Canby Runners Impress at Molalla River State Park Invitational

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The Canby cross country team had to be pleased with its performance on Senior Night at Molalla River State Park Wednesday, as two of those seniors — Maddox Oliver and Jack Joyce — finished first and third, respectively, to lead their squad to victory in the five-team field.

Oliver completed the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes and 42.83 seconds — more than half a minute ahead of second-place finisher Wyatt Montgomery, another senior from La Pine.

Photos by Tyler Francke.

“Maddox, of course, is our leader, both on the race course and in practice,” head coach Tom Milbrooke said afterward. “He’ll be a top kid in the league and one of the top kids in the state. We’ve got Jack Joyce right behind him and a pretty good pack of five there that, meet to meet, step it up and run well.”

But in a true team effort, the Cougs claimed six of the top 10 spots Wednesday: Joyce, third (17:53.88); sophomore Andrew Dewar, fourth (18:16.07); junior Jacob Tilden, seventh (18:24.59); freshman Corbin Stoddart, ninth (18:40.92); and junior Rhett Smith, 10th (18:52.04).

“Andrew had a great race,” Milbrooke said. “A couple of others had side aches, stuff like that, but you’ve got to work through that and look to the future, and our future is bright.”

Photos by Tyler Francke.

Canby finished on top with 24 points, 18 ahead of second-place La Salle Prep. La Pine claimed third with 91, and Putnam and Hillsboro rounded out the field.

Milbrooke applauded the boys’ team for their work over the summer, as well as looking to and learning from past team leaders like Tommy O’Neil and Matthew Powell.

The girls’ team is younger and more inexperienced, Milbrooke said, but are hard-working, teachable and have already shown great strides in the fall season.

Photos by Tyler Francke.

“We’re basically starting over on the girls’ side,” he said. “Our girls are real green — but they’re very willing. They’re figuring things out. Their attitudes are good, and their work habits are good. They’re going to be the most improved team [in the league].”

The girls’ team’s top runner, Kaitlyn Doman, has been dealing with an IT band issue and did not race this week. But Milbrooke expects her to compete for a spot at the state championship if she can get healthy by districts.

On Wednesday, junior Nika Chernishov was the top finisher for Canby, coming in 16th with a time of 26:24.0, followed by sophomore Melia Stoddart in 17th (26:26.2), freshman Madison Skogman in 19th (27:15.2), junior Hadley Bierma in 20th (27:24.1), and Monserrat Amezcua Frias in 24th (27:59.2).

Photos by Tyler Francke.

The Cougs placed second with a score of 51, behind La Salle Prep with 15 and ahead of Hillsboro (82). Putnam, which did not field enough runners to qualify for a team score, was impressed with the harriers it did bring, claiming first, second, fourth and sixth in individual results.

Canby’s next action will be Saturday, October 1, at the Champoeg Invitational at Champoeg State Park in Saint Paul. The girls’ varsity race starts at 11 a.m., followed by the boys at 11:30.

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