Despite injuries, Husky Harriers still running tough

Sweet Home’s cross-country teams are a little “banged up,” in the words of coach Billy Snow, but the girls still managed a fifth-place finish at the Creswell Invitational at Lane Community College and the boys managed to finish ahead of conference rival Stayton in their race.

Both teams were missing two key runners, as Julia Henthorne had shin problems and had to step out and Ashley Danielson (tendinitis) sat out of the girls race, and Anthony Ertsgaard (ankle) and Dallin Holden (illness) missed the boys race.

“I did not expect a lot in the way of eye-popping times, but was looking for the kids to run hard and be competitive,” Snow said. “That they were! The five girls who finished ran faster in this particular meet than any girls team in the last 10 years.”

The Husky girls placed fifth out of 12 teams with 149 points. Cascade was third with 94 and Stayton was eighth with 176.

The girls were led by Kambria Schumacher (ninth place out of 100 runners, 21:05) and Cassandra Schumacher, who was coming off a cold and ran 22:07 for 18th place. But Jessica Trautwein (23:13), Heidi Wilson (23:565) and Staci Grove (25:30) bettered their times from last year by more than two minutes each, Snow said.

“In our chase to catch the teams ahead of us in our league, these three girls are going to be key,” he said. “Hopefully, with a little rest and being healthy, all the girls will be raring to go come Districts. We keep inching closer to Cascade and, at the same time, to Molalla and Sisters.”

The boys placed 11th, out of 17 squads, with 273 points. Cascade was sixth with 214 and Stayton was 14th with 332.

The boys were led by Jess Keys, who ran 18:10, seven seconds off his personal best, for 31st place out of 126 runners. The only Husky boy to PR was Ramiro Santana, who tied his at 19:14. Peter VanDerlip ran 18:27; Jake Smith 19:16; Robert Callagan 20:10 and Sam Bishop 20:55. In the JV race, Josh Rice ran 21:05 for a PR.

“With the addition of Anthony and Dallin, we hopefully can put all five of our scorers at Districts under 19 (minutes), with three or four of them under 18,” Snow said.

The District meet, which will determine which teams qualify for the state championships, is Friday, Oct. 28, at Bush Park in Salem.

“We will be taking the next week off from racing,” Snow said. The Huskies had been scheduled to run in Cottage Grove this Thursday.

“We are banged up a bit and have too many kids sick,” he said. “With a small squad, I would hold half of the kids out of the meet anyway.”

Snow said the break will allow him to start tapering the workouts and getting his squad ready for Districts.