EUGENE — Bandon’s Sailor Hutton finished second in her final state cross country meet and Bandon’s boys matched her by earning the second-place trophy at Lane Community College on Saturday.
The Bandon boys weren’t able to repeat their Class 3A-2A-1A state cross country championship, but it wasn’t due to lack of effort on their part.
Powerful Union had the top two finishers — Alex Graffunder and defending champion Tim Stevens — and ran away with the team title.
Bandon had three in the top 13, including third-place finisher Hunter Hutton and Josh Snyder, who was seventh, and took second to the Bobcats in the team race.
“I’m happy with the team,” Snyder said. “We knew no matter what if we got second we’d be OK with that.”
Isaac Cutler, who was 13th, agreed.
“We went out there and gave it our all,” he said. “Union deserved it. They ran hard.”
Hunter Hutton said he was pleased with his race, except for the finish, not being able to stick with Stevens.
Graffunder charged to the lead with a fast pace and stayed in front the whole way, finishing in 15 minutes and 33 seconds. Hutton stayed with Stevens until the 2-mile mark, when the second Union runner pulled away. Stevens crossed the line in 15:48 and Hutton in 16:10.
“I ran a hard race,” Hutton said. “I really wanted to get in the 15s — I was a little short. I can’t be disappointed with how I finished. I gave it everything I had.”
Last fall Graffunder missed the state meet with a stress fracture as Bandon won its first state title. He said the Bobcats were motivated to not lose to the Tigers again.
“Our team is pretty amazing this year,” he said. “We work hard every day.”
Union had three of the top nine finishers and all five scoring runners in the top 25. The Bobcats finished with 42 points, while Bandon had 124.
Graffunder said his own race went according to plan.
“I would have liked to run a little faster, but I’m happy with how I did,” he said.
Snyder, who finished in 16:49, said he wasn’t happy to finish seventh — he had hoped to be a little closer to his training partner Hutton.
“The first mile, I thought I was perfect,” he said. “I stumbled a little bit at the 2-mile mark and it just got to my head.”
But he said he wouldn’t dwell long on the race.
“I’m excited for track now,” he said.
Sailor Hutton was second in the Class 3A-2A-1A girls race for the third year in a row.
Catlin Gabel’s Maya Rayle won the race in 18:33, 20 seconds ahead of Hutton.
A group of runners was together for the first 10 minutes of the race. Rayle made a move on a hill just over two miles in.
“We were a pretty even pack for the first two miles,” Hutton said. “We got to the top of the hill and it was just 'Go!'”
Hutton tried to counter Rayle’s move, but couldn’t keep up in the final mile.
She said Rayle ran a good race.
“I was kind of excited coming in,” Hutton said. “You can make a plan, but the plan you make, you don’t know if it’s going to work out because everyone else has a plan, too.”
Hutton’s plan was to run an even pace the first two miles and hold on.
Rayle had a similar goal, except she planned a big move on the two hills in the final mile — the second one a quick descent and then ascent through a soccer bowl.
“I wanted to stick with the pack and pull away using the hills,” she said.
Sailor Hutton said the race was a good cap to her career, which started with a state title her freshman year.
“I’m kind of happy to finish my high school career at the state meet against some pretty talented girls,” she said.
“It was incredible to run with these girls,” she said. “I’ve been competing with them a long time.”
She said she was confident going into the meet.
“I’ve had a breakout season,” she said. “I knew I would have to give my best to come out on top.”
Coquille’s Josey Kaufman also was in the race, but the senior, who had been ill during the week, was not able to finish.
Enterprise scored 63 points to win the team title. Union was second with 88.
Kennedy’s Kaylin Cantu was third in the race, in 19 minutes. Defending champion Stephanie Finley of Oregon Episcopal finished sixth.