If every school in Class 3A/2A/1A Special District 4 sent a team to the girls district cross country meet, the representation for the state meet would be less than 10 percent of the field.
That’s a fact for schools such as South Umpqua, Sutherlin and Douglas — who had much better odds to make the state meet before reclassification dropped them from Class 4A to Class 3A this fall.
It seems rather certain, though, that there won’t be 33 full squads at Thursday’s district meet at the Valley of the Rogue State Park, where St. Mary’s of Medford will host the event.
Three teams will qualify for the state meet, along with any individual who finishes in the top five and is not a member of a qualifying team.
“One of our first meets that we went to (was at Valley of the Rogue),” Oakland coach Kelly Simonson said. “The kids performed really well on that course. It’s nice and flat. There’s a lot of pavement, which isn’t necessarily ideal for cross country runners for their leg conditioning, but it does allow them to pick up some speed.”
First-year cross country runner Hadley Brooksby is a likely leader for the Oakers with fellow senior Kaylee Simonson sitting the race out. Kaylee Simonson will miss the meet while competing for Oakland at the National FFA floriculture competition.
“Hadley is kind of a wild card — she’s had a lot of pre-college stuff going on, so she trains every day with us, but because of SAT test and all the other stuff she’s only run in a few meets,” Kelly Simonson said. “She has the potential to finish in the top 10 for districts.”
South Umpqua senior Aneykah McCall finished 34th overall at the Class 4A state meet in 2017, while Haven Pickup and Hasina Lathan gained valuable state experience for the Lancers. McCall is a candidate to finish in the top five individually.