Photos courtesy Paul Carson
The Dalles girls’ cross country team had five of seven runners finish in the top-20 to score 58 points for second place and a state qualification at Wednesday’s Intermountain Conference Championships at Barnes Butte in Prineville. For TD’s boys, Samuel Alvarez, pictured on far right, had the boys’ lone state berth following his runner-up finish. In the photo are, from left to right, Vivian Harrah, Liz Tapia, Hanna Ziegenhagen, Fonetia Duyck, Savannah Strassheim, Emma Mullins and Tressa Wood. Mullins finished fifth as an individual with a final time of 19:30.28.
Emma Mullins, Hanna Ziegenhagen, Tressa Wood and Liz Tapia all turned in top-13 finishes to help The Dalles girls’ cross country team earn a state berth, and Samuel Alvarez was runner-up for the boys’ lone state representative in Wednesday’s Intermountain Conference Cross Country Championships held at Barnes Butte in Prineville.
Mullins secured fifth place to lead the Lady Riverhawks, as she posted a final time of 19 minutes and 30.28 seconds.
Ziegenhagen claimed ninth place (20:31.85), Wood had a mark of 21:00.45 for 12th place, and Tapia was 13th after crossing the finish line in 21:09.92.
Fonetia Duyck (21:19.72), Vivian Harrah (21:33.72), and Savannah Strassheim (21:46.84) capped their race with solid times, which gave TD 58 points for second place, behind district champion Hood River Valley (18), who had four runners make up the top-4 placers, led by the top duo of Frances Dickinson (18:51.49) and Brinna Weiseth (18:53.79).
“The girls ran a good race overall. Not outstanding, but good enough to qualify for the state meet,” TD head coach Bob Thouvenel said. “Fortunately, Sam was runner-up in the race, thus, qualifying as an individual for state. Sam did have a good race.”
With four runners timing out in the top-15, TD’s varsity boys scored 51 points, but were edged out for second place and a state bid by Hood River Valley (50).
Crook County’s Cade Catterson notched a final rally of 15:59.49 for the individual boys’ title, ending his event ahead of Alvarez (16:24.07) by less than 25 seconds.
Friedrich Stelzer was seventh-best with his 17:05.67, Gabe Lira added a 10th-place outcome in 17:13.11, and Nick Caracciolo tallied 14th place after posting a solid 17:28.28.
David Wring (17:35.11) and Zack Ziegenhagen (17:40.38) were both in the top-20, and Rey Aviluz was TD’s final placer with a mark of 18:12.71.
“Our varsity boys’ team, who have been doing so well, stumbled,” Thouvenel said. “I really don’t know what to say. We just didn’t do it. Speaking for myself and probably, the other coaches, too, the boys’ varsity just didn’t quite have it yesterday. It was not our best race of the season.”
Another bright spot for the Riverhawks was the first-place honors garnered by the boys’ and girls’ junior varsity squads, with the boys racking up 32 points, besting Redmond (49), while the girls had 27 points, to end up in front of Hood River Valley (41).
Coming off a win last week in Pendleton, Evan Despain capped his campaign with a second-consecutive victory in 17:50.34, 6.7 seconds off the personal-record he put up at the Burnside Invite (17:43.6).
Right behind Despain was runner-up, Noah Holloran (18:00.33), and Gavin Cates (18:32.97) and Diego Minguela (18:37.83), were in seventh and eighth place, respectively.
Angel Oregon (19:07.08), Conor Blair (19:21.01), Ivan Rodriguez (19:24.22), Spencer Coburn (19:28.74), and Colin Shubert (20:00.95) placed in the top-25, out of 67 participants.
The boys lose Aviluz, Lira and Wring to graduation, but if the performance of the junior varsity group is any indication, there should be several candidates to take over their varsity spots next season.
“Overall, the coaches feel like we had a very good season,” Thouvenel said. “We felt bad for our three senior boys, Rey, Gabe and David, who all worked very hard this season and over the summer months to have it all come down to one point.”
Emily Johnson (21:50.67) secured second place, Aurelia Hill (22:07.49) was third, Zoe Orion (22:34.66) grabbed fourth, and Caitie Wring (23:15.70) got sixth place to pace The Dalles girls’ junior varsity girls.
Bree Webber tacked on a 23:51.49 for 13th place, Raine Codding was 19th following a 24:21.15, Shea McAllister (27:00.52) was 31st, Ellie Codding (28:08.94) tallied 36th, and Ashley Quisenberry (28:12.55) was good enough for 37th place.
Rounding out the junior varsity placers were Sarah Winters (29:13.16), Kai Hoff (32:59.47), and Keisha Oregon (33:07.80).
“Both JV teams ran really well,” Thouvenel said. “Emily had a season-best time and Evan did a great job of leading the boys to a JV championship.”
State action takes place in the afternoon on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Lane Community College in Eugene.