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by Leo Collins

PIL Districts – Burn the Form Chart

It was District Day for the Portland Interscholastic League & all seemed well. The conditions in Portland were excellent with no wind & low 60degree temperatures. The old form chart stated simply: ‘Somewhat boring individual races with excellent team battles.” And it was right from the start of the girl's race as Olivia Bender of Cleveland assumed a five yard lead after less than 50 yards. The old chart yelled: “See, I told ya….” after one turn around the track and then after another ¼ mile it screamed out again that it was “Right-on!”

At that point the runners raced out of sight and circled the tennis courses. As they came back into view a strange thing had occurred: a 50 yard lead had been cut to thirty yards. Racing along the slight ridge above the track the runners, who had been clearly scripted to follow, seemed to gain imperceptively but may be that was just an old coach's fear of ‘his' runners being caught. However, after rolling through the next half mile there could be no doubt: the favored had been reeled in by the pack. Now suddenly the race was on as Marsha Lampi & Harmony Teitsworth of Lincoln as well as Natalie Todd-Zebell of Grant, not only had closed, but were pushing the pace.

The race progressed in this fashion as they ran yet another lap with all of the lead pack still having legitimate hopes of victory. Rolling back up the hill away from the track Bender reappeared with a five yard lead on Grant's runner, while the Lincoln runners had faded a bit behind. Form appeared to be back intact but rolling down the hill and onto the track Todd-Zebell rolled past Cleveland 's Bender for a quick five yard lead. They proceeded in this fashion for another 100 meters until they reached the far turn when Bender & her beautiful stride strode into the lead. Around the turn they came keeping their places with Bender slightly ahead until they came a bit off the turn & the Grant runner pulled inexorably ahead for a ½ second victory in a time of 18:43.

In the team battle there was little to give as Grant runners placed 1 – 5 – 6- 9 – 18 to edge the Lincoln runners 39 to 44. Cleveland was in third place with 55 points. Two very evenly matched teams from the PIL will now head to state. Interesting race – slight surprise – back to the form chart?!

The good thing going into the boy's race was that this would be an easier race to script according to the form chart. Having watched the steady and marked improvement of Benson's Zuber Ahmed there were strong thoughts of placing him with the vaunted Galen Rupp of Central Catholic & Stuart Eagon of Beaverton as a likely State champion. Not that this could not happen as one race does not a season make. On this day, however, there were others writing the play and, hence, enter the wild card. Last year Lincoln 's Duke Wasteney was the top sophomore runner in Oregon . Unfortunately injuries had sidelined him for the bulk of the season and he came into the meet with barely two weeks of practice. He could not possibly be close to being in shape much less peak in that time but then one never predict the heart of a true runner.

Once again off with the gun was the favorite, who strolled comfortably into a five yard lead after less than 50 yards. Circling the track the lead increased to 15 yards. A bit after the mile mark, however, the Lincoln runner made a move and challenged Zuber. Pushing each other they forged a 30 meter gap on the field with Grant's Bonfiglio leading the second pack. Yet another lap ensued with the same cast in place but at this point Ahmed pulled ahead of the faltering Wasteny while the chase pack loomed behind.

Again they passed through the course, as out of sight, the scene was changing. Grant's Bonfiglio had moved up as Wasteney faltered. Benson's runner was now surging away with seemingly every stride. Again the runners went out of sight and once again the next view would bring a distinct change. Zuber, was well on his way to a win, but Cleveland 's Kevin Macquoid had taken a commanding lead in second ahead of Bonfiglio. The gallant Wasteney would only finish 8 th , which would not be enough to qualify save for his team. But amidst all the struggles for the team battle Lincoln won the meet with a low score of 51 points compared to Franklin in second with 65. Grant, which can only wonder what would have been, if the Portland school district had not had so many financial problems & lost runners & students, placed third.

There are lingering pictures too: Olivia Bender has an economical & beautifully efficient stride – giving a certain poetry to her running. Ahmed Zuber has a miler's high back-kick & solid bounding stride, which can only improve. And there is the Duke: what he accomplished on heart yet little training! Can't wait to see more from all!

PIL District


1) Zuber Ahmed Benson 15:40.5

2) Kevin Macquoid Cleveland 16:06

3) Brent Bonfiglio Grant 16:11

4) Roman Ng Franklin 16:18

5) Martin Romero-Clark Benson 16:20

6) Andy Zimmer Wilson 16:21

7) Sam Wilson Lincoln 16:22

8) Duke Wasteney Lincoln 16:34

9) Eddie James Marshall 16:41

10) Austin Knutson Grant 16:41


Team: Lincoln 51, Franklin 65, Grant 71, Cleveland 100, Benson 126, Wilson 132, Madison 166



1) Natalie Todd-Zebell Grant 18:43.8

2) Olivia Bender Cleveland 18:44

3) Marsha Lampi Lincoln 18:51

4) Harmony Teitsworth Lincoln 18:54

5) Lizzy Wild Grant 19:09

6) Kira Donnelly Grant 19:13

7) Adriane Puetz Cleveland 19:14

8) Monica Ralston Lincoln 19:16

9) Kyla Burnet Grant 19:16

10) Lauren McDonald Cleveland 19:21


Team: Grant 39, Lincoln 44, Cleveland 55, Franklin 82, Wilson 133, Madison 172


Oct 22 - Mount Hood District at Centennial

Ryan Vail wins as Galen Rupp rests sore ankle, but US#8 Central Catholic Portland still wins team title. Analiese Chapa is girls winner.

The Mount Hood District met at Centennial on a relatively decent day with the temperature around 63. It was overcast & threatened rain but the only real challenge was an intermittent wind, which was quite strong at times. The meet was quite anticipated, because three of the top individuals in the state were slated to compete, including last year's state champion Galen Rupp of Central Catholic. Galen, however, had twisted his ankle around a week ago and did not line up at the start. His coach, Alberto Salazar, noted that he is pretty much recovered but held him out of the meet to be cautious. There is one part of the course where imbedded rocks jut out and, having walked that part myself prior to the race & inwardly whining, I tend to think it was prudent.

Without the precocious Central Catholic runner the race appeared to be left to Centennial sr Ryan Vail or possibly Sandy's Devin McDaniel and the beginning of the race seemed to confirm that notion. Rounding the track after ¾'s of a lap the two headed up the hill away from the crowd, although Central Catholic's Stephen Oliver & Scott Wall shadowed them only a bit behind. The race continued in this fashion for the next mile and one-half until Vail appeared to up the ante & pulled ahead of McDaniel. McDaniel was obviously struggling, while he lost ground to the front running Vail, & meanwhile Catholic's Oliver moved up to challenge for the place position. As Vail continued to lengthen his lead during the next 200 yards McDaniel struggled to maintain his position & then valiantly made a surge of his own to briefly draw away. It was a brave but doomed effort, as Oliver pulled away in the later stages of the race. In the end Vail would not be denied his victory and one can only wonder what kind of race would have been witnessed had Central Catholic's number one runner competed but his winning time of 15:28 was a strong effort. The consistent yet improving Oliver earned second and can only strengthen the hopes of his team for the state title. Note that in the last poll of Oregon coaches Central Catholic had moved ahead of Jesuit into the number one position. Even without Rupp the Central Catholic team was an easy victor with a low total of only 26 points. Earning a birth to the State meet was Centennial with a total of 64 points.

The race for the girl's championship was actually run first and unfolded in a very different manner. While the boys were racing from the gun the young ladies took off in a rather leisurely manner leaving the track at slightly less than 300 meters in an elapsed time of 60 seconds. A pack of five runners led the way from the start but they were not all that much in front of a large trailing group. After a bit more than a half mile Shannon McKenzie of Barlow took a slight lead followed closely by Annaliese Chapa of Central Catholic as well as Holly Cotterill of Gresham and Brooke Palmer of St. Mary's Academy. The Barlow runner increased her lead to five yards after a fashion and proceeded to tow the group for a good mile.

Shortly prior to the two mile mark the trailing pack moved back on the leader and they remained close until shortly before the return to the track. It was at this point that Chapa made her move prior to the turn back to the track. She surged down the hill and then onto the track and continued to widen her lead throughout the rest of the race. Cotterill & Palmer moved past the fading McKenzie, who labored after doing the yeoman's share of the work. The winning time was 19:19 on the basically flat Centennial course is which has a few slight hills.


1) Ryan Vail Centennial 15:28

2) Stephen Oliver Central Catholic 15:40

3) Devin McDaniel Sandy 15:43

4) Scott Wall Central Catholic 16:08

5) Kenny Klotz Central Catholic 16:16

6) Luke Wiltshire Central Catholic 16:35

7) Nick Clark Gresham 16:40


1) Central Catholic 26

2) Centennial 64



1) Annaliese Chapa Central Catholic 19:17

2) Holly Cotterill Gresham 19:30

3) Brooke Palmer St. Mary's 19:37

4) Shannon McKenzie Barlow 19:50

5) Anne Murphy-Hagan St. Mary's Academy 19:59

6) Kate Lilley St. Mary's Academy 20:14

7) Karen Stegner Barlow 20:17


Team Scores

1) St. Mary's 32

2) Centennial 59


                                                                Midwestern District

      Defending State  champion Erin Gray finished first ahead of team mate Sarah Pearson for South Eugene, while  Heather Spinney, Casey Masterson, & Holly Thomson of Sheldon  took the 3 through 5 places.    With all that the star of the Girls's District was  Nici Puccinelli who placed sixth for  Sheldon and thereby secured the victory after  Sheldon & South Eugene had run to a tie  with their first five runners. With a total of 30 points.    The old coach's cry that every runner counts was never more true, although both teams will go on to compete for the State championship.

     In what  began to look as a reversal the South Eugene  guys  upended Sheldon's strong team in spite of the fact that Matt Barnhart of Sheldon led  the team's 1 – 2 finish.   In the end the score was not quite as close.   South Eugene won 34 to 42.

                Girls                                                                                        Boys

1   Erin  Gray           South Eugene    18:28                         Matt  Barnhart      Sheldon                 16:00

2   Sarah Pearson     South  Eugene    18:35                      Jeff  Randall          Sheldon                 16:01


                                                                Metro  District


Stuart Eagon won fairly easily has he made his statement about the State meet. After him, however, it was all Jesuit as expected with Michael Maag & John Maletis leading the way as usual. Jesuit led with a low of 29 while the Sunset boys with 58 points placed 2nd to qualify. The Jesuit girls with 21 points easily secured their title besting Aloha's 71, while Sunset with 73 was a disappointed 3 rd & failed to qualify.

           Girls                                                                                             Boys

1   Patricia Loughlin             Jesuit      18:48                       Stuart  Eagon        Beaverton              15:34

2   Melissa Trahin                Aloha     18:54                       Michael  Maag     Jesuit                      15:49

3  Kait Hurley                        Jesuit      18:55                       John Maletis         Jesuit                      15:53

                                                                                                Nate  Ellis              Westview              15:54


                                                                Three Rivers District

     Jordan Pommerening won his second District title on the fast Clackamas Community College course by a good margin.     Excellent pack running by the Clackamas guys with only 20 seconds separating their 1st & 5th runner led to a 54 to 55 victory of Rex Putnam.      Many of the lady runners ran their best times of the season with Lake Oswego (I believe) running PR's.    With many fast times Lake Oswego won the championship with 41 points to Clackamas' 50.   Claire Michel led everyone with a stunning 18:23.

Girls                                                                                        Boys

  Jordan Pommerening     Rex Putnam    15:55  Claire  Michel                   Clackamas                  18:23

                                                                                                Kirah Aldinger-Gibson    Lakeridge                  18:25

                                                                                                Berkeley Aldinger-Gibson  Lake Osego           18:49

                                                                                                Sara Gordon                          Clackamas             18:50

                                                                Pac – 9 District

    Meghan Armstrong, running essentially the same course as the previous day's Three Rivers District, ran a blazing 17:24 winning her championship by approximately 50 seconds.   In spite of Armstrong's efforts the McMinnville girls  defeated Tualatin  55 to 60.      In the guys race State hopeful Sage Canady of Newberg led the way, while the Canby boys led by Joel Sauvin won the team championship over rival Newberg by a score of 31 to 45.

                Girls                                                                                        Boys

1  Meghan Armstrong         Tualatin                 17:24       Sage Canady                         Newberg                15:07

2  Meghan Leonard             Newberg                18:15       Joel Sauvin                            Canby                    15:37

3  Kira Roerig                        McMinnville         18:27       Nick  Bellisario                      Newberg                15:43


                                                                Southern  District

     Katie Leary of Klammath Union  led the charge  for the Pelicans winning  her District with an 18:24.   KU's Kevin Pelligrino joined a long line of Klammath boys in winning  the District championship as well with a 16:07 clocking.    The Klammath girls  easily defeated Roseburg for the team title 44 to 75, while  the Crater guys


1  Katie Leary                        Klammath              18:24                       Kevin Pelligrino      Klammath            16:07

2  Danielle Jordan              N Medford               18:30                       Isaac Stoutenburgh  Crater                                16:18

3  Kendel  Nelso                   Crater                     19:14                       Andy  Wright         Ashland               16:34


                                                                Intermountain District

                                Girls                                                                                        Boys

   Mountain View, led by  the 2nd place finish  of Ryan Martinez,  won the boys District 39 to 43 over Bend.   Running at Bend's fast Drake Park  Kenyon Newman of Summit led the individuals guys.   Kimber Mattox returned   to competition  to easily outdistance Jennifer Macias of Hermiston  & Zoe Roy of Summit, two of the State's top female runners.  It was not, however, to stave off a Bend defeat and Hermiston won its first District championship over Summit while Bend trailed in 3rd:  39 – 47 – 58.

                Girls                                                                                        Boys

1  Kimber  Mattox Bend                       18:31                       Kenyon Newman     Summit               15:38

2  Jennifer  Macias               Hermiston              18:46                       Ryan Martinez          Mtn View           15:41

3  Zoe Roy                             Summit                   18:51                       Jacob  Marx               Bend                   15:49

                                                                                                                Matt Davis                Mtn View           15:52


                                                                Valley  District

In an interesting reversal of form Kacey McCallister of McNary, who had placed only 22nd over the same course in the South Salem Invitational earlier this  season,  won the District title in a time of 15:56.   Even better he did in a wheel chair!    Unfortunately he will not compete in the State meet due to the terrain, so the next seven guys will go to State.   With his departure that left Crescent Valley's Rob Schlegal as the effective District champion.    Crescent Valley easily won the boys title with a 57 – 74 win over McKay.     Anna Stumbo, a senior from West Salem, had no trouble with  the course  or her challengers & strolled away to an easy  victory almost a half minute ahead of  the pack.     The ladies of Crescent Valley, highly ranked all season, had an even easier time of it handing West Salem a 31 to 91 defeat.    

                                                Girls                        (to State)                                Boys

1  Anna  Stumbo                 West Salem           19:01                       Rob Schlagel         Crescent Valley   16:03

2  Amy Berg                          Crescent Valley    19:27                       Tony  Rhein          McKay                   16:11

3  Linsie Michels                  Sprague                 19:40                       Ricky Mendez       McKay                   16:14


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