The OSAA cross country state championships will be held Saturday for all classifications at Lane Community College in Eugene.
The Mid-Valley will be represented across the classifications in girls and boys.
Here is a look at the 10 Mid-Valley cross country runners to keep an eye on during the state meet.
1: Jack Meier, West Salem (Class 6A)
The West Salem junior has the state’s best 6A time of 14:46.3, which he ran on Oct. 26 at the Central Valley Conference championships when he won the individual title.
Last season at the Mountain Valley Conference championships, Meier ran a 16:28.2. He’s improved his time by almost 2 minutes in the past year.
Meier said he was inspired by watching his younger sister, Avery, win the district meet.
“Having my sister win her race individually motivated me and filled me with excitement for my race,” he said. “I was so excited for her and I know she has been working for this all year and I was so proud to see her win that race and PR by over a minute in the process. Getting to be conference champs together is amazing, and it motivates both of us to want more.”
The next closest person to Meier at the 6A level is Central Catholic’s Wesley Shipsey, who has a time of 14:50.8.
Meier has a chance to be the Titans’ first boys cross country state champion since Ahmed Muhumed, who won consecutive state titles in 2015 and 2016.
“My goal for state is to go out there and give it everything I got. I want to help the team accomplish our goal of winning state, and I want to put us in the best spot to do that,” Meier said. “I know this is most of the varsity team’s last state meet, and I want to do my part in making it a good one for all the seniors on our team.”
2: Brady Bliven, West Salem (Class 6A)
The Titans’ senior has the fifth-best time in the state for 6A at 14:57.1.
Bliven had that time at the CVC championship meet, where he finished second behind teammate Meier.
At last year’s MVC championships, Bliven ran a 17:01.3, so he improved by more than 2 minutes in the past year.
He has a shot to earn a high placing at this year’s state meet.
3: Avery Meier, West Salem (Class 6A)
Fresh off a CVC individual title, the West Salem freshman is in a strong position for the state meet.
Meier has the seventh-best 6A time in the state at 18:16.4, which she ran when she won the conference championship.
“It is so fun getting to be conference champs with my brother,” she said. “I have loved watching him run and continually improve in high school. He is impressive and makes those around him want to work harder.”
The top time at the 6A level is 17:38.1, held by Jesuit’s Maura O’Scannlain.
Meier has a chance to place well at state.
“My goal for state is to be smart with pacing and listening to my coaches and their strategies,” she said. “I want to be able to compete with the other teams and play my role on the team, as well as representing West Salem High School in the best way possible.”
4: Sara Abbott, Sprague (Class 6A)
The Olympians’ senior has the 10th-best 6A time in the state heading into the state meet.
Abbott ran her season-best time of 18:23.2 on Sept. 16.
She finished third at the CVC meet with a time of 18:33.8.
Abbott’s personal record is 17:53.4, which she ran her junior season at the Harrier Classic.
She has a chance to have a top-10 finish at state.
5: Nelida Dalgas, North Salem (Class 6A)
The North Salem freshman is coming off a strong CVC performance where she placed second.
In that race, she ran a personal-best 18:24.8 in the CVC championships, and that time ranks 15th in the state at the 6A level.
She’s been improving her times all season, and is peaking at the right time.
She could have a strong showing at state to cap her freshman season.
6: Logan Schwartz, West Salem (Class 6A)
The West Salem senior is coming off a personal-best performance at the CVC championships.
Schwartz ran a personal-record 15:25.3 to finish third at the district meet, and that time is the 16th-best in the state at the 6A level.
At last year’s MVC meet, he ran a 17:50.7, so he has improved his time year-over-year by more than 2 minutes.
He should help the Titans in the team race.
7: Gitte Lonigan, West Salem (Class 6A)
The West Salem sophomore is coming off a fourth-place finish at the CVC meet.
Lonigan set a personal record Sept. 24 at the Nike Portland XC at 18:54.1.
In the district meet, she ran a 19:04.8.
Her personal-best time ranks 34th in the state at the 6A level. She could improve on her 36th-place finish last season at state.
8: Garrett Fenske, West Salem (Class 6A)
The West Salem sophomore is coming off a personal-best performance in the CVC meet.
Fenske placed fourth in the CVC meet with a personal-record time of 15:51.5.
That time is 36th in the state at the 6A level this season.
He should easily improve on his state time from last season, which was 17:49.1.
9: Kelsey Rodli, Dallas (Class 5A)
The Dallas freshman placed fourth at the Mid-Willamette Conference championships.
I’m that meet, she had a personal-best time of 18:56.3.
That time is the 10th-best time in 5A this season.
The best 5A time is 17:24.4, by Crescent Valley sophomore Emily Wisniewski.
Rodli has a chance to be a top-10 finisher at state.
10: Haley Butenschoen, Stayton (Class 4A)
The Stayton sophomore is coming off a second-place finish in the Oregon West Conference championships.
She has a personal-best time of 20:03.1, which she set Sept. 16.
That time is the ninth-best in 4A this season.
The best time is 19:08.8 by La Grande’s Emily Tubbs.
Butenschoen has a chance to place in the top 10 at state.