By Jeremy McDonald
CORVALLIS, Ore.—The stud running career for Madison Willhoft continued Wednesday afternoon at Crystal Lake Sports Park in the Greater Valley Conference.
Finishing behind Sprague’s Ginger Murinek and Kaylee Mitchell and South Salem’s Anna Chau, the sophomore finished fourth in the meet and qualifying for the State meet while earning first team honors.
She described a hot start to the race with a sub-six minute first mile in the mud and torn up course as she settled into her pace for a 19:18.16 time Wednesday.
“It was amazing, just being like where I was at,” started Willhoft. “And for me taking my first mile out faster than I’ve ever taken a mile out, I’m just happy I pushed through it because usually during the season I’ve finished like mile spilts we’re like 6:10/6:12, I hear 5:52 when I passed a mile and I’m the happiest person alive because that’s going to prepare me for State.
“This meet wasn’t about PRs or anything, it was basically about placing and taking my girls to State but even that doesn’t workout, but I hope it did.”
But Willhoft would be the only Viking to qualify for State.
Freshman Abi Swain barely missed the Top 10, finishing 20 seconds behind 10th place in 11th, but got 2nd team honors in the process. Emma Haburn finished 18th for Honorable Mention Honors for the Laky Viks.
Willhoft said that this race was a confidence builder for the State Meet next Wednesday at Lane Community College. She finished 17th in the State Meet last year in
“I’m going to be doing a lot to finish top 20, I just want to do my best,: :My season was kind of like slow and kind of not where I wanted to be but this is a huge confidence builder for State cause now I know I can hit this time and finish my race.”
On the guys side, David Rojas finished as the highest guys placer at 16th and earned Honorable Mention honors in his first year of Cross Country.
“I really enjoyed it, it gives you time to think about what your doing,” Rojas described running Cross Country. “I think I could’ve done better because the course was slippery, but I thank my team for pushing me and want to thank my coaches for making me the best I can for this race.”
Rojas will be a junior next year and it’s known that he’ll be ready for a State push in 2017.
“I’m going to start practicing a lot more during the summer, because I slack a little bit,” said Rojas. “But the coaches have workouts and I plan on doing those to help me get better.”
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