Oct. 20—As the post-season meets approach, several local cross-country teams are in the running — literally — for a district team title, and perhaps a lot more.
Astoria and Seaside ran in the West Coast Classic, held Oct. 15 at Alderbook Golf Course in Tillamook.
The Fishermen boys took third in the team race behind Siuslaw and Newport, with Seaside ninth. The Gulls and Lady Fishermen were fifth and sixth out of seven scoring teams in the girls' race.
Seaside sophomore James Roehr took seventh in the varsity race in 17 minutes, 20.6 seconds, while junior John Clement was Astoria's top runner, taking 11th in 17:37.
"We ran competitively and looked like a team across the board," said Astoria coach Andrew Fick. "Any day you finish with 16 PRs and season bests gives you a lot to feel good about. The hard work everyone has been putting in is paying off with big improvements and strong finishes. The team is coming together with a lot of positivity. Having runners who work that hard and who can find the joy in the challenge of it is pretty special."
In the girls race, Astoria junior Ella Zilli "had a huge day (ninth, 20:55), knocking over a minute off of her season best," Fick said.
"Our men's crew showed up ready to race," he said. "We knew that we were up against some really strong teams. Siuslaw is ranked first in 4A, Newport and Tillamook are consistently strong, and Westside Christian is No. 2 in 3A. Looking at the numbers coming in, we knew that every point was going to matter, and every runner on our crew moved up a spot or two and helped us finish in the top three as a team."
Clement "had another solid improvement for the season with about a 20-second season best. He looked a lot more focused and determined in his race and I think will continue to sharpen up over the next couple of weeks as we get ready to peak for districts."
Junior Tommy Laman ran a 25-second PR (18:11), and junior John Colquhoun had a 10-second PR (18:40).
"Racing as a team, everyone pushing themselves and each other to new limits, is what's going to make us competitive at districts," Fick said.