BLACK BUTTE — Finn Anspach was toying with the field early on in the boys 5,000-meter race at the Clash in the Cascades at Big Meadow Golf Course Thursday evening.

The Ridgeview senior stayed with a lead group that featured Mountain View’s Chase Schermer and La Pine’s Wyatt Montgomery. A tight race in the first mile turned into a one-man race, as Anspach pulled away to win in 16 minutes, 14.78 seconds, more than 30 seconds ahead of second-place Schermer.

“That was the strategy going in, and I executed pretty well,” Anspach said. “It gets a little harder when you aren’t around anyone. After I broke away I was kind of chasing the crowd. It got a little harder on the backstretch, but then I heard the cheering and that gave me a boost of adrenaline.”

The sun was out Thursday evening, but temperatures were chilly and a bit windy at the golf course on Black Butte Ranch. They were the perfect running conditions for Anspach, who found his groove to secure his fifth top-five finish in six races this fall, including a personal best of 15:08.3 last week at the Crater Track Twilight.

“I was feeling pretty down on myself, then I popped a big PR last week at Crater,” Anspach said. “Came out here and ran well today. That is giving me a lot of confidence going into the championship season.”

While Anspach set the pace individually, it was Mountain View that pulled away in the team scores to win with 34 points. Bend High was second with 92 points.

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All six of Mountain View’s varsity runners finished in the top 12. Schermer, a senior, was second in 16:46.11. Freshman Kyle Kirsch was sixth to cross the finish line in 17:23.81, while junior Kyle Swenson (17:48.97), senior Jack Creech (17:51.11), junior Benjamin Clawson (17:56.65) and junior Luke Larsen (17:56.72) finished ninth through 12th.

Montgomery finished third in 16:57.45 and Bend High’s Micah Pietrowski finished eighth in 17:44.11 to round out the Central Oregon top-10 finishers.

By the time Mountain View’s Hannah Tranby crossed the finish line in the girl’s race, she was exhausted for the first time after a race this season. That was certainly a positive she said after a second-place finish in 20:18.65 to help the Cougars finish third (75) in the team standings behind Philomath (29) and Bend (58).

“Most of the time I’m not exhausted so that was really encouraging,” Tranby said. “I felt like I finished and put it all out on the course. Instead of feeling like I had more, I didn’t feel like that today, which is good.”

Five Central Oregon runners finished in the top 10. Behind Tranby came Ridgeview’s junior Moran Shaw, finishing third in 20:45.90, followed by Sisters sophomore Ella Bartlett (fourth, 20:45.90), Bend senior Jesy Lopez (fifth, 20:56.71) and sophomore Maya Pagano (ninth, 21:37.82).

But everyone in the field was chasing Philomath freshman Adele Beckstead, who crossed the finish line first in 20:11.70.

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