By Jeremy McDonald
WILSONVILLE, Ore.— North Salem’s youth proved to be a key part for the opening meet of the season in the Annual Wilsonville Night Meet at Wilsonville High School.
Of the 44 teams, the Vikings finished eighth in the 3K Novice Boys with Sophomore Josue Loarca finished eighth with a time of 11:08.8. North would finish tenth in the 3K Girls sophomore race with Divinity Rodriguez finishing 39th with a time of 12:55.6 in her race.
“Our team is going to be really good this year because we have a lot of young, great athletes,” said Junior Madison Willhoft. “It’s definitely fun running under the lights. It’s a really fast course, it’s flat. There’s no hills at all. So things are moving.”
Willhoft finished seventh in the 3K Junior Girls race with a time of 11:26.8.
As the Senior Boys finished 13th in the races, Willhoft admits that legs are heavy as they focus on their next meet next week.
“A lot of stretching and icing,” laughed Willhoft. “That’s what is going to help us a lot and now that the training room is open cause a lot of games are starting for football, volleyball and everything ; we’re going to have a lot more assets to do static stretching and things to help our muscles.”
The 4A Eagles had a stunning finish by a freshman themselves Friday Night at Wilsonville when Ben Kirby, son of principal Alan Kirby, finished 15th overall in the 3K Freshman Race and second in the 4A out of 183 racers in the race with a time of 10:30.0.
For Kirby, to take on 183 athletes the represented upwards of 44 schools at the meet, he said it felt good and wasn’t sure how he would do in his first High School race.
“It feels really good,” said Kirby. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. I was kind of hoping for a PR but I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it.”
As to competing versus Oregon’s best, Kirby was a man of a few words about that.
“It really helps me push myself to be faster,” he said.
Other notables include Matthew Fraeur and Dylan Cudd finishing 20, 21 in the Sophomore race. Casey Pugh finished 18 in the junior race with a time of 9:49.8. Bridget Spencer finished 33rd in the female freshman race with a 13:18.5 time.
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North Salem/Stayton Pictures (Pictures by Jeremy McDonald)