EUGENE — It wound up as a dream unfulfilled.
It was close. Closer even than anyone expected, but Corvallis High fell eight points shy of dethroning Summit as queens of 5A girls cross country on Saturday at Lane Community College.
“I really thought we were going to get them this year,” CHS coach Mark Hulburt said.
But there was a point between the end of the 5,000-meter race at the OSAA championships and the awards when Hulburt wasn’t even sure if his Spartans would see the awards podium. Hermiston, in its neon yellow uniforms, seemed poised to steal everyone’s thunder.
“I thought so, too,” Hulburt said. “I wasn’t even sure we were in the top four, and then once we started adding points, we realized we were.”
In the end, the one team CHS hadn’t raced against all season was the only one ahead of the Spartans in the team scores. The Storm remained as champions with 83 points, Corvallis was second with 91 and Hermiston took third with 105. Crescent Valley finished ninth.
Hood River Valley’s Grace Grim and Dallas’ Marykate McGuire finished 1-2 individually in 18 minutes, 40 seconds and 18:53, respectively. Summit freshman Hannah Gindlesperger was third.
Hermiston had two finishers in the top 10 and three in the top 15 — more than any other team — but the Spartans did what they did best all season: finish together.
Justine Feist and Malika Waschmann both finished in the top 20.
“I’m surprised,” Feist said of finishing ahead of Waschmann. “I heard my teammates, I heard them yelling where I needed to be. At the start we said we have to support our team. Even if someone is dying, you go up to them, you run with them, you tell them to stay strong and keep going.”
Feist did her part as she caught Waschmann — the lone senior for CHS — just short of the track.
“It just wasn’t my day. I wasn’t feeling real good,” Waschmann said. “(Feist) had a really great day, she ran so hard. I’m really proud of her.”
The rest of the team finished between 23rd and 52nd overall. Four were in the top 30 and the fifth finisher, Georgia Dunn-Hartman, was 35th.
“You have to come here and every year somebody runs not as well as you expect them to run, but somebody else does better,” Hulburt said. “Malika doesn’t run well, but Justine picks it up. Georgia picked it up. Emily Kane picked it up.”
Kane, a freshman, caught and passed CV’s Aiyanna Cameron-Lewis yards from the finish line. Kane took 27th overall, Cameron-Lewis, third at districts behind Waschmann, was 28th.
“We all have to do this together. That’s what got us here,” Hulburt said.
And it got the Spartans a fancy trophy, just not the one they hoped to bring home.
Team scores: Summit 83, Corvallis 91, Hermiston 105, Mountain View 111, Hood River Valley 141, Cleveland 161, Marist 169, Sherwood 213, Crescent Valley 220, Liberty 235, Franklin 252, Marshfield 261
Top 10: 1. Grace Grim, Hood River Valley, 18:40; 2. Marykate McGuire, Dallas, 18:53; 3. Hannah Gindlesperger, Summit, 19:09; 4. Emma Wren, Cleveland, 19:15; 5. Maggie Coleman, Hermiston, 19:15; 6. Taryn Rawlings, Wilsonville, 19:19; 7. Katie Markwick, Hermiston, 19:20; 8. Monica Anderson, Marist, 19:22; 9. Rylie Nikolaus, Mountain View, 19:26; 10. Rachel Khaw, Liberty, 19:35
Corvallis: 17. Justine Feist, 20:01; 19. Malika Waschmann, 20:07; 23. Gwyneth McMorris, 20:22; 27. Emma Kane, 20:30; 35. Georgia Dunn-Hartman, 20:54; 42. Kendra Gutt, 21:10; 52. Maria Ingersoll, 21:26
Crescent Valley: 28. Aiyanna Cameron-Lewis, 20:31; 46. Allison Lind, 21:14; 49. Maddy Trost, 21:17; 63. Rachel Pearce-Smith, 22:07; 68. Veronica Twenge, 22:27; 74. Emily Klammer, 22:58; 82. Laurel Field, 23:32