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PHS cross-country artwork

Hey Warriors fans, today is Saturday, Oct. 12.

The Paul Mariman Invitational arrives today with races at the middle school, junior varsity and varsity levels. Both the varsity boys and girls races should be pretty interested with some of the top 4A talent in the state running the course.

For the boys, Philomath and Sisters come in ranked No. 2 — the Warriors and Outlaws were tied in the most recent coaches’ poll. No. 4 Siuslaw and No. 5 Newport will also be competing.

As I may have mentioned in the past, there are three very tough teams in the Oregon West competing for trips to state. Only the top two get to go, so one of these teams — Philomath, Sisters or Newport — will be staying home. Sweet Home’s not bad either but probably doesn’t have a chance. Meanwhile, there will be teams currently sitting outside the top 10 of that coaches’ poll that will be running in Eugene.

The same situation exists with the girls. No. 2 Siuslaw, No. 4 Philomath and No. 7 Sisters will be competing in the Mariman Invite. Three of the top seven in that coaches’ poll are in the Oregon West — the third team being No. 5 Stayton which will not be in Philomath today. So one of those schools — the Warriors, Outlaws or Eagles — won’t qualify as a team.

It doesn’t seem right with the way the power balance is in 4A cross-country. I don’t think you can do away with rewarding teams for finishing among the top two in their conference, but perhaps there should be some sort of wildcard trip to state for a couple of other teams — similar to what you see in swimming or track with individuals. I’d leave it up to the experts to come up with the formula to qualify but there must be a way to eliminate that inequity.

As far as the weather goes tomorrow, it looks like it’ll be a little chilly for the early races but at least the forecast is not showing any rain during the meet.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you at the meet.

— Brad Fuqua, Philomath Express

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