Girls finish one of best races; Westvik moves up boys varsity

The Sweet Home High School cross country team ran one of its better meets on Thursday during the Creswell Invitational held at Lane Community College, portending good things for the district meet coming up on Friday.

“It was one of our better meets,” Coach Dave Martin said. “That course is a little slower than other courses on average.”

The Huskies ran close to their lifetime PRs, which means that they ran well, Coach Martin said.

The Creswell Invitational course is on the same site as the state meet.

“My girls varsity probably had the best race any of my teams have ever had at that race,” Coach Martin said. The girls finished 11th of 20 teams. The race included 146 runners. “For our girls that was a good accomplishment.”

None of the girls set a lifetime PR, but they were close, with Ana Andrade just seconds shy.

From the Huskies’ number two runner, Jessica Brocard, to their fifth runner, A. Andrade, there were only 18 scoring places.

“That was phenomenal,” Coach Martin said. “We’ve never done that before in a race of this size. We set ourselves to run very well at the district meet this week. We’re right on track.”

Among the varsity girls, Maria Andrade finished 46th, 22:50; Brocard, 64th, 23:37; Megan Snow, 73rd, 24:05; Andrea Martin, 82nd, 24:36; and A. Andrade, 87th, 24:53.

Michele Andersen, who has in most races been pulled by Coach Martin and unable to complete all but race this year because of a knee injury, finished her race on the junior varsity in 17th place in 30:39. She finished with a little bit of pain, Coach Martin said. “I was real happy for her. That was a great race.”

With the boys varsity, “the big one was Richard Westvik,” Coach Martin said. Westvik ran 19:35 improving his lifetime personal record by almost 50 seconds. Westvik moved up from the junior varsity for the race. He finished sixth among the Huskies, beating one of the guys who has been running varsity all year and nearly upsetting the fifth-place runner and earning a scoring position. Westvik led Robert Couch in the last stretch, but Couch slipped in ahead of him by one second.

“He’s been very steady, very consistent,” Coach Martin said. “And he had one of this big explosions.”

On the front end of the varsity team, Justin Temple “had his best race of the year,” Coach Martin said. He was followed by John Lovik, who was the second Husky across the finish line. Lovik ran under 18 minutes for the fourth race in a row.

His freshman year, J. Temple had only two races under 18 minutes, Coach Martin said. “John’s already got four under his belt before we even get to districts.”

Andrew Allen struggled during the first half of the race but improved in the second, Coach Martin said. Kyle Temple and Jay Mariner were strong in the first half but had a hard time in the second half.

J. Temple finished 17th, 17:14; Lovik, 29th, 17:51; K. Temple, 62nd, 18:51; Allen, 81st, 19:26; Couch, 88th, 19:34; Westvik, 89th, 19:35; and Mariner, 103rd, 19:59.

On boys junior varsity, Jake Dahlenburg finished in 21:25, Coach Martin said. He went out really well but became too focused on one other runner instead of the race as a whole, slowing him down and putting off of his lifetime PR by about 40 seconds.

At this point, Coach Martin sees two packs of Husky runners among the boys, with both Temples and Lovik running in the first and followed a little later by the rest of the varsity squad. The team is not likely to get the time differential between the first and fifth Husky runner under one minute, changing the way the team will approach the district meet.

Molalla is the favorite to win the district with Sweet Home, Cascade and Stayton in a dog fight for the second-place spot and a trip to state.

Cascade, Molalla and Sisters are the top three district teams among the girls, Coach Martin said. The Huskies will be locked in a battle with North Marion for fourth place.

“We’ve done everything we’re supposed to do,” Coach Martin said. “So now, it just comes down to running what we’re capable of running on Friday.”

The district meet starts at 2 p.m. on Friday at Bush Park in Salem.