By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary junior Kailey Doutt was looking forward to competing against South Salem sophomore Anna Chau and North Salem junior Madison Willhoft, two of the top runners in the Greater Valley Conference, Wednesday, Oct. 5 at Bush Park.
But she’ll have to wait.
Willhoft missed the race with the flu while Chau, the defending conference champion, decided to run with the boys, finishing sixth in a season best 18:18.
“I was kind of mad,” Doutt said. “I was disappointed because I was looking forward to racing them because I haven’t since the (GVC) preview meet and I wanted to see where I was with Madison because she usually beats me but our times are super close.”
Willhoft and Doutt placed fourth and fifth respectively in the district meet last year at Bush Park.
“I was looking for them to push me to run faster,” Doutt said. “When I run by myself it’s harder to push myself and compete so that makes a big difference in time.”
With Chau and Willhoft out, Doutt led from start to finish, easily winning the girls race in 20:22. North Salem freshman Abi Swain took second in 20:42.
“I had a pretty nice lead,” Doutt said. “I could hear one girl breathing behind me like the first mile but I think she dropped off a little bit after. I feel okay about it. I wish I could’ve run faster.”
Because of shin splints, the race was Doutt’s first since Sept. 23.
Four North Salem runners finished in the top six as the Vikings had the best team score with 32 points. South Salem (43) and McNary (46) placed second and third.
McNary sophomore Emma Garland took seventh in 21:54 and junior Alison Repp finished 10th in 23:04. Freshman Madeline Bielby had a PR of 23:41 to place 11th and sophomore Xena Lane (24:33) also scored for the Lady Celts.
McNary junior Jonas Honeyman and senior Eddie Martinez both ran personal record times but that wasn’t enough for the Celtics (73) to overcome South Salem (16) and North Salem (46).
Led by Jay Grant (17:08), the Saxons had five runners finish in the top six.
For McNary, Honeyman took eighth in 18:39 and Martinez placed 11th in 18:46. Brock Wyer (19:43), Brian Young (19:57), Tyler Dougall (20:05) and Noah Egli (20:05) also ran for the Celtics.
The GVC Championship, where Doutt will finally get her shot at Chau and Willhoft, is Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Crystal Lake Park in Corvallis.
“I just want to keep pushing myself in practice and run as hard as I can to get better,” Doutt said. “I just want to prepare myself to run fast with the other girls.”