By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
Senior Steven Sanders and freshman Ally Manley set new course records at the Brookings Invitational on Saturday as the Bruin boys and girls both took home team trophies.
For the second straight week, Sanders took home the championship in the boys' race while setting the new course record with a time of 17:05.51.
The Bruin boys also won their second race in a row and had seven runners finish in the top twelve.
"We're running awesome," Sanders said. "We're running in a pretty good pack this year. All the guys are up on me and hopefully we'll give North Bend some competition."
Senior Willie Bennett finished fourth overall, overtaking junior teammate Linden Loren on the final stretch, with a time of 17:32.77, followed by Loren in fifth place at 17:36.39.
The fourth Bruin runner was senior Chris Neighbor, who finished sixth overall with a time of 17:59.85.
Senior Alec Rosenthal rounded out the scoring for the Bruins in ninth place with a time of 18:18.22.
Junior Kevin Sthen fended off Michael Lowery of South Umpqua for a tenth place finish in 18:25.65 while freshman Gage Northrup was right on their heels in 12th place at 18:27.77.
"The times are good for where we're at in the year," Coach Terry Axel said.
The Bruins took first in the team standings with 25 points, followed by Arcata, Calif., with 44 points and South Umpqua with 58 points.
In her first high school race, Manley left her competition in the dust, setting a new course record with a time of 19:01.09, over a minute faster than the closest competitor.
"All the work really paid off," Manley said. "I just listened to coach as he followed us through the whole course supporting us."
Manley followed Allie Maher of Arcata for the first half of the race and then overtook Maher on an uphill portion of the course.
"They came out fast and she just hung back and slowly brought her in," Axel said. "It was a new course record and it should be one of the better times in the state."
The girls' team took second place for the second straight week, edging out Illinois Valley by just one point.
Fellow freshman Nicole Ledford was the next Bruin finisher behind Manley, coming in seventh overall with a time of 22:33.6.
The next five Bruins to cross the finish line did so within one minute of each other.
Junior Krista Watterson continued to run consistently and came in 14th overall with a time of 23:58.1.
Despite being ill, senior Amy Axel toughed it out and finished the course in 15th place with a time of 24:05.8.
Freshman Charlotte Smith became the deciding factor as she held off Sierra Chiverton of Illinois Valley to finish in 17th place with a time of 24:28.9 and giving the Bruins the needed points to sneak past the Cougars.
Sophomore Lisa Bernhard was right behind Smith and Chiverton as she finished 19th with a time of 24:30.7, followed by junior Marianne Neighbor in 20th at 24:58.3.
The next race for the Bruins will be at Pacific in Port Orford on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m.