Blake Chitwood, a Yreka High graduate, finished 23rd for COS at the NorCal cross country championships on Friday, Nov. 8 to earn a State berth. Ryan Hering of COS, a Mount Shasta High graduate, was announced at the Norcal Championships to have earned the 10th and final individual spot at State. COS head coach Katie Woodward found out Wednesday that a mistake had been made and Hering was 11th and not 10th, which means he will not be competing at State.
The College of the Siskiyou Eagles cross country team competed at the California Community College NorCal cross country championships at Toro Park in Salinas on Friday, Nov. 8 COS finished 11th out of 18 teams in a field of 91 women and 120 men.
Blake Chitwood, a Yreka High graduate, led the team for two years. He won the Golden Valley Conference XC individual title last year and was second this year.
Chitwood finished 23rd with a four-mile time of 21:28 in the NorCal event. Cross country courses differ in terrain and hilliness, so comparisons aren’t always apt, but Chitwood ran within 22 seconds of his personal best. He qualified for a beth at the CCCAA Cross Country Championships in Fresno on Saturday, Nov. 23, after narrowly missing earning a State berth last year.
Ryan Hering, a Mount Shasta High graduate, was 49th with a time of 22:17. Logan VanSickle was 53rd with a time of 22:29, as he improved through the year.
“As a coaching staff, we are just extremely proud of the effort all the athletes put in this season,” COS head XC coach Katie Woodward said.
At the NorCal Championships, it was first announced that Hering was the 8th individual qualifier out of 10 that had earned a State berth. Later at the event, Woodward said they were told that a mistake had been made in the scoring and that Hering was 10th but still qualified for State. Unfortunately, on Wednesday, Woodward received an email that another athlete had been missed and Hering was actually 11th, which meant he will not be going to State.
Woodward said it was hard to tell him the news, but was impressed with how he took the sudden turn of events.
"I am so crushed for him," she said. "But he seems to be handling it well... He's a very mature kid."
Hope Dodgen, who made State last season, battled a pesky Achilles injury this fall. She finished 41st with a 20:51 5K time in the women’s race.
Richardson said that Dodgen just missed earning a berth to State, and ranked as the 11th individual runner. The top 10 individual runners came away with a berth to State.
“We are sad for her but are hopeful she will be better for track season,” Richardson said. Miranda Linker ran more than a minute faster than her early season times, clocking a 21:35 for 56th place.
COS Finishers Men four-mile
23. Blake Chitwood 21:28
49. Ryan Hering 22:17
53. Logan VanSickle 22:29
110. Colby Conteras 25:55
118. Greyson Morrison 27:21
41. Hope Dodgen 20:51
56. Miranda Linker 21:35