PREP CROSS-COUNTRY: Dragons place eighth at state

Trevor Cross placed 27th overall at state on Saturday.

ALICE BIBLER/for the Itemizer-Observer
Trevor Cross placed 27th overall at state on Saturday.

EUGENE — For the first time in more than three decades, Dallas’ boys cross-country team approached the starting line at the OSAA 5A state cross-country championships on Saturday at Lane Community College.

It didn’t take long to realize that state was a different level of competition than anything they had experienced before.

“It was pretty intense,” junior Trevor Cross said. “It was exciting. There are a lot of fast people there. Most races, I go out the same pace and I’m by myself, more or less. Maybe there’s one or two other guys. At state, I go out and there are 10 guys ahead of me. There’s a lot of pressure.”

Cross placed 27th overall, finishing the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 35 seconds, helping the Dragons take eighth in the team standings.

Freshman Toby Ruston finished 40th in 16:55, followed by sophomore Gavin Grass (54th, 17:23); senior Ryan Bibler (64th, 17:45); freshman Dillon Stuhr (72nd, 17:57); junior Orion Knudson (83rd, 18:14) and sophomore Antonio Barrientos (85th, 18:23).

It was the first time a team from Dallas qualified for state since the 1980s.

“I think it was good for us,” Cross said. “Most of us ran slower than we wanted to, but it was a good experience. We enjoyed it and it was really good to see us all go as a team.” 

While Saturday marked a big accomplish for the Dragons, runners are already looking forward to building on their success.

Six of eight varsity runners are set to return next season, including Cross, who placed third at the Mid-Willamette Conference district meet on Oct. 26.

“We have to keep training during the offseason,” Cross said. “I think we all want to keep improving and want to maybe go for district champions next year.”

That means getting back on the training grind after a few weeks off, Cross said.

The Dragons got their first taste at state on Saturday. They’re eager for more going forward.

“We have to stay consistent with our training and have another good year next year,” Cross said.


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