By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

SALEM—McNary’s girls cross country team took the long view at Bush Park.

Running in the Greater Valley Conference Preview Meet on Wednesday, Aug. 30, head coach David Holcomb challenged the Lady Celts to run as a team instead of trying to set a bunch of personal records in the first 5K of the season.

“We wanted our faster girls, Kailey (Doutt) and Ella (Repp), to run with the rest of the girls that we have on the varsity team today,” Holcomb said. “The thinking behind that was let them set a good pace for the girls to strive for. It’s just easy to run with somebody that you know.”

While Doutt was the first McNary runner to cross the finish line in 23:36.99, or more than 4 minutes slower than her PR, Repp and Emma Garland were right behind her in 23:37 and 23:42, respectively.

“Someone like Kailey, who’s battled injuries in the past, (we want to) make sure she gets to October healthy,” Holcomb said. “With Ella, she had a great boost of confidence winning that freshman race at the night meet. We know she’s fast.”

Reyna Terrazas and Alison Repp then finished in 24:04.03 and 24:04.48, followed by Sabella Alfaro in 24:30.59 and Makayla Long in 24:40.97.

The plan was about competing, not just as individuals, but as a team at the district meet at the end of October.

“Their times in October are going to be drastically faster,” Holcomb said of Doutt and Ella Repp. “We hope as far as a core, the seven girls that are on varsity in October, the thinking is we want them, Kailey and Ella will run in the top 15-20, we know that, but as far as Reyna and Allison and Emma go, if they can be somewhere in the top 45-50, that starts to change things as far as where we place as a team. If those girls are in the top 45, we have a chance to compete in conference.

“That’s what we’re thinking about. We wanted them to start building their camaraderie and I think they did a great job. As far as the other girls go, we wanted it to be a boost of confidence that they can hit a pace that we asked them to and they can push themselves.”

Freshman Ethan Whalen led the McNary boys, placing 25th in 19:06.04. Senior Jonas Honeyman took 28th in 19:16.58. Brennan Whalen (19:55.05), Samuel Hernandez (19:59.59) and Emmanuel Figueroa (20:00.76) rounded out the top five for the Celtics.

Holcomb was also proud of his JV boys as senior Noah Egli finished fifth in that race in 20:22.32. Tristan Proctor (20:49.90) and Brock Wyer (20:57.04) placed 14th and 15th, respectively.

“It’s exciting to see those boys fight and compete with each other and see if they can push each other,” Holcomb said. “We’ve got a lot of boys, close to 40 boys on the team. It’s a wide open competition. We won’t know until the middle of the season who are varsity is.”

McNary’s next meet is Wednesday, Sept. 13 against McMinnville and McKay at Joe Dancer Park.

“It’s a really fast course so hopefully they can get good times,” Holcomb said.