PRINEVILLE — Summit junior Matthew Maton started the 2013 cross-country year just like he finished the spring track and field season.
Maton, who won the Class 5A 1,500- and 3,000-meter track and field state titles last May at Eugene’s Hayward Field, took first Saturday at the Jere Breese Memorial Ranch Stampede, a 5,000-meter scramble course that took participants through several water crossings. The Storm standout, who enters this year’s cross-country season as one of the favorites to capture the 2013 5A individual title, turned in a time of 16 minutes, 19.9 seconds.
Maton bested Mountain View junior Dakota Thornton (16:48.5), the high school boys runner-up, by almost 30 seconds en route to leading Summit to a 31-42 team victory over the Cougars. Bend High sophomore Caleb Hoffmann placed third in 16:57.9 and Thornton’s Mountain View teammate Sam King ended the day fourth in 17:09.1.
The Lava Bears placed third in the boys team standings with 117 points, Crook County was fourth (121 points) and Sisters placed fifth (126).
In the high school girls race — there were also 5K and 10K races open to the public — Mountain View’s Sage Hassell narrowly defeated Summit’s Piper McDonald. Hassell, a sophomore, covered the course in 20:22.7, while McDonald finished in 20:23.7. Hassell sprinted past McDonald with about 30 yards before the finish line, according to Cougar coach Don Stearns. The Storm’s Olivia Brooks (20:43.1) and Emma Su (21.24.8) placed third and fourth, respectively.
Saturday’s event, which is now in its third year, marked the start of the high school cross-country season for eight Central Oregon programs.
Sisters senior Brandon Pollard paced the Outlaw boys with a sixth-place effort (17:24.9), which was the best finish by a Class 4A racer. Grayson Munn led host Crook County with a ninth-place finish (17:30.3), Tyress TurnsPlenty highlighted the day for La Pine (22nd, 18:47.9) and James Seeley took 51st (20:19.5) to post Ridgeview’s top finish. Alec Carter led the way for Redmond High, crossing the finish line in 53rd place with a time of 20:24.4.
While Hassell won the girls race, Summit turned in the most impressive team performance, placing seven runners among the top-10 finishers, ending the meet with 22 points. Hassell’s Cougars placed second with 54 points and Bend finished the day third with 70 points.
Sisters senior Zoe Falk (10th, 22:07.4), Bend sophomore Rylee King (13th, 22:30.7), Ridgeview senior Dakota Steen (21st, 23:29.1), Crook County sophomore Irene Morales (40th, 25:32.5) and Redmond senior Kiersten Ochsner (43rd, 25:36.4) all posted team-high finishes for their respective squads.