Central Catholic aims to dominate state again

Rams have defending individual champ, and are favored in team race
Oct. 30, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

Since the Alberto Salazar-Galen Rupp era began at Central Catholic a decade ago, the Rams have won five team titles at the Class 6A level, and six individual titles.

Last year, Kyle Thompson ran to the individual title to break a four-year winless streak. This year, the team is poised to break a two-year winless streak and return to the top of the state.

The Rams haven't suffered during their years off from the top spot. They finished second in the team standings the past two seasons, and had the second-place individual finisher two years ago when Thompson finished 18th as a freshman.

Thompson has again run at the top of the state and is a favorite to repeat in a stacked field that includes Beaverton senior Dan Oekerman, Sheldon senior Jackson Darland and Jesuit senior Josh Sealand, who made a tremendous leap from last year when he finished 70th at the state meet. He placed second to Oekerman at the Metro League district meet.

South Eugene, the defending champion, graduated four of its starting five runners, as did Crater, which finished third. The Rams return six of their seven scorers from last year.

Jesuit, which has - amazingly - never had an individual state champion, appears as the top contender for its crosstown rival. Senior Josh Sealand, who finished 59th at the state meet a year ago, leads a team that won the Metro League title with six runners placing in the top 11. Jesuit has won four team titles since 2000.

HERE ARE THE TOP CONTENDERS

15:14   Dan Oekerman, Sr., Beaverton*

15:24   Kyle Thompson, Jr., Central Catholic*

15:42   Josh Sealand, Sr., Jesuit

15:42   Tanner Smith, Sr., Lincoln

15:49   Jackson Haselnus, Sr., Barlow

16:05   Jackson Darland, Sr., Sheldon*

16:19   Julian Heninger, Sr., Lakeridge*

16:32   Nathaniel Roberts, Jr., Sprague*

16:57   Nic McDaniel, Jr., McMinnville*

* District champion

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