CROSS COUNTRY TEAM CONTINUES DOMINANCE
September 25, 2007 11:00 pm

By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

The Brookings-Harbor High School cross country team brought home three first place finishes and a second in two races over the last four days.

On Tuesday, the Bruin runners traveled north to Port Orford to participate in the Pacific Invitational.

Even without their number one runner, Steven Sanders, the Bruins proved how deep of a team they have as the boys' team captured their fourth title of the year.

Chris Neighbor led the Bruins in the absence of Sanders as he finished in first place with a time of 18:35.

The Bruins also captured second and third place as Alec Rosenthal and Willie Bennett finished with times of 18:53 and 19:00.

Freshman Gage Northrup filled in the holes left by Linden Loren and Kevin Sthen, who were at a soccer game, and finished fifth overall with a time of 19:44.

Tim Hunter rounded out the Bruin scoring with a 14th place finish at 21:18.

"What I liked the most was that even without Steven, Linden and Kevin, we still took first, second, third and fifth," Coach Terry Axel said. "It was a real solid race for both the boys and the girls."

The girls' took second place overall, just seven points shy of race winner Bandon.

Amy Axel led the way with a fourth place overall finish with a time of 23:33.

Nicole Ledford and Krista Watterson finished seventh and eighth for the Bruins with times of 24:13 and 24:31.

Racing without Ally Manley and Andi Gutierrez, some of the younger Bruins had to step up as Charlotte Smith finished 13th at 25:54 and Lisa Bernhard came in 16th at 27:33.

On Saturday, both the boys and girls teams took first place in their divisions at the Harvest Festival Road Run in Myrtle Point.

Despite getting lost for the second time this year, the Bruin boys were still able to finish in a tight pack and take home the team title.

The boys took a wrong turn and ended up running about six blocks further than they had to, adding a significant amount of time to their finishing marks.

Sanders led the Bruins, followed by Neighbor, Rosenthal, Sthen and Bennett.

The girls also captured the team title, with Manley taking first place for the second time this year.

Manley was followed by Axel, Gutierrez, Ledford and Watterson, who ran well together and finished within 21 seconds of each other to help grab the team title.

"We've got the lead runner (Ally) to win district," Coach Axel said. "Now it's up to Amy and the rest of the team to bring in the other girls."

The next race for the Bruins will be on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Rogue River. The race will begin around 11 a.m.