The Philomath High School boys and girls cross-country teams took a break from the larger meets on the schedule by heading down Highway 20 for a spell to run in the Toledo XC Challenge.
Staged on the Olalla Valley Golf Course, the Philomath boys beat out five other schools for the top team honors. With Tillamook running, the girls had to settle for runner-up out of the three schools that had full teams participating.
Individually, PHS senior Hannah Hernandez continued to add to her hardware collection with yet another victory. Hernandez covered the 5,000-meter course in 18 minutes, 59.49 seconds to beat out runner-up Sarah Pullen of Tillamook by about 44 seconds.
In the boys race, Warriors freshman Brody Bushnell finished second individually in 17:00.54, which was roughly 12 seconds behind the winner — Tillamook junior Marshall Bush.
But the PHS boys secured the Nos. 3, 5, 6 and 7 spots to contribute to the team point total. Junior Grant Hellesto was third in 17:27.22; junior Levi Knutson placed fifth in 17:31.46; junior Sean Cummings was right behind in sixth in 17:31.96; and junior Justin Enghauser placed seventh in 17:32.41.
Philomath’s other two varsity runners also placed in the top 10. Freshman Mateo Candanoza was eighth in 17:33.59 and senior Noah King placed ninth in 17:39.14.
All seven PHS boys finished within 40 seconds of one another with times well under 18 minutes.
In the girls’ race, Hernandez had a considerable lead when she crossed the finish line but Tillamook took the Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 positions to beat out the Warriors for the team trophy.
Besides Hernandez, Philomath had three other runners finish among the top 10. Senior Rivers Nuno was sixth in 21:28.90; senior Madison Bushnell was seventh in 21:36.30; and sophomore Kaeleigh Houchin placed eighth in 21:45.12.
Sophomore Jazz Choi was Philomath’s fifth runner and she ended up 11th in 22:22.00.
Ten Warriors participated in the girls competition with meet organizers opting to not run a separate junior varsity race.
Philomath will run twice in the coming week. The Warriors will head Thursday to the Regis/Stayton High Invitational to get a look at the course that will host the Oregon West Championships on Nov. 2. Philomath then heads down to the Woahink Lake XC Invitational Saturday at Honeyman State Park south of Florence.
Toledo XC Challenge
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Saturday at Toledo
Team scoring: Philomath 23, Tillamook 60, Taft 78, Central Linn 100, Delphian 117, Oakland 149.
Top 10 individuals: 1, Marshall Bush, Tillamook, 16:48.70; 2, Brody Bushnell, Philomath, 17:00.54; 3, Grant Hellesto, Philomath, 17:27.22; 4, Matias Vesma, Taft, 17:29.32; 5, Levi Knutson, Philomath, 17:31.46; 6, Sean Cummings, Philomath, 17:31.96; 7, Justin Enghauser, Philomath, 17:32.41; 8, Mateo Candanoza, Philomath, 17:33.59; 9, Noah King, Philomath, 17:39.14; 10, Johnathan Ginyrich, Tillamook, 18:07.20.
Team scoring: Tillamook 24, Philomath 33, Central Linn 79.
Top 10 individuals: 1, Hannah Hernandez, Philomath, 18:59.49; 2, Sarah Pullen, Tillamook, 19:43.20; 3, Solace Bergeron, Tillamook, 20:34.16; 4, Whitney Averill, Tillamook, 20:56.99; 5, Nina Zwifel, Tillamook, 21:27.72; 6, Rivers Nuno, Philomath, 21:28.90; 7, Madison Bushnell, Philomath, 21:36.30; 8, Kaeleigh Houchin, Philomath, 21:45.12; 9, Gemma Rowland, Central Linn, 22:09.97; 10, Paige Ross, Tillamook, 22:19.99.
Other PHS Results: 11, Jazz Choi, 22:22.00; 13, Audrey Gerding, 22:34.34; 16, Ingrid Hellesto, 23:23.88; 18, Claire Cothern, 24:15.48; 27, Ally Todd, 27:57.28; 31, Mackenzie Beddingfield, 31:59.72.
Team scoring: Philomath 15, Tillamook 51, Jefferson 77, Taft 107.
PHS Results: 1, Jace Barrett, 18:30.95; 2, Sam Cordova, 18:31.94; 3, Adam Hernandez, 18:46.87; 4, Jayden Kelley, 18:50.89; 5, Ben Hernandez, 19:14.14; 9, Isaac Denzer, 20:48.27; 10, Micah Matthews, 21:36.89; 15, Tyler Moade, 22:18.96.
Note: There was no JV girls race (varsity girls race also included JV-level runners).