Huskies win against small cross-country field at Newport

Sweet Home kicked off its cross-country season with team titles for both the boys and girls at the Murv Fanning Invitational meet on Agate Beach at Newport Saturday morning.

Though the turnout for the meet was smaller than usual, the Huskies got a chance to test themselves under pristine conditions on firm sand left bare by a very low tide and under clear skies with no wind.

“It was a good first meet,” Coach Billy Snow said. “I wish there had been more teams. That would have interesting. But North Bend was there and they are always a challenge.”

The competition and conditions paid off in some fast times for Sweet Home.

Senior Olivia Johnson ran a personal-best 19:59, finishing second behind North Bend’s Katie Romanko, who finished fifth in last year’s state meet. Romanko, also a senior, pulled away about at the 2,000-meter mark of the 5,000-meter course to win in approximately 19:30.

Carissa Swanson, also a senior, was third, in 20:59.

The Huskies won the team title with 41 points to North Bend’s 44, thanks to a fifth-place finish by freshman Nicole Rasmussen (22:42), followed closely by sophomore Paige Sanders (23:00) and senior Caroline Amendola (23:19).

Rounding out the Sweet Home finishers were senior Jenna Kistner, 14th in 24:34 and junior Kimber Swanson, 19th in 27:18.

“The girls packed it in pretty good,” Snow said. “Jenna did exactly what we wanted her to do €“ get our sixth runner ahead of other people’s fifth.”

The boys also won the team title, packing their first five finishers in the top 15 to score 40 points, ahead of North Bend (51),

Newport (81), Walport (93) and Damascus Christian (110) .

Sophomore Daniel Danforth led the Huskies in ffith place (18:13), with senior Adam Hummer right behind in sixth (18:15), a step ahead of junior Nick Hall (18:16), who is getting back into shape after winning the Val-Co district title last year.

Sophomore Brett King was 10th (18:54) and senior Alec Goetz, running his first cross-country race, rounded out the scoring for the Huskies with 15th place (19:46) on the 5,000-meter course.

Sweet Home’s other varsity finishers were juniors Avery Shamek, 21st in 20:13, and Lorenzo Virgen, 22nd in 20:16.

“The guys packed the first three in pretty good and Brett wasn’t that far behind,” Snow said. “We’ll have to move those other back ones up.”

In the boys JV race, junior Jacob Miner finished second in a tightly contested finish, running 11:51 on the 3,000-meter course.

Freshman Thomas Goble finished fourth (12:02), freshman Justin Stoner was seventh (12:15) and junior Anson Davis finished 11th *(12:21).

In the girls JV race, sophomore Tashana Mithen was the Huskies’ top finisher, in sixth (15:41), followed by junior Liz Egbert (16:00), senior Erin Rose (18:47) and freshman Kaylee Owen, a newcomer to the team as of last week (22:45).

The Huskies travel to Seaside Friday and Saturday for the 3 Course Challenge at Camp Rilea, more of a cross-country festival than a typical meet. Close to 100 teams are expected, including runners from as far away as British Columbia and Southern Califonria. Races start at 10 a.m.

Snow noted that most of his runners were tired art Newport from hard workouts earlier in the week.

“We’re not going to taper for meets like this,” he said of the Seaside meet. “We’re going to train through this one and just go out and try to have some fun.

“I told the kids that since we’re not going to run any more flat courses for a while, they shouldn’t expect any more fast times until October.”

After they return from Seaside, the Huskies host their own invitational Tuesday, Sept. 21, at Camp Tadmor. Races start at 4 p.m.