PHS cross-country: Ultimook

Philomath High runners line up for a photo at the Ultimook Race near Tillamook. At the far left is Levi Knutson, who lost his shoe in the course's mud pit and had to drop out. Of course, he ended up getting covered in mud while trying to retrieve his shoe.

The Philomath High School cross-country team ventured off the traditional course Saturday with a trip to the Ultimook Race, staged at the Hydrangea Ranch north of Tillamook.

Despite challenges not typically seen on a high school cross-country course, the Warriors fared pretty well with runner-up finishes in the team scoring for both boys and girls.

The Philomath girls missed winning the team title by just one point to the host school. Tillamook and Philomath outdistanced the rest of the field of 18 complete teams by a considerable margin.

PHS senior Hannah Hernandez had to settle for second behind Catlin Gabel senior Lila Fenner. Warriors coach Joe Fulton said the two battled through most of the race before Fenner pulled away in the final kilometer.

Senior Rivers Nuno finished eighth and senior Madison Bushnell was behind her in ninth.

“It was pretty impressive to have three in the top 10 in a field of 158 finishers,” Fulton said.

The Warriors boys also placed second at the meet — 14 points behind Newport. Junior Levi Knutson had to drop out of the race after losing his shoe in the course’s mud pit.

“But Brody Bushnell and Grant Hellesto made it through unscathed and stuck with the lead pack the entire race — a pack that included several of the top 4A runners in the state,” Fulton said.

Bushnell, a freshman, was impressive with a third-place finish just 4 seconds behind the winner. Senior Grant Hellesto ended up fourth. In all, the race included 241 finishers and 34 complete teams.

The course’s mud pit served as a highlight, Fulton said.

“Every runner had to get through it and it was knee-deep and thick,” Fulton said. “Some were lucky enough to make it through without falling into it. Others were not so lucky. If you had a shoe sucked off in the mud and could not retrieve it, you were forced to drop out.”

And that’s what happened to Philomath’s Knutson.

The Warriors will now head down to Eugene for the Northwest Classic, a large competition that will be staged on the same course as the state cross-country meet. As of this past weekend, 75 high schools planned to send runners to the meet.

The Northwest Classic begins at 10 a.m. with middle school races. The high school varsity girls for 1A through 4A schools is scheduled for 11 a.m. The 1A-4A varsity boys will follow at 11:40 a.m.

Ultimook Race

Saturday at Tillamook

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Team scoring: Newport 79, Philomath 93, Columbia River (Wash.) 121, Toppenish (Wash.) 223, Sweet Home 238, Peninsula (Wash.) 278, Astoria 292, North Thurston (Wash.) 309, Kelso (Wash.) 334, Tillamook 335, Stayton 349, Heppner 365, Woodland (Wash.) 366, Montesano (Wash.) 376, Liberty 377, Washougal (Wash.) 391, Catlin Gabel 446, Brookings-Harbor 461, Gladstone 488, Knappa 498, Riverdale 559, R.A. Long (Wash.) 588, Sunnyside (Wash.) 588, Nestucca 589, Seaside 609.

Top 10 individuals: 1, Ben Kirby, Stayton, 16:50.56; 2, Aidan Rowley, Columbia River (Wash.), 16:52.67; 3, Brody Bushnell, Philomath, 16:54.73; 4, Grant Hellesto, Philomath, 17:04.96; 5, Jimmy Talley, Cottage Grove, 17:20.89; 6, Kolby Spink, Newport, 17:23.06; 7, Marshall Bush, Tillamook, 17:24.08; 8, Samir Amin, North Thurston (Wash.), 17:25.34; 9, Haiden Drury, Toppenish (Wash.), 17:32.24; 10, Will Leonard, Catlin Gabel, 17:34.99.

Other PHS Results: 21, Justin Enghauser, 18:20.39; 25, Noah King, 18:37.13; 40, Sean Cummings, 19:10.90;


Team scoring: Tillamook 71, Philomath 72, Stayton 113, Astoria 131, Heppner 139, Washougal (Wash.) 147, Kelso (Wash.) 179, Peninsula (Wash.) 188, Newport 281, North Thurston (Wash.) 284, Cottage Grove 304, Santiam Christian 337, Seaside 337, Liberty 369, R.A. Long (Wash.) 382, Blanchet Catholic 388, Estacada 406, Riverdale 468.

Top 10 individuals: 1, Lila Fenner, Catlin Gabel, 19:13.70; 2, Hannah Hernandez, Philomath, 19:41.61; 3, Solace Bergeron, Tillamook, 20:14.08; 4, Sarah Pullen, Tillamook, 20:35.18; 5, Hailey Notman, Stayton, 20:59.47; 6, Sophie Long, Astoria, 21:07.32; 7, Sydnee Boothby, Washougal (Wash.), 21:11.27; 8, Rivers Nuno, Philomath, 21:21.89; 9, Madison Bushnell, Philomath, 21:43.20; 10, Hailey Heideman, Heppner, 21:44.32.

Other PHS Results: 33, Kaeleigh Houchin, 23:48.52; 41, Sarah McDaniel, 24:16.80; 47, Audrey Gerding, 24:43.32.

Junior Varsity


Team scoring: Peninsula (Wash.) 37, Kelso (Wash.) 78, Columbia River (Wash.) 103, Philomath 120, Woodland (Wash.) 170, Tillamook 196, Cottage Grove 215, Washougal (Wash.) 218, Newport 249, Riverside 286, Sweet Home 287, Stayton 293, Liberty 345, Sunnyside (Wash.) 381, Corbett 419, Riverdale 428.

PHS Results: 2, Jace Barrett, 18:41.50; 9, Jayden Kelley, 20:33.69; 30, Isaac Denzer, 21:55.83; 52, Micah Matthews, 22:59.20; 64, George House, 23:29.12; 68, Casey McDaniel, 23:30.93; 87, Evan McDaniel, 24:23.01.


Team scoring: Kelso (Wash.) 63, Philomath 68, Toppenish (Wash.) 97, Sunnyside (Wash.) 100, Woodland (Wash.) 101, Liberty 106, Corbett 142.

PHS Results: 9, Jazz Choi, 20:25.06; 11, Claire Cothern, 21:04.32; 12, Ingrid Hellesto, 21:04.74; 35, Ally Todd, 23:44.04; 44, Amey McDaniel, 24:45.70.

Note: The JV girls course ended up being 4,000 meters after runners had been misdirected by a race official.

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