Ashland senior Nathan Stein did a little more than just defend his home field on Wednesday night.
He walked out and also won by a pretty sizable margin.
Stein continued his strong start to the 2022 season with a win at the Ashland-hosted State of Jefferson Invitational at Oak Knoll Golf Course, finishing in a time of 15 minutes, 51.69 seconds.
“He ran well,” said Ashland’s head coach Karl Pryor.
“We knew Crater’s big guns weren’t coming today so he was pretty controlled for the first mile and a half I’d say. Then we had a plan where he would take it down a step and make a foray up the hill leading to the clubhouse. We had a feeling today was going to be a good day for him as he had a good day at the Northwest Classic over the weekend. We know that with his level of fitness – and he’s in great shape right now – he was able to grab the people that were with him.”
Crater’s Lindsay Siebert won the girls’ race in equally impressive fashion, with her time of 19:24.49 just over 30 seconds ahead of teammate and runner-up Emma West in 19:59.75.
The Comets took four of the girls’ top eight, with Haylee Baldwin (20:37.12) finishing fourth and Kara Loftus (21:45.89) finishing eighth.
Ashland placed three runners in the top 10, with Nikaela Apilada (20:42.64) rounding out fifth, Violet Herring (21:57.44) ninth and Stella Mason (22:05.00) 10th.
“We were super happy with how the day went,” said Pryor. “The rain has stopped, the thunderstorms have stopped – which we were happy about.”
Stein placed fourth at the Northwest Classic at Lane Community College in Eugene over the weekend.
On Wednesday he built on that to finish second over 21 seconds ahead of Crater’s Tayvon Kitchen (16:12.27). Yreka’s Henry Baun (16:28.99) was third while Trinity’s Jackson Poburko (17:36.12) was fourth and Crater’s Ryder Hvall (17:40.65) was fifth.
Comet teammates Caleb Barsalou (17:47.16) and Aiden Huggins (17:52.95) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
“I think he ran really well today,” said Pryor of Stein. “Today was more of a practice for him so he ran the race and had some 400s after the race that he did on track. It’s nice for him to defend his home game and do well in State of J, but we’re looking for bigger things for him.”
The Crater boys — who didn’t include top runners like Tyrone Gorze, Josiah Tostenson, Jeffrey Hellman and Caleb Doddington after running at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic in Southern California late last week — finished top of the teams’ standings with 31 points . South Medford (55 points) was second while Ashland (77) was third.
The Comets also captured the girls’ team title with 24 points. Only four teams had enough runners to qualify for the team classification, with Ashland (50) finishing second, Yreka (53) third and South Medford (103) fourth.
South Medford had three runners rounding out the top 10 in the boys’ race, with Devon Scott (17:55.71), Eli Dixon (18:03.12) and Evan Lukish (17:59.03) finishing back-to-back.
The Panthers’ best-placed girls was Cyerra Mejia (24:31.58) in 20th place.
TEAM RESULTS: Crater 31, South Medford 55, Ashland 77, Yreka 93, Trinity 106, Illinois Valley 168.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 20): 1, Nathan Stein, A, 15:51.69; 2, Tayvon Kitchen, C, 16:12.27; 3, Henry Baun, Y, 16:28.99; 4, Jackson Poburko, T, 17:36.12; 5, Ryder Hvall, C, 17:40.65; 6, Caleb Barsalou, C, 17:47.16; 7, Aiden Huggins, C, 17:52.95; 8, Devon Scott, SM, 17:55.71; 9, Eli Dixon, SM, 17:55.75; 10, Evan Lukish, SM, 17:59.03.
11, Grant Headley, C, 18:01.55; 12, Ivar Hokanson, C, 18:01.80; 13, Richard Parks, SM, 18:03.12; 14, Theo Janeway, A, 18:07.66; 15, Rowan Nichols, SM, 18:08.46; 16, Adam LeClair, SM, 18:10.23; 17, Cole Beneventi, A, 18:14.04; 18, Benjamin Trujillo, Y, 18:39.48; 19, Jeremiah Cordle, Eagle Point, 18:41.83; 20, Victor Lujan, Y, 18:42.48.
TEAM RESULTS: Crater 24, Ashland 50, Yreka 53, South Medford 103.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (Top 20): 1, Lindsay Siebert, C, 19:24.49; 2, Emma West, C, 19:59.75; 3, Augustine Mylan, Y, 20:26.65; 4, Haylee Baldwin, C, 20:37.12; 5, Nikaela Apilada, A, 20:42.64; 6, Mattie Whipple, Y, 20:47.71; Elizabeth Yokel, Etna, 21:17.87; 8, Kara Loftus, C, 21:45.89; 9, Violet Herring, A, 21:57.44; 10, Stella Mason, A, 22:05.00.
11, Isabel Kapule, C, 22:13.93; 12, Mackenzie Schmidt, A, 22:29.30; 13, Ayla Dance, C, 22:43.81; 14, Jenna Justice, Etna, 22:46.31; 15, Zoe Ehrlich, Y, 23:01.78; 16, Karli Bettencourt, C, 23:14.05; 17, Ava Shackleford, Y, 23:19.03; 18, Carlotta Christie, Y, 23:23.60; 19, Annika Wells, A, 23:26.23; 20, Cyerra Mejia, SM, 24:31.58.
INVITE RANGER RICK IV: At Klamath Falls, North Medford senior Reese Meager led wire to wire to take first place with a personal best of 19 seconds, 37 seconds at Moore Park.
Meager’s previous best of 19:58.4 was equaled last season at the Southwest Conference Championships, a race where she placed 10th.
The girls from the north place five runners in the top eight to take first place in the team classification. Eleanor Nichol was third, Juliana Scull sixth, Marisela Villa seventh and Maritza Villa eighth.
In the boys, Elijah Zavala finished third in 17:07, narrowly beating teammate Logan Huffman, who finished fourth.
SHELDON 3, SOUTH MEDFORD 0: Eugene ended South Medford’s four-game winning streak in the opening Southwest Conference, with defending champion Sheldon celebrating a 31-29, 25-18, 25-15 win.
South eldest Katie Clevenger led with 18 kills and 19 digs, while senior colleague Cameron Christian had 15 digs and an ace.
Senior setter Baylee Davis had 33 assists, seven grabs and two aces, and senior Naomi Johnson added five kills and an ace for the Panthers (9-3, 4-1 SWC), who stayed at the top of the table despite losing to the Irish.
Sheldon improved to 10-3 overall and 3-1 in league play,
ROGUE VALLEY ADVENTIST 3, CHILOQUIN 0: In Chiloquin, senior Emma Bischoff finished a team high with 19 kills and 13 digs to help Rogue Valley Adventist to a 25-15, 25-16, 25-17 win to perfectly stay in Mountain Valley League play.
Fellow senior Michaela Porter had 10 kills and two blocks and Isabell Zamora finished with 11 kills for the Red Tail Hawks (10-1, 5-0 MVL).
RVA senior Destinee Quattrocelli contributed 15 assists and five grabs, while freshman Naomi Jackson added 14 assists.
Ashland’s Nathan Stein runs alone near the finish to win the State of Jefferson Invitational at Oak Knoll Golf Course in Ashland on Wednesday. Andy Atkinson/MailTribune
Ashland’s Nathan Stein (left to right), Crater’s Tayvon Kitchen and Yreka’s Henry Baun take a tight turn around a tree during the boy’s varsity race during the State of Jefferson Invitational at Oak Knoll Golf Course in Ashland Wednesday . Andy Atkinson/MailTribune
Ashland’s Nathan Stein (right) takes a step to pass Crater’s Tayvon Kitchen midway into the boy’s varsity race during the State of Jefferson Invitational at Oak Knoll Golf Course in Ashland on Wednesday. Andy Atkinson/MailTribune
Lindsay Siebert von Crater pushes to the finish to win the girls’ varsity race at the State of Jefferson Invitational at Oak Knoll Golf Course in Ashland on Wednesday. Andy Atkinson/MailTribune
Crater’s Lindsay Siebert (384) and Emma West lead the girls’ collegiate race Wednesday at the State of Jefferson Invitational at Oak Knoll Golf Course in Ashland. Andy Atkinson/MailTribune