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Holland crushes course record, takes district title

NORTH BEND — In an ever-impressive junior season, EJ Holland did it again.

For the third time this season, Holland broke the 15-minute mark. This time around, Holland didn’t just run a sub-15-minute race, he absolutely destroyed the course record at Tugman State Park, running a time of 14 minutes, 59 seconds to storm his way to the Midwestern League boys cross country title on Wednesday afternoon.

The previous record, set by Mitchell Butler of Siuslaw High School in 2013, was 15:19.0, a whole 20 seconds more than the time Holland clocked in at on Wednesday.

To top it all off, Holland finished a whopping 34 seconds ahead of the second-place runner, Crater senior Jantz Tostenson.

Holland now has two of the fastest times in the state this season, and they’ve been set in his past two races — 14:53.2 at the Warner Pacific Classic on Oct. 13 and 14:59.0 at the district meet.

Entering next Saturday’s Class 5A state meet at Lane Community College in Eugene, Holland is certainly going to be the runner to beat.

Holland led the way for the Ashland boys team that finished in second place behind Crater, which swept both first place spots to claim the boys and girls titles.

Three Grizzly runners finished in the top seven, with junior Arlo Davis coming in third (15:34.6) and sophomore Reed Pryor finishing seventh (16:25.9) joining Holland.

All seven of Ashland’s boys runners finished in the top 20 — Cameron Stein in 14th (17:05.8), Jordan Mortensen (17:11.7) in 16th, Aydin Timmons (17:19.3) in 19th and Henry Williams (17:24.5) in 20th.

Led by Alexa Hague’s second-place finish with a time of 19 minutes flat, the Ashland girls finished in third with 64 points just behind second-place Churchill and champion Crater.

Hague’s time was a personal record for the senior, who had run times of 19:04 and 19:02.9 the past two races she’s competed in (Max King Invite and Warner Pacific Classic).

Sage Redding (20:10.2) finished 10th, while Hazel Richards (20:29.4) and Milan Hague (20:46.4) came in 13 and 19th, respectively.

Freshman Kariana Austbo (21:21.2, 22nd) and sophomore Hadley Jungst (23:10.9, 30th) rounded out Ashland’s strong showing.

BOYS

TEAM SCORES: Crater 31, Ashland 41, Churchill 58, Springfield 104, Thurston 148, Willamette 179, North Bend 196, North Eugene 216.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): 1, EJ Holland, Ash, 14:59.0; 2, Jantz Tostenson, Cra, 15:33.0; 3, Arlo Davis, Ash, 15:34.6; 4, Peter Lechman, Chu, 15:41.8; 5, Gage Reed, Cra, 16:07.2.

LOCAL TEAMS

CRATER (31): 2, Jantz Tostenson, 15.33.0; 5, Gage Reed, 16:07.2; 6, Ryland McCullough, 16:11.8; 8, Matthew Schenk, 16:49.1; 10, JC Herring, 16:56.2.

ASHLAND (41): 1, EJ Holland, 14:59.0; 3, Arlo Davis, 15:34.6; 7, Reed Pryor, 16:25.9; 14, Cameron Stein, 17:05.8; 16, Jordan Mortensen, 17:11.7.

GIRLS

TEAM SCORES: Crater 30, Churchill 61, Ashland 64, Springfield 90, Thurston 134, North Bend, 150.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 5): 1, Mariah Kinney, Cra, 18:53.2; 2, Alexa Hague, Ash, 19:00.0; 3, Presley Robison, Cra, 19:17.5; 4, Natalie Elstone, Chu, 19:35.3; 5, Abby Raven, Thu, 19:45.3.

LOCAL TEAMS

CRATER (30): 1, Mariah Kinney, 18:53.2; 3, Presley Robison, 19:17.5; 6, Elezebeth Allen, 19:59.2; 8, Gracen Hokanson, 20:06.4; 12, Jade Hopkins, 20:16.3.

ASHLAND (64): 2, Alexa Hague, 19:00.0; 10, Sage Reddish, 20:10.2; 13, Hazel Richards, 20:29.4; 19, Milan Hague, 20:46.6; 22, Kariana Austbo, 21:21.2.

Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or dpenza@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.

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