After the whirlwind events of a week ago for the Cottage Grove cross country team, the Lions were able to race on Saturday at the scheduled time and scheduled location.
The Lions had previously been forced to relocate their meet due to poor air quality at Marist.
Cottage Grove traveled to Stayton over the weekend and competed against 15 other teams including perennial powerhouse Philomath. Saturday had perfect conditions with the sun out and the temperature keeping at a comfortable, race-conducive level.
The course consisted of an out-and-back, primarily in a forest with some rolling hills.
The girls’ team took to the course first and the two top finishers from a week ago were the same on Saturday.
Kajsa Merz ran the exact same time on Saturday as she did the week prior with a 23:15 and fellow senior Piper Youngmyr came in after with a time of 23:27. Cora McClean and Allison Palluck came in very close together with McClean running a 24:30 and Palluck finishing with a 24:32.
The boys’ team had an impressive showing as all the boys finished in the top 40 and two finished in the top 11.
Freshman Carter Bangson led the way for the Lions with a seventh-place finish and a time of 17:39 while Ethan Peterson finished behind him with a time of 18:04.
Brennen Murphy gave everything he had in the last 100 meters to beat out two other runners and finished with a time of 19:49. Rafael Fields, Brayden Russell, Andrew Wiley all came in within 15 seconds of each other at the finish.
The boys’ team took fifth overall only one point behind Newport, who finished fourth.
Next week, Cottage Grove will not have to travel far as they will race at Lane Community College to compete against more than 40 other teams.