For the second year in a row, both the Tillamook girls' and boys' cross country team ran away with the Cowapa League Title.
“This was one of the most satisfying meets I’ve had as a coach,” Pat Zweifel said. “We performed super well.”
The girls’ win was their sixth league title in a row.
“The varsity girls looked so confident and poised,” Zweifel said.
As a team, the girls scored 24 points with Astoria coming in second with 48 points.
Junior Sarah Pullen won her first conference title in a time of 20:08. She was followed by Solace Bergeron (20:51) in fourth, Whitney Averill (21:13) in fifth, Nina Zweifel (21:40) in sixth, and Lily Prince (22:10) in eighth.
“There’s about a quarter-of-a-mile stretch to the finish line,” Zweifel said. “It was amazing how many Cheesemakers kicked past other runners. I was so proud of our kids.”
The boys’ win was their second league title in a row, and this year they finished one-two-three.
Junior Marshall Bush won his first league title in a time of 17:13. Cheesemaker Johnathan Gingerich was runner-up in a time of 17:57. Devon Fraske (17:59) finished third, Ernie Chacon (18:21) was sixth, and Dexter Patching (18:30) was eighth.
“It was a beautiful performance and I can’t remember being that excited after a meet in a long time,” Zweifel said. “Our boys started the season getting beat handily by Astoria in the Ultimook Race, and we destroyed them and everyone else last Wednesday. I’ve coached some good teams in the past, but sometimes it’s more fun to start with a team that’s ‘not so good.’
Both teams advance to the OSAA 4A State Championship at Lane Community College on Nov. 9.
“I expect our girls’ team to finish in the top three teams in the state next weekend,” said Zweifel. “We would need some real help to finish in the top two. We’ll focus on what we can control and hope for the best.”
On the boys’ side, Zweifel hopes they can finish in the top six or seven teams.
“I think in most years we would be able to earn a trophy, but there’s some really good teams out there. I have a special feeling about this upcoming weekend.”