When the event organizers showed up to the course Sunday morning the porta potties were blown over and the conditions were muddy and wet. It had been storming for a couple of days and it was still raining hard Sunday morning. But when the teams arrived and started to walk the course the weather broke and it turned out to be a perfect race day.
The PDXC Series attracted over a thousand middle school runners from around the state this year for the Oregon Middle School State Championships. The cool part of this series is that there are no entry fees. The organizers were all Youth Runners when they were kids and they are still putting in the miles. They wanted to provide the opportunity for any kid to compete just like they did. The costs are covered by a grant from the Willamette Track Club & the rest is all volunteer. It's the perfect blend of really tough competition without some of the pressure you notice at other meets. The idea of the meet is to encourage Middle Schools to put together their teams to compete for the team title. On the drive up to Portland, Ashland MS stopped by to watch their High School Team at the District Meet and were inspired by where they could be in a couple years.
Because many schools do not have programs the PDXC organizers encouraged the clubs to participate but their athletes do not score in the team scoring, only as Individuals. This brings the best teams and individuals together for one meet. This concept is missing at the high school level because of so many classifications in Oregon...where the best get to compete against the best.
Bowerman does not count as a team since it is the middle school state championships. PDXC encourages all athletes to compete for their middle school but since many schools do not have teams they compete for local clubs, Bowerman being one of them. The Bowerman runners counted as individuals in this meet.
For most of the runners it was the end of the season but others will continue on to compete in the Junior Olympics. The races were divided into the Super Champs and the Champs for both boys and girls. This course is two loops with an open field start on grass, the rest was on trails turned to mud. Here's how it went.
The Super Champs Girls was the first race to go and it was a tight lead pack coming around the first loop with girls from Catlin Gabel, Bowerman Judson and Linus Pauling. But the Bowerman girls prevailed with Elizabeth Rinck winning with a big lead in 11:09.91, in 2nd was Stephanie Finley in 11:08.78, and Amber Stratton in 11:10.40. Anna Chau from Judson was 4th - 11:14.66 and last year's winner Makenna Schumacher finished in 5th with a time of 11:17.44. The biggest comment from the girls after the race was how muddy and slippery it was. The winning team was Ashland 1st, Hood River Valley 2nd, and Judsdon 3rd. RESULTS
Photo by Klotz Images
The Super Champs Boys race went out in a fury with Zane Dodge from Duniway breaking out early and winning in 10:05.12.
Zane has won all the races we've seen him in this year including the Nike Pre Middle School Boys. His goal is winning nationals this year in December but there are other kids who have the same dream. Let's see how he does at Myrtle Beach come race day. In 2nd place it was Quincy Norman from the Forest Grove Running Club in 10:12.94, and in 3rd Scenic runner Jantz Tostenson crossed in 10:16.06. Bowerman runners Ethan Reese was 4th in 10:26.50 and Cole Grieb who has run flawlessly so far this season came in 5th in 10:30.72. Cascade runner Daniel Maton was 6th in 10:35.31. For the boys the mud did zap some energy out of them but hey, it's cross country. The team scores were Ashland 1st, Cheldelin 2nd, Cascade 3rd.
Photo by Klotz Images
Next up were the "Champs" races which had to split up into two heats due to the number of entries.
Dont' get the idea that because there is no "Super" in the name of these races that they're not tough. Every runner there wanted to beat the next kid and get a better time for themselves.
The "Boys Champs" race had some future big dogs coming through the line first.
It was Marshfield's Jeremy Roe taking first in 10:49.66 with Zimri Ramos from Siuslaw coming in 2nd-10:52.00 and Stoller's Jimmy Glaab finishing in 11:01.47. Connor Flolo from Cornerstone was 11:16.72 and another Stoller runner Ben Nichols wrapped it up in 11:32.91. Expect these boys back next year for the Super Champs Race. The team scores for the Boys Champs Race were Marshfield, Stoller and Portland Waldorf took 3rd. Way to Go guys!
Jeremy Roe 1st in the Champs Race Photo by Klotz Images
Zimri Ramos comes through 2nd in the Champs Race Photo by Klotz Images
Jimmy Glaab from Stoller Middle School races to the finish for 3rd Photo by Klotz Images
The "Girls Champs" were no less competitive as St. Helen's girl Cheyenne Trainer blazed through the finish first in 12:39.15, in 2nd it was Sarah Hanson from Hazelbrook in 12:42.47 and 3rd place Kaeli Ramos from Suislaw crossed the line in 12:43.84. The team scores were Siuslaw 1st, Hazelbrook, and Inza R. Wood was 3rd. Great races girls!
This was the Girls Champ start Photo by Klotz Images
Here are some comments from parents to the event organizers about the meet:
Once again a well orchestrated state meet. You are the best!
Thanks for making this meet possible for my team. you clearly operate from the heart and I appreciate that.
Thank you sincerely for putting on such a fantastic XC racing event for our kids today! The course and the competition were superb and you guys ran and extraordinary meet.
Again, an absolutely outstanding event for Oregon Youth today. Thanks a million.
Thank you for once again putting on a well-run state meet. It is always
a pleasure to bring our best athletes here. I can't imagine the time,
and coordination of people and resources it takes, but your group pulls
it off well every year.
First, THANK YOU for putting on this meet! Having spent 17 years as a head track/xc coach (10 years of that in a program with 70-100 girls out each year for xc), I know the amount of work that goes into putting on a meet of any size, let alone one this big. And you do it very well! In spite of all the rain and resulting slop on the course, it was another great meet today, so thank you!
Again, what you've done the last 5 years with this meet is a GREAT service to all of us with kids who run, and a great service to the quality of xc in Oregon! Thank you, thank you for that.