The HRV boys and girls cross country teams were predicted to finish near the top of the heap at the end of the season and at Saturday’s state championship meet in Eugene, there were no surprises.
The boys finished in fourth place out of 13 teams, taking a trophy for the second year in a row at the title meet. The girls also finished fourth, moving way up from last year’s 11th-place result. According to HRV Head Coach Brandon Bertram, this is the first time the girls have brought home a team trophy from the meet in eight years.
The result shows not only the growth of the program during Bertram’s tenure the past three seasons, but also its rising status at the state level.
“Out of all the 5A teams, only two teams got trophies on both sides. That was Summit and us, and that shows how far we’ve come on,” he noted. “First year (at state) we were eighth and eighth, second year we were fourth and 11th, and this year we’re fourth and fourth.”
For the girls, senior Daisy Dolan anchored the team with another standout performance after leading the girls to victory in the Columbia River Conference championships the previous week. Dolan placed eighth overall with a time of 19 minutes, 6 seconds, despite the muddy and rainy conditions on the 3.1-mile course at Lane County Community College. Frosh Lottie Bromham was second for HRV (14th, 19:49) and sophomore Evelyn Nuñez was third (24th, 20:13).
For the boys, senior Jacob Bromham stepped it up and delivered one of the best performances of the season, finishing first for the boys and 14th overall in 16:26. It was a timely performance as typical HRV frontrunner Jesse Wiley was battling an illness, but still managed to be third-man with a 28th-place finish at 16:58 (junior Connor Truax was second on the team with a 26th-place finish and a time of 16:54). Bertram lauded Wiley for his impressive finish and was even more pleased with Bromham’s finish.
“Jacob Bromham noticed his usual wingman (Wiley) wasn’t there, and he ran a tremendous race,” he said.
Another bonus? HRV beat Columbia River Conference foe The Dalles, with the Riverhawk boys finishing seventh and the girls finishing 10th. None of their runners finished in front of HRV’s top runner either.
Bertram noted Saturday was “a competitive meet from front to back,” and that the boys and the girls first-place teams (Crater and Summit, respectively), were not only the top teams in 5A, but the top teams in the Northwest. Despite that competition, it was a tight race, with only 55 points separating third and eighth places on the boys’ side and only 35 points separating second and sixth on the girls’ side.
“We had a lot of great performances, and we were right there,” he said.
The Eagles’ showing at the state championship meet was everything Bertram had expected and he was pleased with the result. But Bertram added his athletes want to achieve even greater things.
“The kids are happy, but they want more,” he said. “That hunger is there with this program.”
Their season is technically over, but the boys and girls will head this weekend to a non-OSAA meet, NXR Northwest. Bertram said the race, which is held in Boise Idaho, is a fun but challenging end-of-the-season competition that features some of the best teams in the Northwest.