Warriors host first XC meet in more than 20 years

North Douglas High School hosted their first home cross country or track meet in over 20 years on Friday, Sept. 2. The school has an abnormal shaped track, so it makes holding track meets problematic. Nonetheless, the school hosted the North Douglas Warrior Run, a cross country meet that also featured high schools from Days Creek, Glendale, Oakland and Reedsport.

“This is our first time having a meet at North Douglas, and I started here my freshman year,” said North Douglas senior Logan Gant said. “To see it have a home meet my senior year and have so many supporters, families and friends, it’s really cool.”

The event began with a women’s 5,000-meter race. With a time of 22:39, Reedsport’s Natalie Hammond took first place.

As North Douglas senior Mia Piscopo was rounding out the final home stretch of the race, she found herself trailing behind Cali Sarnoski, a sophomore on the Oakland cross country team. However, Piscopo outkicked Sarnoski on the final stretch and took second place with a time of 23:22, while Sarnoski had a time of 23:23.00.

“I usually don’t think much of it, but if there is a person in front of me, I’m always going to try and catch them at the end. I don’t really think too much when I run though. If they are there, then I go get them,” Piscopo said.

North Douglas junior Natalie Hesock finished fourth in the race, while senior Lolly Frost finished seventh.

In the boys 5,000-meter race, sophomore Clayton Wilson of Reedsport easily took first place with a time of 19:29. However, an intense battle for second place between North Douglas teammates Logan Gant and Wyatt Humphry ensued. Gant bested his friend and teammate with a time of 20:01 while Humphry had a time of 20:02.

“It’s awesome to have someone where we can push each other,” Gant said. “Wyatt has so much grit, it was so much fun. I was able to get him today, but I know he’ll get me eventually.”

For North Douglas Coach Judith Burnett, “There is a lot of heart between those two. That head-to-head you saw, I have been waiting for that to happen. Wyatt has always been the toss it to the wind and break himself [kind of runner]. Gant has always been a smart runner.”

Jacob Parsons of North Douglas finished tied for ninth with a time of 23:48.

North Douglas continues their season this Saturday at the Ash Creek XC Festival, which will be held at Western Oregon University. Over 40 schools will be participating at the event from all different OSAA classifications.

There is a long season ahead for the Warriors, and while their eyes are ultimately on districts in October, they will look to improve and decrease their times with every meet between now and then.

 “As long as they are wanting to get better and are running, I’m going to be here to help them through it. I’m going to figure out how to make them better,” Burnett said. “Everybody is different: one hates the heat, so now the heat is pretty much done she is happy as a clam. The others, they love a challenge. They want to figure out mentally how to get themselves better, and you have others who want to put it all to the grindstone. Everybody is working so hard.”