Boys, girls top Philomath in cross-country

Sweet Home’s boys took a step in the right direction Friday at the Second Annual Beazell Memorial Forest Run in Kings Valley, beating host team Philomath for the first time this season.

The five-team meet, which was run over difficult terrain, was won by 5A-division Crescent Valley with 21 points. Sweet Home had 48, while Philomath scored 57.

A fourth-fifth finish by Ramiro Santana and Brinden Sanders, in the field of 24 runners, was key to the Huskies’ finish, Coach Billy Snow said, and hopefully will be an indicator of good things to come with districts looming on Oct. 27. Louis Donadio was Philomath’s top runner in seventh (19:31) with Jeff Schreiner-McGraw right behind in eighth (19:37).

Santana ran 19:14, with Sanders was directly behind him in 19:16, followed by Byron Sanders (12th, 20:01), Land Florek (14th, 20:20), Robert Callagan (18th, 20:49), Dustin Collman (20th, 21:49) and Josh Rice, who was under the weather and finished 23rd in 24:15.

“Looking over the results, I am encouraged,” Snow said. “Our guys finally cracked the top of Philomath’s lineup.”

Although the Warriors had one runner fail to finish and another regular varsity competitor run the JV race, Snow noted that the Huskies still would have run even with Philomath and that was without Jayce Calhoon, who has been the second or third runner for Sweet Home in many races this year, and Dallin Holden. Also, Rob Callagan had an off day, Snow said.

“With Ramiro able to do that and Brinden too, that was a surprise,” he said. “If we can crack the top three with two guys like that (in districts), that’s just a huge swing.

“We have to keep after them at the top end and have our number five, six and seven runners step up and get in the mix.”

The Huskies are neck-and-neck this season with Philomath and Central, both of which have strong boys teams. The top two teams in the district meet will go to state, plus the four top individuals who aren’t on a team going to the meet, which will be held at Lane Community College.

Sweet Home’s girls finished ahead of Philomath by about the same margin, 56-69, as Crescent Valley ran away with the team title with 18 points.

“The girls continue to grow as a team and roll along,” Snow said. “Though we may not of had our best day overall, even without that, they beat Philomath again. Though Philomath was missing one girl, that would not have made a difference.”

Amanda Basham led the varsity girls, finishing third in the field of 25 runners in 23:03. Philomath’s Yessenia Alvarado was the Warriors’ top finisher in seventh (23:53).

“It was a good race for Amanda to see if she could run from the front by herself,” Snow said. “She was essentially by herself from 1 mile on and really had no idea where the next pack, including Yessenia, were.”

Olivia Johnson was second for the Huskies (10th overall, 24:44), followed by Ashley Danielson (12th, 25:22), Carissa Swanson (15th, 26:27), Jill Mahler (16th, 27:20) and Jenna Kistner (19th, 29:03).

The Huskies will run again today at Elmira, then will be off until the Val-Co District Championships, which begin at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.

“Wednesday should be a good show and measuring stick, since Philomath, Central and us, along with some of the top 4A schools, will be at Elmira,” Snow said.