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This Weekend in Cross Country - Nike Portland XC - September 23-24

Aloha High School hosts the 43rd annual Nike Portland XC meet at Blue Lake Regional Park with middle school meet on Friday and 18 high school races on Saturday. Since we cover teams on the West Coast, Nike Portland XC has a number of teams from the three states. Oregon has 51 schools competing, Washington has 40 schools in the meet and 15 California schools traveled up to Portland, OR.

Jim Danner Championship

Ella Thorsett (448) leads another strong Summit program

The premier race of Saturday is named after long time Aloha High School coach Jim Danner who passed away in 1989 and the meet honors Coach Danner who created the Nike Portland XC in 1980.

Hanne Thomsen (left) of Montgomery Santa Rosa

In the girl's race, there are a number of teams in the hunt to win the race and take home seven Nike backpacks. Summit of Oregon won the event last year and returns with DyeStat Pre-season ranking of #30. Franklin and Lincoln of Oregon also received pre-season recognition from DyeStat. Washington 4A powers of Issaquah, Tahoma and Skyline are entered in the Jim Danner Championship. Other teams to watch include Mountain View (ID), Sunset (OR), Rancho Cucamonga (CA), Clovis North (CA) and Redondo Union (CA). The individual winner of the Jim Danner will receive the Jim Danner award. Kate Peters of Lake Oswego won it last year, but is recovering from an injury. Her sister Ana Peters of Lake Oswego can be a factor. Hanne Thomsen of Montgomery of Santa Rosa won the California State Meet 3200 is also a favorite. Jie Yi Denise Chen of Claremont, Ashlyn Leath orf Clovis North (CA), Ella Thorsett and Barrett Justema of Summit, Alexis Leone of Seton Catholic (WA), Katelyn Galloway of Stadium (WA) and Sydney Collier of Skyline (WA) will all be in the front pack.

Samy Anderson leads a strong Lincoln squad

Based on the pre-season rankings from DyeStat, the Lincoln (OR) enters as the favorite and fellow league rival Franklin will push Lincoln. Other Oregon schools that deserve notice are West Salem and Sunset. California schools who are trying to win the Nike backpacks include Madera South, Trabuco Hills, Millikan, Long Beach Poly and Redondo Union. Washington schools of Issaquah and Tahoma also enter the team favorite conversation. Jason Parra of Millikan finished fourth last week at Woodbridge and is considered the pre-meet favorite. Zach Munson of Sehome is another outstanding runner who won the 4A 3200 last spring in Washington. Alexander Garcia-Silver is setting records at Marshfield High School that has not been seen since alum Steve Prefontaine prepped there. Cameron Rhone of Long Beach Poly and Aaron Thomas of Redondo Union will push fellow Californian Jason Parra. Oregonians William Heslam of Roosevelt, Jack Meier of West Salem, Logan Law of Milwaukie, Samy Anderson of Lincoln and Inbaa Chennai of Sunset are also favorites.

Jason Parra of Millikan is a meet favorite

The Jim Danner Championship and the rest of the races can be viewed on Runnerspace+PLUS.

Look for a photo gallery of the races when the meet is completed. Also, we will be at the finish line and have West Coast XC stickers for athletes. Look for the guy with the blue West Coast XC hat.

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