By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.—He started strong up front, finding himself second to start before floating back and then did a nice little rundown at the finish. It was strategy a bit for Clement Afterbuffalo Thursday at the Stayton/Regis Cross Country Invitational.
The first-year Braves Cross Country runner, who finished eighth in each the 1,500 and 3,000 meter runs at the 3A State Track Meet this past Spring, finished just outside of the Top 10 in the meet at 12th with a time of 18:26.6.
At the end of the race, there was an eerie resemblance to when Afterbuffalo found his kick in the final 100 meters of the 1,500 meter race in the Spring to finish eighth, the Junior did it again as he kicked it into high gear in the final 150 yards or so of the race to finish ahead of Willamina’s Kaleb Floyd.
“They’re pretty fast, they’re at a fast pace all the way compare to the rest of the guys,” said Afterbuffalo of the Stayton High School Eagles Ben Kirby and Matt Frazuer, who went 1-2 in the race Thursday. “Just focused ahead of me and just stride it out all the way and use my arms.”
Afterbuffalo was the highest finisher for Chemawa at 12th, Ryan Weir (18:54.5) was 19th, Issac Corn was 25th with a time of 19:11.9 and Davey Hogan was 29th with a time of 19:25.4 as the Braves finished second to Stayton in the Invitational Team Points.
The Junior in Hogan, who finished fourth in the Conquer The Hill race at Delphain last week, had some hamstring soreness mid-race that slowed him down a tad even though Hogan PR’d with his 19:25.4 time. It was a mentality thing for Hogan as he described trying to keep up with the guy in front of him.
“This guy right here,” points Hogan to a runner from the race. “I was trying to keep up with this guy because I see him and I think I can keep up with him, so I lock in to him and basically follow him. Just work to get better and work to get better because I am able to keep up with him and getting faster.”
The Lady Braves finished ninth in the team scores with Erykah Rideshorse finishing 29th with a time of 23:59.3. Ronticia Martinez was 38th with a time of 25:29.5 and Yoiwmana Pooyuma was 62nd with a time of 28:26.3.
The Braves host their Chemawa Invitational at Chemawa October 11 with the Junior Varsity races starting at 4pm.