By JOHN GUNTHER/for OSAAtoday
EUGENE — Ana Peters kept the state cross country title in the family on Saturday at Lane Community College.
While Summit won its 14th straight team title and Jesuit returned to the top of 6A with the Storm now back down in 5A, the sophomore Peters followed her sister Kate as individual champion for the state’s largest schools.
“I’m very excited,” said Peters, who finished in 17 minutes and 56.8 seconds to hold off both Ella McGillis of Central Catholic (17:57.3) and Maura O’Scannlain of Jesuit (18:00.5) in a sprint over the final stretch of the 6A race.
“I was just go (all out), we’re almost done,” she said of her thought heading into the final stretch on the track. “It was painful, but it was over fast.”
Peters, McGillis and O’Scannlain had separated themselves from the rest of the pack for most of the race, setting up the best finish of the day among the nine races.
“It was a really good race,” Peters said. “It’s great competition. It was a good group.”
O’Scannlain is a sophomore like Peters and McGillis is a junior. They moved up from 13th and 12th, respectively, a year ago. Peters, on the other hand, was just 40th as a freshman.
“I didn’t have the greatest race,” she said of 2021.
But in 2022, she followed in the footsteps of her older sister, the 2021 champ.
“Since Kate did it, I was like, OK, I can do it,” Ana said, adding running is in the family. “We just work hard and we really like to run. We’ve both been running since we were kids.”
While Peters took the individual title, Jesuit dominated the team race with three of the top seven runners and all five scoring runners in the top 19 overall.
Liliana Hudnut was fifth, Maggie Bennett seventh, Amalie Beil 12th and Emma Bennett 19th for the Crusaders, who scored 40 points, to 98 for Lincoln, 141 for Sunset and 155 for South Eugene. Tigard was fifth with 160.
“I think we did really well,” said Maggie Bennett, a senior. “We did a really good job of running together and running for each other.
“We have a really tight group second through fifth. That helped us. We were able to see each other.”
Maggie Bennett got to be part of a cross country team champion for the first time, the Crusaders finishing just behind Summit last year.
“We were disappointed we didn’t have them at our level this year,” she said. But we also had good teams Sunset and Lincoln to push us.”
And the Crusaders get a shot at Summit in the Nike Cross Regionals next week, when the top five teams advance to the Nike Cross Nationals.
Bennett likes the Crusaders’ chances.
“We worked hard during the summer and we’ve kept improving every week,” she said. “The fact that we do run for each other — that helps.”
Lincoln was led by Keira Saavedra, who finished fourth (18:20.8), just ahead of Hudnut (18:21.5).
5A Girls: Crescent Valley sophomore Emily Wisniewski followed up her individual title as a freshman by winning again Saturday in dominant fashion.
Wisniewski covered the course in 17:58.6 to easily beat Summit’s Barrett Justema (18:09.1) and Crater’s Linsday Siebert (18:13.9) in a race that saw those three teams have nine of the top 10 individuals and 13 of the top 17.
“I’m happy with the time,” said Wisniewski, who ran a winning time of 18:27 last fall. “I kind of go off place rather than time in a big race.”
While Wisniewski was winning the individual title, Summit was again the top team. The Storm had all seven runners in the top 25 to score 36 points. Crater had 70, Crescent Valley 98 and two-time champion Corvallis 126. Rex Putnam was fifth (152), one point better than Dallas.
“It’s a huge legacy, and to be on this team is beyond special,” said Justema. “It’s something great to be a part of. The coaches and the team are so supportive.”
Ella Thorsett was fourth for Summit (18:22), with Camille Broadbent seventh (18:48), Claire McDonald 10th (19:06), Skye Knox 15th (19:20), Payton McCarthy 16th (19:26) and Taylin Bowen 25th (19:57.2).
Justema said there is naturally pressure on the Storm, but it’s not a “toxic” pressure.
“Our teammates do a great job of keeping things in perspective,” she said, adding that the coaches also make sure the runners know they are just capable of their best every day.
“The pressure — we’re able to turn it into a positive,” Justema said.
In addition to Siebert, Crater had Emma West fifth (18:43.5) and Samantha Payne eighth (18:48.3) in the top 10. Crescent Valley’s Lillian Weiss was sixth (18:46.6). Only Rex Putnam’s Noemi Lundgren, who was ninth, cracked the top 10 among runners from other schools.
4A Girls: La Grande had the second-, third- and fourth-place runners to win the team title, beating runner-up Philomath for the title.
“It was amazing,” said La Grande’s Emily Tubbs, who finished third behind winner Kyla Potratz of Phoenix and La Grande teammate Cecilia Villagomez. Brooke Perry was fourth for La Grande.
“I knew we were all three together when we were running,” Tubbs said. “I thought we could get it.”
“Our team has never won,” Perry added. “We’ve never had enough runners.”
On Saturday, La Grande did. Kiah Carlson was 15th and Karli Kretschmer was 53rd, giving the Tigers the victory. La Grande had 62 points, while Philomath had 84, Crook County 139 and Klamath Union 152. Stayton was fifth with 168.
Potratz pulled away from the La Grande trio to win in 18:47.5.
“It’s barely setting in,” she said of winning. “It’s been a goal of mine for a really long time.”
Villagomez was timed in 19:13.8, Tubbs in 19:35.9 and Perry in 19:38.1. Adele Beckstead was fifth (19:42.6) to lead Philomath.
3A-2A-1A Girls: East Linn Christian Academy’s Daisy Lalonde was the individual winner and Enterprise used a strong group effort to take the team crown in the first race of the day.
Lalonde pulled away from Oregon Episcopal’s Lauren Tittel and Valley Catholic’s Jaya Simmons to win the race in 18:43.7. Tittel finished in 18:55 and Simmons in 19:12.
“I was really nervous at first,” said Lalonde, who came in with the fastest time of the season for the classification. “The gun went off and I heard them breathing behind me and it was kind of a blur. I just ran and had fun. I’m really happy with the time.”
Enterprise didn’t have any runners in the top 10, but when it came time for the team trophies, the squad was atop the awards stand.
Enterprise finished with 63 points, while Oregon Episcopal had 84, Siuslaw 95 and Union 129. Bandon, which won last year, was seventh, also finishing behind Valley Catholic and Burns.
Piper Harvey was the first runner across the line for Enterprise, in 11th place. Abigail Hurley was 13th, Mary Hellinger 20th, Owyhee Harguess 24th, Maddie Nordtveldt 27th and Opal McDonald 30th.
“I’m very happy,” Harvey said of the team’s effort. “We made everybody proud.”
She said the key to the team’s success is “how well we work together — we push ourselves to get better.”
The team encompasses all of Wallowa County, including Enterpise, Joseph and Wallowa high schools and home-school students.