Eustace, Challenger boys, girls claim titles

VALLEY OF THE ROGUE STATE PARK — Hudson Eustace and the Cascade Christian boys cross country team repeated as champions Thursday, and this time the girls team joined the party.

Eustace, a junior, comfortably claimed the District 6 individual crown with a time of 16 minutes, 39 seconds on the 5,000-meter course. He finished well ahead of runner-up Julio Silva of St. Mary's, whose time was 17:14.

Cascade Christian edged St. Mary's — which was competing without its top runner, Tate Jacobson, who is sidelined with an injury — by just one point, 55 to 56.

It's the Challengers' third straight district title.

The Cascade Christian girls scored 43 points to best runner-up St. Mary's with 50. St. Mary's captured the past three state championships, but the Crusaders lost their three best runners from a year ago.

The top two teams and five individuals advance to state Nov. 6 at Lane Community College in Eugene.

Eustace owns the state's best time in Class 3A/2A/1A. He didn't approach that mark of 16:10, but the conditions weren't conducive to it.

"He had nobody to run with," said Challengers coach Steve Williston. "He was racing on his own and still had a decent time, considering the conditions. It was rainy and muddy, so he was pretty exceptional. He's much better than he was last year. He's going to do some great things before he's done."

Williston also praised his fourth and fifth runners, Brett Marshall and Zachary Smith, who each PR'd.

"They were the difference in us being first or second," said Williston.

Sarah Estabrook of Triad won the girls race in 20:16. Kira Heycke of St. Mary's was second in 20:52.

Taylor Williams, fourth in 21:35, was Cascade Christian's top placer. She led two teammates, Jenna George and Stephanie Croy, across the finish line.


TEAM SCORES — Cascade Christian 55, St. Mary's 56, Rogue River 68, Paisley 98, New Hope Christian 111, Lakeview 131, Illinois Valley 194. Triad, Canyonville Christian incomplete.

TOP 25 — 1, Hudson Eustace, CC, 16:39; 2, Julio Silva, SM, 17:14; 3, Zach Blanco, RR, 17:15; 4, Christian Huttema, NH, 17:19; 5, Jack O'Leary, P, 17:32; 6, Alex Cummings, CC, 17:38; 7, Terryn Downhill, RR, 17:47; 8, Awbry Comstock, L, 17:52; 9, Loren Westland, SM, 18:08; 10, Ryan Alcantara, CC, 18:11.

11, David Johnson, NH, 18:17; 12, Matt Blanco, RR, 18:28; 13, Henry Stout, SM, 18:33; 14, Chris Martin, SM, 18:35; 15, Ned Corning, L, 18:37; 16, Mike Janeke, T, 18:37; 17, Nils Paske, P, 18:49; 18, Brett Marshall, CC, 18:52; 19, Will Oursler, SM, 19:11; 20, Anthony Whipple, RR, 19:16; 21, Nick Brooks, SM, 19:19; 22, Zachary Smith, CC, 19:19; 23, Adam Arrington, P, 19:31; 24, Dereak Albright, NH, 19:46; 25, John Daniel Sutton, SM, 19:55.


TEAM SCORES — Cascade Christian 43, St. Mary's 50, Triad 55, Illinois Valley 94, Rogue River 116. Lakeview incomplete.

TOP 25 — 1, Sarah Estabrook, T, 20:16; 2, Kira Heycke, SM, 20:52; 3, Kirsten Hankins, T, 21: 21; 4, Taylor Williams, CC, 21:35; 5, Jenna George, CC, 21:57; 6, Stephanie Croy, CC, 22:08; 7, Casey Robertson, IV, 22:13; 8, Kayli Hankins, T, 22:28; 9, Anne Oursler, SM, 22:33; 10, Allison Hass, SM, 22:36.

11, Samantha Milner, IV, 22:39; 12, Sophie Stiles, CC, 22:51; 13, Hannah Gretz, RR, 23:03; 14, Emily Reeder, SM, 23:08; 15, Lillian Martin, SM, 23:14; 16, Brittany Brown, CC, 23:20; 17, Gracie Bevan, CC, 23:33; 18, Tawna Stancliff, L, 23:42; 19, Hailey Natho, RR, 23:44; 20, Brooklyn Gillespie, SM, 23:44; 21, Jessica Clement, SM, 24:13; 22, Suzanne Savard, T, 24:18; 23, Elana Hampton, T, 24:52; 24, Amber Webb, IV, 25:44; 25, Jessica Nicholes, CC, 25:43.


GRANTS PASS 3, NORTH MEDFORD 1 — At Grants Pass, North Medford started fast but Grants Pass seized the momentum and posted a 22-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-12 win in a league seeding match.

The victory moves the Cavers into the 32-team state playoff bracket with the league's No. 3 seed, while North Medford will host Grant in a play-in game on Saturday. The Black Tornado tied for third with Grants Pass in the Southern Oregon Hybrid standings.

The Grants Pass front line was sparked by Elizabeth Marks with eight kills, Kelsey Frey with six kills and Hannah Johnson with four kills and four blocks.

The Cavers received 22 digs from Grace Marsh, while setters Mikayla Morgan and Taylor Rounsaville combined for 23 assists.

Junior outside hitter Mariah Williams paced the Black Tornado defensively with 13 digs and added three kills. North freshman outside Katy Carter tallied a team-high eight kills and junior middle Mikayla Murphy chipped in seven kills.

LAKEVIEW 3, ROGUE RIVER 1 — At Rogue River, Rogue River came up short with a chance to move into a tie for second place in the Southern Cascade Hybrid standings as Lakeview rallied for a 17-25, 25-19, 25-13, 25-20 victory.

Alli Ehrhardt, a junior middle, paced the Chieftains with nine kills and four blocks. Jesse Sondag came up with eight kills and Kailin Honea passed out 21 assists for Rogue River.

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