Cougars triumph at Three Course Challenge

staff report / The Bulletin /


WARRENTON — Mountain View has been running in the Three Course Challenge since 1995. But the Cougars never performed as well as they did this year.

On Saturday, with 10 runners finishing in the top 10 on either the hard, moderate or easy courses — five boys and five girls — Mountain View took first in both the boys and girls cross-country standings at the Camp Rilea event, which featured nearly 90 teams and more than 2,000 runners representing Oregon, Washington and California.

“Overall, our team is just really competitive,” Cougars coach Don Stearns said. “(This finish) shows we are one of the elite programs in the state.”

Dakota Thornton set the tone for Mountain View, becoming the first Cougar runner to finish first on any of the three 5,000-meter courses with a victory on the boys’ easy track in a time of 15 minutes, 1 second.

Imran Wolfenden was 10th on the same course, Sam King took second in the moderate standings, and Gabe Wyllie and Dalen Gardner came in ninth and 10th, respectively, on the hard course. As a team, Mountain View won the hard and easy divisions while placing third in moderate.

Crook County finished third in its division, Division 3, paced by Grayson Munn’s fifth overall placing on the easy course. Munn’s time of 15:22 earned the senior the top spot in the division. Luis Rivera was fifth in the Cowboys’ division and 56th overall on the moderate course.

Bend High’s Caleb Hoffmann took second in the hard category to lead the Lava Bears to a third-place showing in the course’s standings. Devon Calvin posted Sisters’ top finish, a 19th-place showing on the hard course, while Dyut Fetrow took 24th on the easy course.

For La Pine, it was Tyress TurnsPlenty leading the way with a 31st-place finish on the hard course, and Madras’ Shae Yeahquo was 139th on the easy track.

For the girls, Tia Hatton logged the best finish for Mountain View, coming in second on the easy course. Madison Leapaldt followed soon after with a fourth-place showing, with Hillary Wyllie taking sixth. Rylie Nikolaus was sixth on the moderate course, and Sage Hassell took fifth on the hard track.

“Coming off this performance,” Stearns said, “everyone is definitely on cloud nine.”

The Cowgirls did not place as a team, but Irene Morales’ time of 26:26 on the moderate course was good enough for 47th overall and third in the division.

Sophia Burgess and Rylee King placed 27th and 28th overall on the hard course, as Bend High finished second behind Mountain View in the course’s standings. On the moderate course, Janea Schaumloeffel took 23rd in 25:36.

Sisters’ Mary Stewart and Natalie Marshall were 36th and 37th on the moderate course, while McKenzie Banks took 38th on the easy track.

Madie Molitor paced Madras with a 68th-place showing on the moderate course, and Tysha Hulse was the top finisher for La Pine after taking 76th on the easy track.