By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
With five of the six fastest times, the Summit girls are the heavy favorites to win the Mountain Valley Conference cross country championship.
The only question is which team will finish second on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Central Oregon Community College in Bend.
Led by senior Anna Chau, South Salem has as good a chance as anyone.
Chau, who won the Greater Valley Conference meet as a freshman and then placed third as a sophomore and second as a junior, has the second fastest time in the Mountain Valley Conference this season, finishing in 17 minutes and 44 seconds at Bush Park on Sept. 8.
Two South Salem freshmen, Taitum Schaap (19:17) and Paige Trautman (19:30), are in the top 20.
Summit, which dominated the 5A state cross country meet last season, has 10 of the top 14 times.
The Storm are led by Fiona Max, a junior who finished second in the state last year, and has the fastest time in the Mountain Valley Conference this season in 17:28.
Sprague senior Elise Abbott has the 11th best time in the conference, finishing in 18:48 on Sept. 21.
McKay is led by Jazmine Liebl in 19:43 and West Salem by Ella Repp in 19:56.
Sabella Alfaro has the fastest McNary time—22:43.
Summit is also the favorite to win the Mountain Valley Conference boys title as the Storm, led by Zachry Weber’s 15:45, have three of the top five times this season.
Bend, South Salem and Mountain View should battle for second.
The Saxons are led by Jay Grant (16:05) and Evan Gonzalez (16:28).
Josh Dixon has paced Sprague this season with a best time of 17:08 and Ramiro Gonzalez will lead McKay with a PR of 17:09.
Ethan and Brennan Whalen have McNary’s best times this season, finishing in 17:50 and 17:58 at the Meriwether National Cross Country Classic in Hillsboro on Sept. 21.
The Mountain Valley Conference varsity boys race will begin Saturday at noon, followed by the varsity girls race at 12:45 p.m.