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La Grande’s Amanda Welch won the Greater Oregon League district meet Saturday at Eastern Oregon University. Welch won with a time of 18:54.6, beating out McLoughlin’s Josie Lonai (background). BRAD MOSHER - The Observer
After tailing McLoughlin’s Josie Lonai for half the 3.05-mile course Saturday, La Grande’s Amanda Welch made her move.
That move earned Welch the individual Greater Oregon League title and a berth in the state meet — as an individual.
Welch won the race Saturday in 18:54.6 — more than a 20-second drop over her winning time in the Dry Side Shoot Out invitational earlier this year.
Running on wet grass and in a constant drizzle, Welch beat her rival from Milton-Freewater by a 16-second margin.
Lonai was clocked in 19:10.2, followed by Ridgeview’s Dakota Steen in third (19:36.9) and McLoughlin’s Susie Romero-Diaz (fourth, 19:49).
Crook County’s Carly Hibbs came in fifth (21:04.6) but was able to lead the Cowgirls to the team title and a team berth in the state meet in Eugene.
Crook County scored 44 points to win the title, while Ridgeview, a first-year school in Redmond, was second with 51 points.
McLoughlin took third with 59, just ahead of La Grande’s 73 points for fourth.
Baker took fifth with 98 points, while Ontario only had four runners.
Crook County put their top five runners in the first 12 finishers to claim the win, while Ridgeview had only two runners in the top 10, but put three more in the next five team finishers to earn the second-place berth in the state meet.
Hailey Crews and Jackie Wanta gave La Grande an 18th-and 19th- place finish as the Lady Tigers’ second and third runners.
Crews finished in 23:15.3, followed by Wanta’s 23:25.2 time. Grace Ridder was 22nd ( 23:30.8), followed by Laney Wood (26th, 24:15). Jessica Timm placed 38th in 26:43.7.
Baker’s top finisher was Sarah Spaugh, finishing 10th overall in 21:30.7, followed by teammates Kim Pettit (24th, 23:56), Katie Sadefur (27th, 24:26.4), Charlie Carpenter (29th, 24:51.7); Madeline Owen (31st, (25:07.2), Anna Payton (33rd, 25:43.5) and Mairyn Owen (34th, 25:47.4).