EUGENE — If anything, the Crater cross-country teams showed they’re in pretty good form entering their two biggest meets of the 2022 season.
In a pair of top-10s filled with Comets, Crater senior standout Tyrone Gorze and junior Lindsay Siebert ruled supreme during Wednesday morning’s Midwestern League district championship meet at Lane Community College.
Gorze won his second consecutive MWL title in 14 minutes, 41.4 seconds, which is the fastest time in the state regardless of classification this season. Siebert ran 19:00.6 to lead a group of Comets that swept the top four spots on the girls side.
“It’s pretty impressive for 10 o’clock on Wednesday and see him take on that course, which hasn’t been the fastest course,” Crater head coach Justin Loftus said of Gorze. “I know it’s not the same exact course as the state course, but to have Ty throw it down on a district meet that’s very important to everybody but in the scope of things there’s still have the biggest one to come, it was just fun to watch.”
Gorze, who recently committed to the University of Washington, will be the overwhelming favorite as he defends his title at next Saturday’s Class 5A cross-country state meet at Lane.
“He had his splits from last year’s state meet, so we kind of just went off of that today and worked on some of the phases from last year,” Loftus said. “It’s not the same course as state, but there’s only been three guys that I’ve seen go sub-15 on that course, so it was a very impressive day running like that when he’s solo.”
The Crater boys placed six among the top seven runners, with Ashland senior Nathan Stein being the only runner not from Crater in that group. Stein (15:40.1) finished third behind Gorze and sophomore Josiah Tostenson, who ran 15:28.4 in just his second full race back from injury.
After Stein came another group of Comets: sophomore Tayvon Kitchen (15:48.1) in fourth, junior Shaun Garnica (16:01.3) in fifth, junior Caleb Doddington (16:09.8) in sixth and junior Jeffrey Hellman (16:19.3) in seventh.
“They clicked and ran together most of the race,” Loftus said. “We’ve only had a full crew run together once this year, so it was great to see our top six run together and push themselves. It sets up well for the state meet, for sure, and running that course was huge to be able to get a feel for it.”
The top eight on the boys side were all runners from the Rogue Valley, with Ashland senior Finley Taylor (16:34.1) finishing eighth.
The Crater boys won the team title with 18 points, with Churchill (63) and Springfield (78) behind the Comets. Ashland was fourth with 81 points.
Behind Siebert — who has been working her way back from illness the last three weeks — Crater had senior Samantha Payne (19:11.8) finish second, sophomore Emma West (19:17.5) place third and senior Haylee Baldwin (19:21.6) rounded out the quartet in fourth.
The Crater girls finished with 22 points, ahead of second-place Ashland (61) and Churchill in third (80).
For the Grizzlies, sophomore Nikaela Apilada (20:40.2) was seventh and senior Annika Wells (21:08.4) finished ninth.
“She’s been coming on strong and feeling better, so we’re excited just to see her healthy,” Loftus said of Siebert. “The girls, they have been amazing this year. We had eight girls finish last year, this year we have 18 or 20. We were second to Ashland last year at districts and pretty banged up, but this year the girls are just crushing it. One through four, we’re very young, and they’re super excited and it’s the strongest we’ve run there since about 2007.”
TEAM SCORES: Crater 18, Churchill 63, Springfield 78, Ashland 81, North Eugene 141, Thurston 151.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 20): 1, Tyrone Gorze, Cra, 14:41.4; 2, Josiah Tostenson, Cra, 15:28.4; 3, Nathan Stein, Ash, 15:40.1; 4, Tayvon Kitchen, Cra, 15:48.1; 5, Shaun Garnica, Cra, 16:01.3; 6, Caleb Doddington, Cra, 16:09.8; 7, Jeffrey Hellman, Cra, 19:19.3; 8, Finley Taylor, Ash, 16:34.1; 9, Owen Fuller, Spr, 16:37.8; 10, Hestin Duff-Estrada, Chu, 16:57.3.
11, Alessandro Gibbs, Chu, 17:00.7; 12, Eli Lancy, Chu, 17:07.3; 13, Conner Lamb, Spr, 17:18.0; 14, Kyle Briggs, Chu, 17:34.8; Carson Buergey, Thu, 17:29.3; 16, Wiley Rhoads, Chu, 17:33.9; 17, Ryan Hass, Spr, 17:39.0; 18, Caleb Barsalou, Cra, 17:39.4; 19, Desmond Scott, Spr, 18:06.5; 20, Aonghas Houston, Spr, 18:07.4.
TEAM SCORES: Crater 22, Ashland 61, Churchill 80, North Eugene 104, Springfield 122, Thurston 129.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 20): 1, Lindsay Siebert, Cra, 19:00.6; 2, Samantha Payne, Cra, 19:11.8; 3, Emma West, Cra, 19:17.5; 4, Haylee Baldwin, Cra, 19:21.6; 5, Artana Rice, NE, 19:37.3; 6, Breanna Raven, Thu, 20:27.5; 7, Nikaela Apilada, Ash, 20:40.2; 8, Taylor Heer, Chu, 20:44.3; 9, Annika Wells, Ash, 21:08.4; 10, Carrie Babcock, Spr, 21:24.3.
11, Hadley Lindsay, Chu, 21:30.5; 12, Isabel Kapule, Cra, 21:31.5; 13, Violet Hering, Ash, 21:32.4; 14, Mackenzie Schmidt, Ash, 21:35.0; 15, Stephanie White, Thu, 21:39.1; 16, Lorelei Rinehart, Chu, 21:42.1; 17, Kara Loftus, Cra, 21:48.7; 18, Stella Mason, Ash, 21:56.4; 19, Jailyn Arleth Becerra-Brigido, NE, 22:00.5; 20, Ayla Dance, Cra, 22:13.0.
SWC DISTRICT MEET: At Roseburg, senior Reese Meager led a North Medford girls team that placed three runners in the top eight and finished third in the team standings at Stewart Park.
Meager finished in fourth place with a time of 19:20.8, with North teammates Marisela Villa (19:33.3) and Eleanor Nichol (19:36.5) coming in sixth and eighth place, respectively.
With 63 points, the North girls finished behind first-place South Eugene (26) and Roseburg (55).
South Eugene freshman Madi Zemper-Prill won in 18:42.6.
On the boys side, South Medford’s DJ Scott (16:41.3) finished 12th and Devon Scott (16:42.2) was two places behind in 14th. Jazz Hernandez was 19th in 16:55.3.
North junior Logan Huffman (16:43.1) was the Black Tornado’s highest finisher in 16th place, while Elijah Zavala (16:57.9) was 21st.
Sheldon senior Jonah Donde (15:54.0) won the boys race and led a dominant showing from the Irish, who placed four runners in the top five to take the team title over second-place South Eugene.
TEAM SCORES: Sheldon 25, South Eugene 60, Roseburg 86, South Medford 98, Grants Pass 114, North Medford 133.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 20): 1, Jonah Donde, She, 15:54.0; 2, Adam Reeder, She, 15:58.5; 4, Timothy Johnson, Ros, 15:58.9; 4, Malachi Schoenherr, She, 16:13.5; 5, Evan Poulsen, She, 16:15.4; 6, Carter Stedman, Ros, 16:18.3; 7, Benjamin Seidman, SE, 16:32.5; 8, Matt Rieman, GP, 16:36.4; 9, Jaia Hannagan, GP, 16:37.8; 10, Jan Bremer, SE, 16:38.6.
11, Griffin Baxley, SE, 16:39.8; 12, DJ Scott, SM, 16:41.3; 13, Benjamin Kehrein, She, 16:41.6; 14, Devon Scott, SM, 16:42.2; 15, Kyle Scott, SE, 16:42.2; 16, Logan Huffman, NM, 16:43.1; 17, Ricard Verges, SE, 16:48.5; 18, Nathan Sheley, She, 16:52.1; 19, Jazz Hernandez, SM, 16:55.3; 20, Silas Kohler, SE, 16:55.4.
TEAM SCORES: South Eugene 26, Roseburg 55, North Medford 63, Sheldon 97, Grants Pass 101, South Medford 176.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 20): 1, Madi Zemper-Prill, SE, 18:42.6; 2, Cameron Gupta, SE, 19:13.9; 3, Sylvia Eckman, Ros, 19:15.2; 4, Reese Meager, NM, 19:20.8; 5, Nora Black, SE, 19:32.0; 6, Marisela Villa, NM, 19:33.3; 7, Elizabeth McCart, SE, 19:35.3; 8, Eleanor Nichol, NM, 19:36.5; 9, Charis Childers, Ros, 19:40.3; 10, Corinne Childers, Ros, 19:47.8.
11, Leona Higgins, SE, 20:08.2; 12, Karalyn Gilbert, She, 20:11.0; 13, Vikki Vanderwerff, Ros, 20:25.3; 14, Skylar Willow, She, 20:31.5; 15, Taylor Weber, GP, 20:38.5; 16, Ellie Berg, GP, 20:44.0; 17, Bela Marshak, GP, 20:47.5; 18, Katryn Gilbert, She, 20:53.7; 19, Maritza Villa, NM, 20:58.9; 20, Jazlynn Landeros, Ros, 21:10.5.
ASHLAND 0, EAGLE POINT 0, tie: At Ashland, Eagle Point and Ashland had a handful of scoring chances in the final minutes but neither team could convert in what proved to be a scoreless finish between the two Midwestern League foes.
Eagle Point (4-5-2, 1-2-2 MWL) had what looked like the go-ahead goal late in the second half, but it was cleared off the goal line by Ashland’s Luis Uhtoff to keep things scoreless.
Aiden Espinoza finished with four saves for Ashland (5-3-3, 3-0-2) as he again filled in for starting keeper Mateo Moore.
Freshman Tavi Garcia had another strong showing in midfield for the Eagles, while Andre Ramirez was a leader at the back. EP keeper Trenton Silani finished with eight saves, five of which came in the first half.
Crater’s Tyrone Gorze, seen here in a photo from earlier this season, captured his second straight MWL district title with an impressive run on Wednesday. [Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune]