The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

By Scott Swanson
Of The New Era 

Reed places fourth in district XC meet to qualify for state


November 1, 2016

TREY REED, left, leads the Sweet Home boys, from let, Tanner Sayers, Ricky Yunke, Noah Dinsfriend (partially visible), Noah Taraski, Kobe Olson and Zach Zanona, at the start of the district championship race.

Trey Reed qualified for the state cross-country meet Thursday with a fourth-place finish at the Sky-Em district championships and the boys varsity came so close, yet so far away to making it as a team, 11 points out of first place.

Cottage Grove won the district team title with 57 points, followed by Junction City (60), Elmira (63) and the Huskies (68). Sisters’ Jordan Pollard was the individual boys champion, finishing in 16:53.7, bu the Outlaws didn’t give him much support, finishing with 89 points as a team, ahead of Sutherlin, which was sixth with 179.

All five of the Huskies’ top finishers ran all-time bests in pouring rain on the soggy course, which isn’t known as a great place to PR even when it’s dry.

“My top five all PR’d,” Coach Dan Bixler said. “I don’t know what else they could possibly do.

There were a lot of what-if’s, how it would come out. I figured we could be first or we could be fifth.

“If anything, we are closer than I thought we’d be. Eleven points is very little.”

Reed, a senior, finished in 17:23.9, about 25 seconds behind second-place Jesse Ellingworth of Cottage Grove (17:03.0) and Elmira’s Carson Bain (17:05.9). Reed’s time was two seconds faster than the PR he’d run a week before at Country Fair Classic, which is considered a fast course.

“I came into the race as an underdog and I really wanted to prove everybody wrong, so I put my head in the game and stuck with the pack and when the time was right, the last 400 meters, I I pulled through,” Reed said.

“The mindset was critical. Throughout the years I haven’t had the mindset to do what I did today. I’ve managed to PR in the cold rain. I think I did what I had to do.”

Not far behind was sophomore Tanner Sayers, in eighth (17:48.7), a 22-second personal best.

“I think I had a pretty good race,” Sayers said. “I was picked to get 13th. I thought I would be lucky if I got top-15. Coming in eighth was a big surprise. I’m happy about that time, too.”

Noah Dinsfriend, also a sophomore, who split between soccer and cross-country, finished 15th, in 18:16.6 – a 31-second PR.

Close behind him were junior Ricky Yunke in 20th (18:45.3) and senior Kobe Olson in 21st (18:46.1). Yunke, who was suffering from a cold, bettered the PR he’d run at Country Fair by eight seconds, and Olson busted a huge personal best – 40 seconds, in breaking 19 minutes in the final cross-country race of his high school career.

“That’s a great PR,” Bixler said of Yunke’s performance.

“When you have an upper respiratory condition, that’s pretty impressive.”

Rounding things out for Sweet Home were junior Noah Taraski in 31st (19:39.5) and freshman Zach Zanona in 35th (19:50.6).

Junior Bethany Gingerich, who also doubled with soccer this year, was 22nd in the girls varsity race (24:53.7), the only Husky in that competition, which was won by Anna Barlett of Sisters (20:26.9), who led the Outlaws to the team title with 26 points.

Junction City was second with 52 points, followed by Elmira (80), Sutherlin (94) and Cottage Grove (104).

In the girls JV race, Elea Hewitt was 24th in a PR of 33:13.9 and Lauren Taber was 29th in 36:59.2.

Cameron Taber (20:23.9) was sixth in the boys junior varsity race, which combined Sky-Em JV’s with JV runners from the 5A Midwestern League, which held its varsity championships right after the Sky-Em meet. That time was a 10-second personal best for Taber, a junior.

Behind Taber was Connor Ford, 15th in 21:57.4 and the third freshman to finish. Senior Nick Rietz was 19th (22:09.4), freshman Tristan Saultz was 22nd (22:28.5), sophomore Brad Wolthuis was 28th (23:05.2) to edge teammate Jake Hindmarsh, a junior, 29th in 23:05.9).

“Cameron had a great race, breaking into the awards,” Bixler said. “There were not a lot of PRs for the JV’s, but they had a pretty good season. They watched the varsity stuff unfold.”

BETHANY GINGERICH runs as the sole Husky in the varsity girls race.

Reed said he expected the type of performance the varsity boys delivered.

“I’m proud of my teammates,” he said. “They worked hard. I wouldn’t have expected anything less. That’s all I can say.”

Sayers noted that the Huskies have five returning varsity members next season.

“It was fun the way it worked out,” he said. “I’m bummed that we didn’t make state this year, but that’s something we can work on next year. I think if we all push each other and just do the work, we have a good chance of going to state.”


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