VARSITY CROSS COUNTRY SLOGS THROUGH WET SAND AT CLAM BEACH

October 10, 2008 11:00 pm

By Chad Robert Snyder

Pilot staff writer

The Bruins' varsity boys and girls cross country teams finished fifth and second respectively at the Clam Beach Run on Saturday, Oct. 4.

The event took place in McKinleyville, Calif., and showcased the talents of eight schools in the boys race and three in the girls. Participating teams came from as far away as Corning, Calif.

The course itself was flooded in places and subject to strong tidal surges coming across portions of the trail, said Head Coach Terry Axel.

"It was probably about the worst conditions you could have for a cross country race," he said. "It was flat, but it had standing water in many places."

Despite the unfavorable course, both teams ran quality races.

Ally Manley crossed the finish line with another first at 22:17, and shortly after Nicole Ledford competed her race in 25:02.

Axel has been pleased with Ledford's development this year, and her finish at Clam Beach was no exception.

"She went from competitive last year to competitive on the state level this year," he said.

Rounding out the finishers for the Bruins were Roxann Gothard in 19th, Kiara Evans in 26th, Danielle Woodcock in 29th and Catie Cone in 30th.

The boys finished in fifth overall, led by a 19:42 performance by Gage Northrup. Linden Loren finished in 21st and was followed 14 seconds later by Kevin Sthen in 27th.

Javin Fleshman finished only 26 seconds after Sthen in 32nd, and soon after, Jackson Dehaven in 55th.

Axel said he was pleased with the outcome and that he felt strongly the times could have been up to 2 minutes faster had it not been for the soft course.

The next race for the Bruins is the district meet at North Bend on Oct. 23.