LAKESIDE — It was a dominant day for the Bandon cross country team.
At the Tugman Invitational hosted by North Bend, the Tigers swept the team titles with the boys dominating the meet and the girls having the top three finishers. And as far as head coach Brent Hutton is concerned, this is just the beginning.
“We’re just starting to get to the point where we’re starting to see a little speed that we’ve worked on. We’ve already got a little base, there’s a lot of kids who have been running through the summer. And so now we’re just starting to move towards speed,” he said on Tuesday afternoon.
In the boys race, Bandon’s Isaac Cutler (17:07) took second on the 5,000-meter course behind North Bend’s Alex Garcia-Silver (16:45).
“It’s very early but I’m running where I was at the end of the season last year so I’m satisfied. I have no complaints,” said Cutler.
Bandon’s Aero Franklin finished third (17:37) while the other five Tigers came in from fifth to ninth and within eight seconds of each other, with Nathan Vineyard crossing the line in (18:28), followed by Charlie Ells (18:29), Luke Brown (18:29), Trevor Angove (18:31), and Hunter Angove (18:36).
“The spread is awesome. It’s hard to really wrap your head around how important it is to get that spread down. It makes a huge difference,” Hutton said of the five runners finishing so close together. “We’ve never had a dynamic where we can pack run like that before. So this is something new for me.”
For the varsity girls, Bandon’s Holly Hutton won in a time of 21:07, followed by teammates Shannon Smith (21:37) and Danielle McLain (21:44).
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“I like this course, it felt pretty comfortable. The race felt easy to me, I felt like this is a nice run. I felt if I had some bigger schools here I could do better. But I liked the course,” said Hutton who prefers to be chasing her competition opposed to leading the way.
Racing side-by-side behind her were Smith and McLain who meticulously picked off runners throughout the race until they resided in second and third. While pleased with their finish, both runners are still looking for more.
“I definitely feel like I need to improve a lot more. Like, from what I was last year, I’m slower the first couple races that we’ve done. But it’s just the first couple races,” said Smith.
“Last meet was my first high school meet so I’m still kind of figuring out where my speed is. But yeah, I’m pretty happy with where I am right now but I’d really like to speed up by the end of the season,” added McLain.
Hannah Wayne was 18th (25:54), Hannah Blackard 20th (26:19) and Kylie Barker (27:50).
Bandon also had eight of the top nine finishers in the JV race, with five of them finishing under 20 minutes.
Patton Clark won in 19:01, followed by Owen Brown (19:12), Damian Avalos (19:18) and Ansen Converse (19:32). Josh Minkler was sixth (19:51), followed by Andrew Robertson (20:01), Orlando Avalos (20:28) and Daniel Cabrera (20:47).
On Friday the Tigers will take to Cheadle Lake Park to race against top teams from across the 1A/2A/3A classifications.