INDEPENDENCE -- Central's boys cross country team placed sixth of 14 teams Sept. 30 in the Harriers Challenge at Dorena Lake, just east of Cottage Grove.
"It was a beautiful day," Central coach Brad Simkins said of the mid-80-degree conditions. "But it's a very difficult course with the runners scaling up the steep, slippery face of an earthen dam. It's definitely not built for speed, but our runners enjoyed the challenge as well as the scenic beauty of the area,
Central's Quinn Lindley placed 14th of 102 runners in the varsity race. He finished the 5,000-meter course is 19 minutes, eight seconds.
Other top finishers for the Panthers were Marcos Ruiz (18th place, 19:16), Trevor Whitaker (39th, 20:15), Logan McClanahan (46th, 20:27) and Zack McClure (55th, 21:08).
Central still is struggling to piece together a girls team because of injuries. The Lady Panthers ran in the junior varsity race at Dorena Lake.
Alyn Moncsko of Central ran a 23:47 and finished first in a field of 50 runners. She was followed by Melissa Whitaker (second, 23:52), Wendy Deptula (third, 25:19), Toni Humphrey (fourth, 25:43) and Carla Oberst (21st, 28:56).
Kennen Sherry of Central placed 22nd of 92 runners in the boys junior varsity race with a time of 22:21.
"The girls team still is trying to get healthy," Simkins said. "It's been a long, uphill battle. Next Saturday at Philomath will be the first time all season the entire girls team should be healthy enough to compete. Time will tell if it's soon enough. It's very hard to catch up on your conditioning."