With a new league and a few new opponents, the Bruins cross country team started their 2018 season off by inviting their new competition to their home turf for the Brookings-Harbor Invitational cross country meet last Saturday.

The Bruins coaches organized four 5k runs, one each for boys and girls varsity and junior varsity. Attending teams included Cascade Christian, Coquille, Fortuna, Gold Beach, Myrtle Point, North Medford, Pacific and Phoenix.

North Medford took first in the men’s varsity run at 28, with Fortuna coming in at second at 49 and the Bruins taking third at 82. The girls varsity was won by Arcata at 27, followed by Phoenix at 28 and the Bruins again at third with 74.

Jacob Allmaras of North Medford took first place in the men’s varsity at 12:56.73. He was followed boy Collin Stockwell at second in and Agustin Garcinuno in third from Fortuna at 16:67.94 and 17:06.33, respectively.

The top Bruins player in the mens varsity was Kaleb Barnes at 18:04.41 in seventh place, with Zachary Ablitt several places behind in 11th at 19:04.07

Allie Storts of Coquille came in at first in the women’s varsity with a time of 21:04.43, while Lupita Alegria and Sophia Stubblefield of Phoenix claimed second and third at 21:05.01 and 21:17.36, respectively.

For the Bruins girls, Megan Pearson came in closest to the top at 21st place with a time of 26:44.81. Alexandra Contreras followed not fat behind in 23rd at 27:14.79.

For the full results you can go online at https://www.athletic.net/CrossCountry/meet/146156/info.

Coach Terry Axel of the Bruins felt good overall about the Bruins performance, but stressed the team needs to pace themselves more during the early stages of their runs to finish strong. The meet’s organizational staff also met some difficulties keeping the course clear, with vehicles being parked in the way at Azalea park and at Azalea middle school.

“We had a really good first meet. Our kids got out a little too fast and we’d been working on mile sprints, but our freshman Kaleb Barnes was dead on, weaving and running,” Axel said. “I was really surprised we managed to beat Phoenix, I’m not sure when the last time that was. They’re known as one of the best teams in the state.”

Axel said that he managed to scope out one of the big mysteries of the Bruins new 3A league, Cascade Christian, but missed the chance to see St. Mary’s in action, who he expects to be the team’s biggest competition this year.

The Bruins next meet will be the Prefontaine Memorial 5K in Coos Bay this Saturday.