High school and middle school runners from around Oregon gathered at Honeyman State Park in Florence on Saturday for the Woahink Invitational cross country race.

"It's probably one of the biggest races on the coast," cross country head coach Terry Axel said. "There are at least 17 schools there every year and it gets really tight."

This year's high school competition featured 23 teams in the boys and girls divisions with some of the top runners in the state competing.

The boys' varsity race had 113 runners, while the JV race had 155. The girls' varsity race had 90 competitors, while the JV race had 112.

Top Bruin finishers for the girls included Shaylin Curtis, 18th, 22:04.20 and Brandi Rodgers, 75th, 25:38.50.

Boys top finishers included Kyle Gordon, 34th, 18:31.20 and Chris Burton, 55th, 19:05.40.

Other Bruin finishers included:

Girls:Addi Fitzgerald, 26:10.30; Mikaela Lea, 26:56.20; Mallory Darger, 27:52.00; Brittney Lamar, 28:47.20.

Boys varsity:Shaine Graham, 19:31.70; Sean Graham, 19:58.50; Fernando Villa, 20:09.30; Chris Beeman, 20:27.50; Cody Enos, 21:02.40.Junior varsity:Hunter Niedens, 21:17.90; Conrad Dethlefsen, 22:31.90; Arman Carrasco, 22:49.10; Scott Hedenskog, 24:00.40; Kedrick Nelson, 28:07.90; Seamus Fitzgerald, 28:33.20.

Azalea runner finishes fifth

The only Azalea Middle School runner to participate in the event was Deborah Lawrence who finished fifth in a field of 98 runners with a time of 12:59.80 in the 3000-meter race.

Lawrence follows the same training schedule as the high school runners and competes at many of the same events and has benefitted from it according to Axel.

"She jumped from 23rd at this event last year to fifth this year," he said. "That is a great improvement."