OVESON BREAKS CATHERINE CREEK RECORD

September 15, 2003 12:00 am
FIGHTING FOR POSITION: La Grande's Kirsten Johnson, left, and Enterprise's Krista Stangel went neck-andneck down the stretch for third and fourth, with Johnson just edging out Stangel. Wallowa's Hayley Oveson and Union's Ashley Sharratt of Union both broke the previous Catherine Creek record, with Oveson taking first and Sharratt second. (The Observer/PHIL BULLOCK).
FIGHTING FOR POSITION: La Grande's Kirsten Johnson, left, and Enterprise's Krista Stangel went neck-andneck down the stretch for third and fourth, with Johnson just edging out Stangel. Wallowa's Hayley Oveson and Union's Ashley Sharratt of Union both broke the previous Catherine Creek record, with Oveson taking first and Sharratt second. (The Observer/PHIL BULLOCK).

UNION — Wallowa cross country runner Hayley Oveson and Union's Ashley Sharratt likely will be seeing a lot of each other this season.

On Friday, Oveson and Sharratt had the first of what promises to be a number of encounters with one another.

Oveson and Sharratt both broke the old course record at the Catherine Creek Scamper, with Oveson, second in the state last year at the 1A/2A cross country meet and a record-setter at the state 1A track meet in 1,500- and 3,000-meter races, winning the race in 20:13. Sharratt, who led her Union teammates to a team state title, finished second at 20:30.

The previous record was 20:37, set by Danielle Jordan of Baker in 2001.

Meanwhile, in the boys' race, La Grande's Dane Johnson and Pendleton's Robert Johlke were neck and neck down the stretch, with Johlke's final kick giving him a one-second victory. Johlke won in 17:18, while Johnson finished second at 17:19.

However, Johnson and his La Grande teammates won the team title. Travis Dixon of La Grande finished fourth, while Leif Bullock came in seventh.

The Enterprise boys, led by Michael Swart's fifth-place finish, came in fourth as a team.

Union's Billy Garrison came in eighth, while Enterprise's Andy Vernarsky came in ninth.

The race was run in near-perfect conditions at Catherine Creek State Park, a marked improvement over hot and smoky conditions at the Hermiston Invite last week. Several of these teams were at that difficult Hermiston race.

"They ran a great race. Every one of them ran a much better race than last week," said La Grande coach Duane Smiley.

For the girls, the defending 3A state champion Baker squad won, with Union coming in a solid second and Wallowa third.

The La Grande girls did not have a full team, but the Tigers' Kirsten Johnson finished third, just edging out Krista Stangel of Enterprise by two seconds.

Union's Shannon Mitchell came in fifth, while La Grande's Jessica Fulfer was sixth.

La Grande coach Duane Smiley said Johnson's effort was especially impressive considering Johnson is also a soccer player and had only gotten in one cross country practice. He said Fulfer also took a wrong turn at one point, but still managed to finish strong.

Union coach Steve Sheehy was happy with how his girls finished.

"Second (place) with that level of competition is very good," he said.

"I was real proud of the girls," said Wallowa coach Jess Turner. "There was quite a bit of new blood and a lot of girls running their first race."

— Pierre LaBossire

Catherine Creek Scamper

Boys Team results

1, La Grande, 64; 2, Baker, 103; 3, Umatilla, 114; 4, Enterprise, 119; 5, Wallowa, 134; 6, Pendleton, 136; 7, Union, 137; 8, Ontario, 138; 9, Stanfield, 213; 10, Joseph, 229.

Individual results

1, Robert Johlke, Pendleton, 17:18; 2, Dane Johnson, La Grande, 17:19; 4, Travis Dixon, La Grande, 18:03; 5, Michael Swart, Enterprise, 18:25; 7, Leif Bullock, La Grande, 18:27; 8, Billy Garrison, Union, 18:31; 9, Andy Vernarsky, Enterprise, 18:51; 11, Bren Sheehy, Union, 19:01; 12, Klamath Walker, Union, 19:10; 16, Brandon Casper, Wallowa, 19:30; 17, Nick Johnson, Wallowa, 19:32; 22, Chris Tsiatsos, Wallowa, 20:01; 25, Kyle Troutman, La Grande, 20:22; 28, Drew Kelly, La Grande, 20:30; 29, Kyle Clough, Joseph, 20:33; 34, Ezra Axelrod, La Grande, 20:52; 35, Ben Woodruff, La Grande, 20:54; 40, Tanner Beglau, Wallowa, 21:15; 44, Caleb Pringle, Wallowa, 21:33; 45, Kevin Ryan, Joseph, 21:55; 48, Matt Sievers, Joseph, 22:11; 49, Bryan Hesse, Union, 22:12; 50, Samuel Brainard, Wallowa, 22:26; 53, Derrek Layton, Joseph, 22:51; 54, Lee Phelps, Wallowa, 22:56; 56, Josh Rhodes, Enterprise, 23:21; 58, Riley Wortman, Wallowa, 24:15; 61, Marc Valdez, Union, 25:04; 62, Julian Moro, Joseph, 25:06; 64, Dan Eagan, Wallowa, 26:54; 65, Seth Watson, Joseph, 29:57.

Girls Team results

1, Baker, 39; 2, Union, 69; 3, Wallowa, 89; 4, Stanfield, 96; 5, Weston-McEwen, 104; 6, Umatilla, 131; 7, Pendleton, 161.

Individual results

1, Hayley Oveson, Wallowa, 20:13 (Course record); 2, Ashley Sharratt, Union, 20:30; 3, Kirsten Johnson, La Grande, 20:51; 4, Krista Stangel, Enterprise, 20:53; 5, Shannon Mitchell, Union, 21:15; 6, Jessica Fulfer, La Grande, 22:11; 11, Kara Baxter, Union, 22:43; 16, Julie Vernarsky, Enterprise, 23:31; 17, Linnaea Kibler, Enterprise,; 20, Victoria Silveira, Wallowa, 24:20; 21, Kelsey Davis, Elgin, 24:37; 25, Deena Tsiatsos, Wallowa, 25:01; 29, Mae Lee Monus, La Grande, 25:12; 30, Krystal Papineau, Union, 25:13; 33, Caitlin Turner, Wallowa; 40, Samantha Silveira, 26:27; 44, Erica Howerton, Joseph, 26:41; 46, Larne Sheehy, 27:07; 51, Sarah House, Union, 28:58; 52, Cecilia Hess, Union, 29:15; 58, Rebecca Colton, Union, 31:48.