EUGENE — With two Dallas High School runners in the top 10, the boys team took a fifth place overall finish with 146 points at the state championships at Lane Community College in Eugene on Nov. 3.
Trevor Cross finished in seventh place, crossing the line at 16:10, just behind Silverton’s Haile Stutzman.
In ninth place was Toby Ruston, who toured the 5,000-meters at 16:27.
Ashland’s Evan Holland became the state champion, crossing the line at 15:30, with Crater’s Jantz Tostenson running seventeen seconds behind him for a second place finish of 15:47.
On the Panther side, senior Jonathon Brown took 15th place, clocking in at 16:46, with Dragon Gavin Grass coming in at 16:52 in 16th place. The Panthers took 10th place overall with 205 points.
“Strategically it could have gone better, but it was my last race so it was fun,” Brown said. “I went out way too fast in the first mile, sub-five (minute)… so having done that is like way fast. Then I kind of died in the second mile, side ache, but still had fun.”
His goal prior to his final high school cross-country race was an answer that reflects the culture that the Panthers have established within their cross-country team: “running just to have fun, mostly,” he said.
“They’re here to have fun and to grow,” said head coach Eli Cirino, echoing Brown. “They’re really sad that it’s over; they’re more sad that it’s over than they are disappointed in (their finish). They really, truly enjoy being around each other.”
Brown competes in track and field in the spring, and he’s already formulating goals.
“School record for the 1,500-meters; I’m five seconds off of it.”
He was also two seconds off from going to state in the 1,500 last year, and he said he’s aiming to make that happen as well.