WESTPORT — Noah Philips of Northwest Christian edged Ilwaco’s Daniel Quintana by four seconds to defend his Pacific League cross-country title on a course by Ocosta High School.

Phillips won the League race by 27 seconds last season, when his team had the race’s top three runners. Phillips also took second at the state tourney last year. Quintana, a first-year runner who has won six events this year, gave him a close race Oct. 24, the first time the two ran head-to-head.

“They stayed together until about the last 600 (meters), when Noah pulled ahead,” coach Sarah Taylor said.

Phillips finished the 2.95-mile race in 14:53, Quintana in 14:57. Ilwaco’s Daniel Whiting, fourth place last year, took ninth on Thursday at 16:04. The course took runners through grass and some small hills behind the high school.

Estella Sheldon finished sixth in a field of 30 at 20:26 as Ilwaco’s girls team placed second to Northwest Christian, a feat the boys’ team also matched. Emma Brundage, coming off her best race of her career in a third-place performance at Adna, backed it up with an 11th-place 21:07 in Westport. Alex Carper was 15th (22:04), Tazlina Thomas took 17th (22:18). Nisa Mendoza contributed to Ilwaco’s team score with a 20th-place 20:45, followed one spot and fourteen seconds later by Kaytlenn Whelden.

For the boys’ team Tristan Trudell followed three spots after Whiting, taking 12th in a field of 45 at 16:47. Colton McNabb was 18th (17:31) and Brady Rasumussen 20th (17:57) to help Ilwaco edge Life Christian by four points for the number two spot. Northwest, which had three of the top four runners and six of the top 11, cruised to first place in team points.

Logan Roush finished in 18:44, followed a second later by Logan Simonson. Daniela Mendez finished in 25:28 for the girls’ team.

The District Championship race will be Nov. 2 at Onalaska. All Ilwaco varsity runners will run there; the league title race stands alone and was not a playoff.

In the girls’ junior-varsity division, Alaina Judd finished in 26:14, Ashley Chang in 30:19.

Representing Ilwaco in the boys’ JV: Brendan Chabot (19:29), Griffen Cutting (19:33) Adrienn Gomez-Sanchez (19:54), Aidan Auttelet (20:17), Miguel Hernandez (20:51), Malachi Taylor (21:23) and Patrick Reddy (25:16).

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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