On Saturday the Brookings-Harbor Boys Cross Country Team took to the hills and flatlands of Lane Community College near Eugene, the self proclaimed track capitol of the U.S.A., to test themselves against the best 3A runners the state has to offer.
After winning back to back district gold medals, Bruins XC Head Coach, Terry Axel, knew his Nike clad foot soldiers were in for a battle.
"We gave it everything we had but my number one and number five runners came down sick and it definitely affected our times."
The Bruins, even though hampered by illness, pushed on to finish in the top ten as a team grabbing the ninth spot just behind Taft and bunkmate Creswell whom Axel's boys beat to earn the district title last week. Enterprise/Joseph/ Wallowa would lay claim to the number one position.
The Bruins top finisher was sophomore, Kaleb Barnes(17:25.6) who finished 22nd in a field of 68. Next were the Abblit brothers, Everest and Zachary who finished 38th and 39th respectively in times of (18:41.5) and (18:42.1) Daniel Strom was four places back at 44th (19:10.2) with Robby Rowe at 49th (19:49.7) and Dane Steendahl 59th at (21:48.0) followed by co-freshman Branko Briggs at 60th (22:18.3) to round out the Bruins seven.
The future looks bright for the Boys Cross Country Team. Barnes is a sophomore and his time at district on the same course was 20 seconds faster minus the head cold last week. At his healthy best Barnes would have placed 11th. Next year? After this years seniors graduate Kaleb will fight it out at the #7 spot with five other sophomores and a freshman to battle to get into the medals. Add to that mix that three Bruins nabbed their personal best record times at Lane: Everest Abblit, Robby Rowe, along with Dane Steendahl. Of the three, only Rowe graduates as a senior.
The top three finishers are #3 Zac Knapp of Enterprise(16:07.1) #2 JP Freidrichsen (16:02.1) and the 3A Boys State Champion hailing from Enterprise is Henry Coughlan with a sizzling sub 16 minute time of (15:58.9) according to the OSAA website cross country final times.