Bandon’s boys cross country team took care of business last week at the district meet and now the Tigers head to Lane Community College in Eugene hoping to repeat as Class 3A-2A-1A state champion.
It won’t be easy.
Bandon coach Brent Hutton conceded the Tigers won’t be the favorites. Rather, longtime power Union with defending individual champion Tim Stevens is the team to beat, he said.
“Union is good,” Hutton said. “I told the guys it’s not impossible. It would definitely be an upset.
“We have to run a flawless race.”
The Tigers are good, but likely don’t have the depth of the Bobcats.
Bandon’s top three are top-notch runners, with seniors Hunter Hutton and Josh Snyder expected to be in the lead pack with Stevens, East Linn Christian’s Jedaiah Wasson and Hunter Murphy of Pleasant Hill.
Sophomore Isaac Cutler also could have a top-15 finish and sophomore Aero Franklin could have a top run as well.
The key will be where Bandon’s fifth runner comes in — whether it’s junior Jared Duval, senior Skyler Hammons or junior Marino Santoro — since a team’s top five runners count toward the team score.
“One of them has to step up big,” Brent Hutton said.
Sailor Hutton, Hunter’s twin sister, is among the favorites in the girls race with Oregon Episcopal’s Stephanie Finley and Maya Rayle of Catlin Gabel.
“I’m excited,” said Sailor, who was state champion as a freshman and finished second the past two years — behind Marissa Dobry of St. Mary’s her sophomore year and Finley last year.
A title, she said, would be a nice way to cap her high school career, with the two titles as bookends for a strong four years.
The girls race Saturday starts at 10 a.m., followed by the boys at 10:35. The larger classifications run later in the day. Admission, good for all the eight races, is $8 for adults and $5 for students.
At the district meet, Bandon scored 24 points to easily beat runner-up Lakeview (35).
Snyder won the title in 16 minutes and 6 seconds for 5,000 meters. Hunter Hutton finished second in 16:20 and Cutler finished fourth in 17:32. Franklin was sixth (17:44), Duval was 17th (18:50), Hammons 21st (19:00) and Santoro 22nd (19:04).
Sailor Hutton easily won the girls race in 19:35. Bandon finished third in the team race, just missing a spot at state.
Shelby Waterman was 17th (24:38), Hannah Wayne 18th (24:44), Isabella Bean 22nd (25:59), Sina Napier with (27:29), Emily Moore 25th (28:28) and Kayla LaPlante 32nd (30:15).
The season ended for Bandon’s junior varsity runners at the district meet, though most were still in practice this week as the varsity kids got ready for state.
Jordan Myrand won the boys race in 20:13, followed by three teammates: Sam Cutler (20:18), David Fodrea (20:23) and Luke Brown (20:51). Josh Mikler was sixth (20:56), Owen Vineyard 15th (22:27), Seth Waterman 18th (24:23), Devinn Manicke 25th (26:56) and Nicholas Weaver 27th (28:36).
In the girls JV race, Gwen Johnson was fifth (31:16) and Isabella Lopez-Churchill sixth (35:50).