Tired Husky harriers show they’re force to be reckoned with

Though they didn’t run as well as they were capable, the Husky boys cross-country team drew a line in the dirt Saturday at the Paul Mariman Invitational in Philomath for other teams in the ValCo League, all of whom were in the race.

The Huskies had an off day, coach Billy Snow said, but they still ran well enough to place 10th out of 21 teams and not far behind Philomath, which was seventh.

“Our top five were within 50 seconds of each other, but not as high in the pack as we should be,” Snow said. “Part of that, at least, is due to a hard race on Tuesday (in Junction City) and a long, hard interval workout on Thursday. Once they are rested, I think we will be fine.

“Philomath handled us easily although I think we are capable of running with them.”

Still, Sweet Home finished ahead of Central, Taft and Newport.

Jess Keys was the leading Husky, finishing 43rd in the 151-runner field in 17:50.8, with Peter VanDerlip (46th, 17:52.5), Jake Smith (52nd, 18:04.0), Ramiro Santana (63rd, 18:39.2), Robert Callagan (64th, 18:40.0) and KC Hanscam (72nd, 18:48.2) scoring for Sweet Home.

The Huskies’ other finisher was Dallin Holden (104th, 19:41.4).

The girls ran ninth in a field of 17 as their leading runner, Cassandra Schumacher, was still feeling the effects of being ill earlier in the week.

“The girls ran well as a group, but again, tired,” Snow said, noting that Philomath and Newport, which finished fifth (152 points) and seventh (176), are within “a couple of points of each other for the district championship.”

The Huskies, he said, have to find a way to “break the party.”

Schumacher finished 11th overall in a field of 130, in 20:16.3, followed by Ashley Danielson, who “had a great run with a lifetime PR,” according to Snow, to finish 44th in 22:28.3. Jessica Trautwein was third for the Huskies (44th overall, 23:09.3), with Staci Grove (85th, 25:15.3) and Jill Mahler (93rd, 25:59.4) rounding out the scoring for Sweet Home. Lacey Hightower finished 126th in 30:43.8.

Land Florek was the top finisher for Sweet Home in the JV boys race, finishing eighth in 18:34.2, followed immediately by Josh Rice in ninth place (18:36.1), Byron Sanders (32nd, 19:57.9) , Nikki Smith (35th, 20:04.3), Brandon Rice (47th, 20:42.0) and David Rinehart (102nd, 23:55.2).

Afton Rodgers ran 52nd in 30:19.2 for the JV girls while Louise Wilcox was 64th in 40:06.7.

Junction City Richardson Run

Jake Smith led the Husky boys to a second-place finish, behind Marist, at the Richardson Run at Fern Ridge Reservoir Oct. 3.

Five Huskies finished under 18 minutes, for the first time this season.

“Our guys ran simply awesome,” said Coach Billy Snow. “We had five guys all within 29 seconds of each other. That’s what they will have to do if they want to win districts and move on to state.”

Marist bunched six runners in the top 10 to score 27, demonstrating why it is the top-ranked team in the state 4A division. Sweet Home was second with 77, followed by Cottage Grove (78), Oakridge (85) and LaPine (134) to round out the top five.

Smith reeled in opponents throughout the race, Snow said, running 17:16:00 for 12th place. He was followed closely by Peter VanDerlip (13th, 17:18:00), Jess Keys (15th, 17:22:00) and Ramiro Santana (21st, 17:43.00) and Robert Callagan (22nd, 17:45.00) completing the scoring for the Huskies.

Land Florek was sixth for the Huskies, running 18:36.00 for 33rd place. Dallin Holden was right on his heels, finishing 34th in 18:40.00. Other finishers were Josh Rice (42nd, 19:06.00), KC Hanscam (46th, 19:20.00), Nikki Smith (51st, 19:39.00), Byron Sanders (52nd, 19:41.00), Brandon Rice (57th, 19:53.00), Dustin Collman (58th, 20:01.00) and David Rinehart (89th, 25:15.00).

In the girls race, Jessica Trautwein led the Huskies as their normal number-one runner, Cassandra Schumacher, was ill, Snow said.

Trauwein placed 10th out of 65 runners, in 22:07.54, with Ashley Danielson two places back in 22:49.55.

Marist took the first two places, along with seventh and eighth, to win the girls race with 28 points. Junction City was second with 81, followed by Stayton (100), Cottage Grove (100), Oakridge (103) and Sweet Home in sixth with 106 points.

“With Cassandra, we would have been an easy second but even without her, we were just a couple of points from third,” Snow said. “Jessica and Ashley went out hard and hung on.

“Jess finished in the top 10 for a medal and it was a lifetime PR. Ashley seems to be healing from her injuries and that is good news for us.”

Staci Grove (24:32.67) and Jill Mahler (24:35.22) were 31st and 33rd, key to the Huskies staying close in the scoring.

“Staci and Jill ran great as a group,” Snow said. “Jill’s goal was to stick with Staci, which she did. For our girls’ success those two have to run together and see who they can pick off.”

Lacey Hightower ran 29:31.85 for 58th, Afton Rodgers 31:11.40 for 62nd and Louise Wilcox 39:06.74 for 65th.

The Huskies will be back at Philomath Friday, Oct. 13, for a noon meet.