One hill of a sport


Riley Young

Matthew Moller competes in the dual meet against Tualatin during the 2018 season. Moller placed second at the Rust Buster 4K in 13:33.73 at Blue Lake Park on Sept. 7.

By Abbi Elliott and Noah Vu

     Bang! The starting gun goes off and the Tigard cross country team races down the field at Blue Lake Park.

     With the fall season here, Tigard’s cross country team has already finished their first two meets. Coaches Holly Paris and Chris Westover are looking forward to a great season and encouraging their team members with their saying, “You get the race you train for.”

     The team had two weeks to prepare for the Rust Buster on Sept. 7 at Blue Lake Park. At this meet athletes ran a 4k as opposed to their typical 5k.

     The meet concluded with the girls taking first and the boys taking second. Junior Matthew Moller took second for boys with a time of 13:33:73 and freshman Lillian Herman took first overall for girls with a time of 16:23:49 for the 4k.

     “Finishing second was a confidence boost for me,” Moller said. “There’s a lot of athletes drastically improving this year, so I’m looking forward to what they can do these upcoming meets.”

     Westover thought of the Rust Buster as a great experience for everyone and the perfect way to start the season. Both coaches are keeping an open mindset going into the rest of the season.

     Herman ran for Tigard Youth Track in middle school. Throughout the summer coaches were anticipating Herman’s high school race debut, knowing that she was a strong runner.  

     “I’m really excited and looking forward to the rest of the season after [the Rust Buster],” Herman said.

     Junior Kyle Fennelly also was satisfied with the results from the Rust Buster. “It’s my first year running cross country [and after] only doing a few races, I feel confident in my abilities,” Fennelly said. 

     He’s looking forward to the next races to be more competitive and fun.

     The team didn’t have much time to recover before their next race on Sept. 11. This was their District Preview, where all the teams in the Three Rivers League would race each other on the district course.

     These two meets were a way for the coaches to evaluate the runners and decide who would be running on the varsity or JV teams for the ongoing season.

     “We raced against everybody in the league, so it was a good way to see our ranking,” Paris explained. “I think everybody kind of got a reality check.”

     Finalizing the meet, girls varsity placed fourth overall being only five points away from the St. Mary’s team. Placing third at districts would send the girls to state. Tigard’s boys placed sixth overall.

     Spectators also enjoy watching the runners race down the course. 

     “I get really excited for the runners that I know,” junior Rietta Thomson said. “Seeing them competing with everyone else is quite fun to watch.”

     With the two opening meets over, the coaches look towards the future with a positive attitude. 

     “We are at the very beginning, and we’re just going to excel and get better from here,” Paris said. “If we continue to work hard and put our mind to it we’re going to finish with a really good season, I’m really looking forward to it.” 

     This afternoon the team will test their speed against teams from around the region at the Meriwether Invitational.