Lovik fourth, heading for state; Team fourth at district

John Lovik finished fourth individually at the Capital Conference cross country district meet on Friday.

He will represent the Huskies at the state meet Saturday.

The Husky boys finished fourth as a team.

“I started out good,” Lovik said. “It wasn’t that I felt bad the whole race; I had nothing to go with, no energy, but I got to state. That’s all that matters.”

Two Stayton runners, Terran Swohosky and Jared Swohosky and a Molalla runner, Jarrett Ziemer, finished ahead of Lovik.

J. Swohosky led Lovik for the first mile and a half. His brother, T. Swohosky, caught up to them at that point and got ahead. Ziemer and Ben Howard of Molalla also caught Lovik.

Near the end of the race, Lovik sprinted to take Howard and almost caught Ziemer.

“In my heart, I’m thinking John’s capable or running 16:30s, which he is; but John didn’t have the benefit of a whole season behind him,” Coach Wayne Spinney said. He thought Lovik could have won the meet ahead of the Swohosky brothers in the 16:40s.

“It’s sort of a disappointment, but it’s a sort of relief because John still gets to go to state,” Coach Spinney said.

“I feel excited for the first time,” Lovik said about state. The first time he went, he was a freshman and went with the team. Last year, he started out too hard and had trouble with asthma.

This year, he’s feeling perfectly healthy and ready after a illness set him back early in the season.

“I’m feeling like I should have at the beginning of the season,” Lovik said. “At the same time, there’s always track season.”

Preparing for state, Lovik is doing “a lot of visualizing,” he said. He’s generally sticking to easy workouts and pace work.

Lovik finished in 16:53, off from his time last year but setting a season PR.

As a whole, all varsity runners but Richard Westvik, who was fighting a cold, set PRs.

Projected by Coach Spinney to score 103 points, the Huskies finished with 92 points, behind Stayton, 58; Sisters, 49; and Molalla, 42. Aaron Lovik was ineligible to run in the district meet, and that raised the projected points to 109.

Chris Burford finished 19th at 18:12 and Kyle Temple finished 20th at 18:17, both third team, to join J. Lovik, first team, in all-conference honors.

Next in was Chris Lovely at 25th at 18:48 and Mike Lummus, 28th, 19:11 to round out scoring runners. Westvik finished 31st at 19:47.

In the end, Burford set a season PR by 10 seconds, Temple by five, Lovely by five and Lummus by six. Lovik set a season PR by five seconds.

“They responded,” Coach Spinney said. “They scored better than we had expected…. You like to see everyone run a PR at the end of the season. Our varsity kids did well.”

On the varsity girls team, “I thought Megan (Snow) ran pretty well,” Coach Spinney said, though she didn’t run as fast as last year. Snow was first in for the Huskies at 21st, 22:39, earning third-team honors.

“She ran well, and I was happy with how Anne (Helfrich) ran,” Coach Spinney said. Helfrich set a season PR at 23:04 and 22nd place.

Dianne Kennelly ran a lifetime PR at 26:17 and 31st. Kim Lovik ran a lifetime PR at 24:23 and 28th. Sonia Arroyo finished 32nd at 29:30.

The team finished fifth with 124 points, behind Stayton, 109; Cascade, 53; Molalla, 47; and Sisters, 25.

On boys junior varsity, Ryan Garrett won the meet at 18:16. If Garrett had run in the varsity race, it would have dropped the Huskies’ points by seven.

Garret “just ran fast enough to win,” Coach Spinney said. “I believe Ryan has a very competitive spirit, but sometimes he’s afraid of being too successful. Many athletes deal with questioning their own ability.”

Preseason, Coach Spinney had projected Garrett to run the second spot on varsity with a time possibly as low as 17:20 by the end of the season, but Garrett didn’t run in any other meets.

Shant Little ran a lifetime PR and nearly met his goal at the race, finishing in 22:34 at 22nd.

He ran a steady race, passing people throughout the event, Coach Spinney said. When he started, Little was running more than 26 minutes.

Sam Crain went out too fast, Coach Spinney said. “I think he got himself a little too pumped up.”

He finished in 24:07 at 26th.

The junior varsity finished third with 49 points. Molalla had 42, and Sisters scored 36.