Mt. Hood Conference District Meet10/25/07
Courtesy By: Leo Collins
The Mount Hood Conference offered its District championship once again at Centennial high school on Wednesday. The temperature was cool, which felt even chillier due to a distinct win, and the rain let loose making the conditions a challenge yet there was some great racing.
The girls started the varsity competition but unfortunately they did not begin the action, as a JV race had been held prior to that. Why, when berths in the State meet are on the line, other runners should be allowed on the course first is beyond me, and the course was a mess right from the start, especially on the areas where was an up-grade. Making things even more 'interesting' a Barlow runner was tripped right after the start and the race was called back.
That said, Centennial star Michelle Dettman made light of the conditions & proceeded to cut the pace from the start as if it was a balmy day. While even dedicated cross country fans exclaimed what a terrible day it is Dettman gave as fine of an example that life is what one makes of it and simply had fun out there. She established a ten meter lead after running only 2 minutes & continued to push onward the rest of the way. Behind her Erin Jones of Hood River & Khalia Tidwell of Gresham battled for second. They in turn opened up a sizable gap over Alexa Kearns of St. Mary's, who was forced to run alone the entire way. Well behind her came team mates Lucy Whipps & Taylor Ffitch who made it clear early that St. Mary's would take the team title.
The mile mark, reached in 5:40, showed the lead had grown to 30 meters but in just the next 200 meters on the track the lead ballooned to 50 meters. Michelle was in control & it was now only a question of who could hold on for second. Jones & Tidwell were left to battle for second, although the Gresham runner was having a hard time in the sloppy conditions. Through the wind & steady rain the leader splashed along seemingly oblivious to the conditions, while behind her Jones had fought to establish a 5 meter lead over Tidwell. Kearns, still alone in 4th, was another 20 meters back.
Another kilometer later saw little change in position, although the leader was getting ready to lap her first runner. In the end she earned a victory of almost 30 seconds in a time of 18:28. Erin Jones claimed 2nd while Tidwell took 3rd. Alexa Kearns of St. Mary's wound up 4th, while team mates Lucy Whipps & Taylor Ffitch took the next two places & were in turn followed by Jen Olson who is also from St. Mary's . Melissa Allen of Gresham was 8th just edging Andrea Dettman of Centennial, who earned her first trip to State. Kay Anna Cichi of Gresham finished 10th just a bit in front of Bethany Loumena of Central Catholic, who earned the last individual State berth. Erin Bergmann of St. Mary's placed 12th to finalize the team score of 34 points. Gresham garnered 2nd place with 53 points to claim the other berth.
St. Mary's ran without one of their leaders Alexandra Jones, so they could give favored Jesuit a good battle at State. Michelle Dettman, of course, will be an important individual factor as well.
The race among the boys saw Central Catholic runners dominate from the onset of the race like the St. Mary's girls had done earlier, leaving the only question what other team would claim 2nd & earn a berth. Individually it was Joel Turkheimer & Musa Ahmed, who took a quick lead, while defending State champion Taylor Morgan was a close 3rd along with Leo Castillo of Hood River.
By the time the leaders reached the mile mark, around 5:05, Castillo had assumed a slight lead. Morgan loomed in 2nd with Turkheimer & Ahmed shadowing only 5 yards behind him. The Hood River harrier, as is his wont, pushed the pace & Morgan fell back a bit & was joined by his two team mates. Castillo made a move to break on the far side of the soccer field, which was covered but, when he surged again later near the track, he opened a 20 meter gap. By the 4K mark he appeared to be taking control of the race.
They raced out of sight up the hill for a bit & once they had returned to view it was noted that the leader had widened the gap. The thought was the Central Catholic runners would conserve energy & wait for the State meet but Morgan made a concerted effort once he crested the muddy hill. Literally putting his head down he began a surge toward the leader. Castillo had opened up a good 30 meter lead up to that point & at first it appeared the move would be too late, yet Morgan closed the gap surprisingly fast. He had in fact cut so deeply into the lead that he almost appeared to have slowed to assess the situation just before heading to the last hill going down to the track..
Upon reaching the track Castillo still had a 5 yard lead & fans were yelling at him to go but Morgan was flying now. The five yard lead quickly became a 10 yard deficit as Morgan applied his vaunted kick. In the 200 meters remaining he opened up a six second lead displaying he is back & ready to defend his state championship. Musa Ahmed finished 3rd for Central Catholic ahead of team mate Joel Turkheimer who was followed in turn by CC runners Austin Jones, Samot Turina, & Peter Slauson. Daniel Vo of Reynolds & Toby Maunu of Sandy took 8th & 9th & Bobby Ellis of Sandy rounded out the top ten. Yonny Cstillo of Hood River & Michael De Tienne of Centennial claimed the last two individual berths.
Central Catholic scored only 19 points for an overwhelming victory while Reynolds best Hood River for second place.
Boys Individual Results
1 Taylor Morgan Central Catholic 12 16:07
2 Leo Castillo Hood River 12 16:13
3 Musa Ahmed Central Catholic 10 16:20
4 Joel Turkheimer Central Catholic 12 16:23
5 Austin Jones Central Catholic 12 16:35
6 Samot Turina Central Catholic 11 16:36
7 Peter Slauson Central Catholic 10 16:40
8 Daniel Vo Reynolds 12 17:12
9 Toby Maunu Sandy 11 17:19*
10 Bobby Ellis Reynolds 12 17:20
11 Yonny Castillo Hood River 9 17:37*
12 Michael De Tienne Centennial 12 17:39*
13 Alex Vanslyke Hood River 12 17:44
14 Kevin Wooley Reynolds 10 17:53
15 Jordy Bright Barlow 12 17:57
16 Brent Raleigh Reynolds 12 17:59
17 Jacob Cuniff Sandy 12 18:01