Our first preview of the cross country season! Washington started practices this week and will race after Labor Day. Most of California gets the green light to race on Labor Day Weekend, but some sections have started their season. Oregon can start competing this weekend.
Oakmont High School hosts 4,000 meter races at Maidu Park in Roseville in the Sacramento area on Saturday. One of the top girl's team in the state, Granite Bay, returns five runners from last year's team with the one-two punch of Carly Foster and Emily Allison. Oak Ridge High School also returns five of their seven with a trio of runners, with Quinn Walker, Samantha Liaty and Brooke Butler leading the way. St. Francis is a traditional power who returns a solid group of girls and McClatchy is also deep and includes D1 state champion Anna McNatt. Whitney girls opened the season last week at the Sierra Invitational with sisters Katie and Ava Kopec winning their grade level races.
Jesuit is a perennial power and brings back four of their seven runners that finished fifth at state including returners Jacob Swanson and Brandon Moreno. Whitney returns four of the top five runners with senior Cole Jamieson leading the team. Folsom will also factor in the meet led by seniors Nathan Short and Ethan Smith. Some individuals to watch on Saturday include Broen Holman of Sonora and Josh Chu of Ponderosa.
The fast 3000 meter course at Wilsonville High School in suburban Portland will be the opening showcase for Oregon athletes. The races are broken up by grade and it is hard to predict the freshman race, but based on last year's results, here are some of the top sophomores racing Friday night. Franklin boys have the duo of Brannan McEwen and Leaf McQuillen returning. Joshus Hepner of McDaniel, Ian Bello of Mountainside and Jack Canaday of Central Catholic can be factors. Look for Ana Peters of Lake Oswego to lead the sophomores while Ansley Johnston of South Eugene, Amelia Campbell of Grant, Mira Danish of Central Catholic and Emily and Hailie Robertson of Franklin to be at the front of the pack.
Juniors to watch include Asher Danielson of Ida B Wells, Jack Meier of West Salem, Josh Nicholson of Century, Caden Smith of Newberg and Jackson Bullock of Hood River Valley for the boys. In the girl's junior race Ella McGillis and Zoe Rector of Central Catholic, Kiara Saavedra of Lincoln, Josie Fale of Ida B Wells and Sabine Kim of Tigard will be racing to win.
Finally the seniors. Wes Shipsey of Central Catholic and William Heslam of Roosevelt are coming off outstanding track seasons. Carter Cutting, who won the Arcadia Invitational 800 for Corner Canyon HS in Utah last spring, is running for host school Wilsonville. Samy Anderson of Lincoln, Kai Mitchell-Reis of Ida B Wells and Donagh Palmer of Franklin will push Wes and William. It could be anyone's race in the senior girls race with Eva Novy-Hildesley of Lincoln, Lillian Herman of Tigard, Petra Schuster of Ida B Wells, Erin Cosgrove of Southridge and Avery Hedden of Marist looking to start their senior year with a win.
We will be at the Night Meet and have photos available on Saturday.