EUGENE — Drew Roberts and AJ Sandvig have a racing strategy.
The Crescent Valley High cross-country runners go at a conservative pace on the first half of the course, then find another gear or two and steadily start putting opponents behind them.
Saturday was no different as they worked their strategy to a pair of top-10 finishes in the 5A boys race at the OSAA cross-country state meet at Lane Community College.
“I don’t know if it really could have gone any better,” said Roberts, a freshman who was sixth, finishing the 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) course in 15 minutes, 52 seconds. “It went as we planned it, and in cross-country that doesn’t happen very much.”
“It’s just kind of how we run and we run well together that way,” added Sandvig, a senior who was eighth in 15:54. “We just kind of planned for that. It went out fast as we expected. So we were able to counteract that and slowly move forward in the second and third miles.”
They were 13th and 14th about 1.5 miles in and 12th and 13th at two miles. While others dropped off in the final mile, they were just hitting their stride.
Roberts and Sandvig led Crescent Valley to seventh in the team standings.
Corvallis, led by Ian Vickstrom in 26th (16:35) and Parker Hamel in 37th (16:52), was 12th.
Sweet Home junior Tanner Sayers felt a sense of relief that the season was done and he completed what he set out to do.
Sayers finished highly, taking a satisfying fifth in 16:49.
“I was ranked fourth coming into it, but I was pretty happy with the way I did,” he said. “I felt a little tired on the start and then I kind eased into it midrace and then felt pretty good.”
Philomath senior Jensen Davis also earned all-state honors, taking 20th in 17:22.
East Linn Christian junior Jedaiah Wasson said he felt good with his fourth-place finish.
A fast first mile pushed by eventual winner Alex Graffunder of Union threw off Wasson, whose goal was first but lost contact early on.
“I normally go out slow in the race and try and pick up in the end. But that race was just hard all the way through,” he said.
Wasson, who finished in 16:29, helped his team take 13th overall. Paul Lim’s 26th-place finish in 17:51 led Santiam Christian, which was 15th.
Running individually, Harrisburg’s Caleb Kelson was 88th in 19:40.