 10th to claim the last podium spot. He ran a very good race. The rest of the team ran a very inspired race to beat the heavily favored, and No. 1-ranked boys team from East Linn Christian Academy.
“If any of our guys had got passed by just one person, we would have been second.
We were very fortunate to win, but at the same time, the boys ran that race as if they had nothing to lose. It was quite a site, and I’m very happy for them.
Ribich leads Outlaws to bronze at state
EUGENE — David Ribich missed out on gold Saturday — but his silver medal performance helped his Outlaws take bronze in the team race.
Nick Oblenz of Oregon Episcopal won the 3A/2A/1A race in 15:58 at Linn Community College.
Ribich finished second in 16:20, but his high finish helped the Enterprise runners take third in the team race with 119 points, 26 points behind the title-winning total of their Blue Mountain Conference rivals from Union.
Alex Tyler edged ahead of teammate Austin Burns at the finish line to give Enterprise 27th (17:53) and 28th (17:57). Wil Story followed with a 37th place finish in 18:12.
Even with his 64th-place finish, Eric Schwendiman (19:01) came in as the final scoring runner for the Outlaws to assure the team’s third place finish.
John Green finished 76th (19:34), while Masahiro Yamamoto was 82nd (19:44) to finish the top seven for the Outlaws.