Cross country hits the ground running

Early season results have athletes optimistic as they move into the heart of their schedule


Joseph Mitcheltree

Senior Rebecca Christianson looks forward to the season. She finished 17th in 23:12.8 at the Sept. 12 meet at Canby.


     After a long summer of conditioning, the cross country teams opened the season with a couple successes. With only four meets, it’s too early to say where they will stand, but both teams are optimistic for the season.  


     On Sept. 19, the teams attended the TRL preview meet, which was a good indication for how they currently compare to the other teams within their league. 5,000 meters is the standard length for a race, and the boys junior varsity scored fifth and varsity team scored sixth. Girls scored fifth for junior varsity and varsity. Senior Oscar Nieves Lira achieved ninth place for the boy’s varsity team and junior Elizabeth Brands reached 11 place for the girl’s varsity team.


     But in other meets, the teams rated higher. Girl’s cross country especially started off well, placing first in junior varsity and varsity at the meet against Lake Oswego and Canby at Canby on Sept. 12.


     The coach for both teams is science teacher Holly Paris, and she’s excited to see what everybody is capable of doing this year.


     “The season is going great,” Paris said. “I have a great, actually a wonderful group of kids. They’re all hard workers.”


     The latest meet was the Meriwether National Cross Country Classic on Sept. 21, where high schools from across the state competed against each other. Boy’s junior varsity reached 22 place; their varsity team reached 18 place. For girls, their junior varsity team placed 12 and their varsity team placed 20.


     Cross country has worked hard to get where they are. Once last school year ended, they started training, running miles each day. They trained mainly at the Fowler track due to the fact that Tigard High was under construction.


     There’s still a lot of room for improvement and practice. “I’m excited to see where the men’s and women’s teams end up at the end of the season,” Paris said. “But it’s also really fun to see kids beat their [personal records] and especially my runners who really have never run before that come out and take a chance on cross country and watch them just excel and shave minutes off their 5k time.”


     Junior Caleb Wachsmuth is looking forward to this year.


     “Our start of season hasn’t been that strong, but I think we’ll get better as the season goes on,” Wachsmuth said.


     His first race was with the junior varsity team, but he has recently made the varsity team and hopes to go far.

     “Now that I’m varsity, I’m trying to get top seven [at a race] because the top seven has a chance of going on to state.” Wachsmuth said.  “They’ll take top ten in a normal meet, but it’s top seven in the varsity only meets.”


    Rebecca Christianson is a senior on the girl’s varsity team. She felt happy with summer conditioning and is only looking to further improve her times.


     “It went really well. We put in a lot of miles and hard work and I know personally I saw a huge difference between when we started in June and our first official practice in August,” Christianson said.


     She knows that it’s early in the season, but she’s looking forward to what the season has to offer.


     “It’s still early in the season, but it’s been a lot of fun, and I think we have a lot of potential to do really well. There are a lot of strong runners on the team,” Christianson said.