East Linn Christian Academy placed two runners on the 2A/1A boys all-state team at the 2019 OSAA state cross-country championships, held Saturday at Lane Community College in Eugene.

Junior Brandon Williams was named to the first-team after placing seventh in a time of 16 minutes, 28.1 seconds.

Junior Ethan Slayden made the third team by placing 21st with a time of 17:23.

Williams ran very close to his personal-best time of 16:28. ELCA cross-country coach Kellen Peters said there were two groups of four runners which separated themselves from the pack early in the race. 

Williams stayed with the second group, which trailed the lead pack to the end.

"I asked him if he felt like he should have went with the leaders," Peters said. "He just said that first group went out really fast and it he felt like that second group, today, was where he should have been. Those leaders went out very fast."

Williams placed 13th at state last year and worked hard over the summer to improve his standing.

Slayden made a late push that helped him set a new personal-best time and propelled him to the edge of the top 20.

"He really battled there toward the end. At the mile, he was in 41st and he ended up 21st, so he passed 20 guys in the last two miles," Peters said. "He really had to battle to get that 21st spot. That's third-team all state. He out-leaned a guy to get 21st so he was pretty excited about that."

Sophomore Warren Wheeler placed 45th in 18:17.7. Sophomore Ethan Hurst set a new PR at state, finishing 54th in 18:41.4.

"He put in a lot of work this summer. His time was about three minutes faster than he ran at state last year. That work paid off," Peters said of Hurst.

Sophomore Caleb Rickman rounded out the Eagles' scoring, placing 59th in a season-best time of 19:07.7. 

Sophomore Hunter Bardell and Tanner Murray also competed for ELCA at state, although their times were not counted in the Eagles' team score which is based on the top-five finishers.

With the entire squad eligible to return for next season, the outlook continues to be bright for East Linn Christian's cross-country program.

"I'm hoping they'll all be back," Peters said.

TEAM SCORES: St. Stephen's Academy 42, Union/Cove 89, Bandon 95, Heppner/Ione 138, Glide 148, Knappa 150, Veritas 158, East Linn Christian 161, Nestucca 189, Chemawa 208

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