Union grabs boys Scamper title
Bobcats put three runners in top 10
UNION — A state champion won the Catherine Creek Scamper Friday.
But it wasn’t the one that Southwest Christian coach Steve Hills thought.
Still, it wasn’t enough to keep Union from winning the boys title with 59 points. Southwest Christian took second with 75 points, while Baker and Greenleaf Friends tied for third with 82 points each. Elgin placed fifth (118 points) ahead of Ontario and Enterprise that tied for sixth (140 points). McLoughlin took eighth with 159 points.
In his stable of runners both Trevor Lane and Nick Martin became 1A track champions last spring. But, instead of the usual number one runner Martin, it was Lane who broke open a lead halfway through the race and held it to the finish.
Lane, the 1,500-meter 1A champion, was the Wildcat runner to win the title in the Scamper in 18:16, while David Ribich of Enterprise came in second (18:25), just a few steps ahead of Greenleaf Friends (Idaho) runner Drake Hungate (18:27).
Early leader Nic Maszk of Baker held the lead for most of the first half of the race, leading the front pack through the mud and over the bridge to the narrow trail that led to the lower loop on the 5,000-meter course.
But Lane came back alone in first on the trail back to the final loop before the finish.
“The kids told me how tight it is on the upper part of the trail,” the Southwest Christian coach said after the race. “I told both my kids — Trevor and Nick — to try and get out and stay out of trouble in the first part of the race. They both did that. I think Trevor just had an exceptional race. There was a point where they got into the hill portion of that trial and he is a very strong runner. He was just able to gap those guys,” Hills said.
“Frankly, I didn’t tell him to go easier in the front. I actually wanted him to go a little harder in the first part of the race and make sure he was out of the pack before they got into that tight part of the course.
“He (Trevor) is strong. Both he and Nick are really strong runners and this sort of course is going to play into their strengths,” the coach added. “But he (Trevor) definitely showed it today (Friday). It was a lot of fun.”
His regular number one runner, Martin, had a bad day. “He got a side cramp that he just couldn’t get rid of and I know he is feeling very disappointed,” Hills said. But Lane exceeded his expectations, he added. “I’d say overall the kids did a great job.”
It was the result of a long rivalry between the two schools at the state level that brought the Wildcats all the way from Beaverton to their first Catherine Creek Scamper, according to Hills.
“I have gotten to be really good friends with Steve (Sheehy) and our teams have been very competitive with each other at the state level for the last five years. We have gotten to be friends and he told me about this meet. I finally took him up on it.
“I think the kids love it. The whole situation you see here with the teams together, that is a fun thing. We are going to go to the football game tonight and spend the night.
“My kids are going to love this,” he said. “I’m not going to say they all love this course, but they are going to love the weekend. That’s what is important.”
In fact, Hills said he may be back next year. “I think the kids will demand it,” he added with a smile. “I’m planning on it.”
The trip also had a side benefit for the coach who has most of his family ties in Idaho. It gave his relatives a chance to see his teams race without traveling all the way to Portland.
The boys race was both deep and extremely competitive, according to Union coach and meet director Steve Sheehy.
“The boys field was stacked,” he said. “The competition at the Scamper is always top-notch. We draw the best teams in our area. This year, we also had Southwest Christian team from Beaverton.”
As for Lane, Sheehy said that the junior made his break on the lower loop of the course at the Catherine Creek State Park. “Lane ran away with that race somewhere down on the lower park loop. Pretty impressive considering the talent level of that field.
“His teammate (Nick Martin) is the defending 1A 800-meter champion.
“Enterprise’s David Ribich was seventh last year at the state cross country meet. Third-placer Drake Hungate from Greenleaf was a state meet competitor in Idaho last year. And fourth place Nic Maszk from Baker was sixth at the 4A Oregon state cross country meet last year,” Sheehy added.
As deep as the field was, Union/Cove still put three runners in the top 10 finishers. Kenneth Sipp crossed the line in sixth place (18:55), while Riley Sheehy was eighth (19:17) and sophomore Ethan Black took ninth (19:20).
That also meant the Bobcats put three finishers ahead of the Wildcats’ second runner, David Bogert in 10th (19:27). Nick Martin was the third SWC runner, finishing 13th in 19:41.
Union had turned the tables on the visiting Wildcats, changing Lane’s win into a Bobcat advantage (23-24) after three runners. To ensure the Union win, the Bobcats needed to beat the Wilcats in the scoring battle between the fourth and fifth runners.
Freshman Samuel O’Reilly and junior Daniel Colton made it easy in the duel with Southwest Christian. O’Reilly finished 18th (20:11) and Colton was 22nd (20:45), closing out the Bobcats’ team scoring. The Wildcats’ fourth runner (Tony Weaver) was 21st in 20:30, but the final scorer for Southwest Christian was back in 38th place.
The Bobcats’ sixth runner, Cory Andrews, finished ahead of the final Wildcat scoring runner when he took 37th in 21:37. Southwest Christian’s Nathan Kubeczsko was behind Andrews, placing 38th in 21:37.
Zack Wylie was the final Union runner to finish the race, taking 51st in 22:13.
“I was very impressed with my varsity boys team,” Sheehy added.
Noah McLean led La Grande’s dynamic duo, with the junior beating out sophomore Elliot Jonasson.
McLean was 15th overall in 19:50, while Jonasson was six seconds later in 16th place. The Tigers did not field enough runners to score as a team.
Ribich takes second
Ribich led the Enterprise attack with a second place finish over all, but the Outlaws’ next runner to finish was Austin Burns (33rd, 21:12).
Wil Story came in 41st in 21:44, followed by Eric Schwendiman (45th, 21:52), while Alex Tyler came in 48th place (22:00).
The sixth Outlaw to finish the race was Masahiro Yamamoto (22:41), followed by Christopher Warnock (64th, 23:41).
The Outlaws finished in tie for sixth place with 4A Ontario — both scoring 140 points.
The big gap between Ribich and the rest of the Enterprise scorers was too much to earn one of the top team spots. It was almost three minutes between Ribich and Burns, but it was almost a minute more before Tyler finished as the team’s fifth and final scorer. By contrast, Union had less than a two-minute space between the first and fifth runners.