EUGENE — Josie Lonai and Susie Romero-diaz both finished in the top 15 here at Lane Community College Saturday in the Oregon state Class 4A girls cross country championships.
“It was a great race,” Mac-Hi coach John Milleson said. “It was a great day for Eastern Oregon runners and Josie and Susie were part of that.”
Lonai came home 11th out of 104 runners and Romero-diaz finished 14th. Siuslaw’s Katy Potter claimed the individual title with a run of 18 minutes and 56 seconds over the 5,000 meter course.
In the team competition, La Salle took the title with a score of 54 points.
Lonai turned a 20:03 to earn her 11th place finish. Lonai improved three spots from her 14th place finish in 2011 and just missed a top 10 finish. Ridgeview’s Dakota Steen edged Lonai for 10th as Steen broke the tape in 19:59.
“Josie was in the hunt the whole way,” Milleson said. “It was a nice warm day, maybe too warm at 65 degrees when the race started. Josie was up in fourth for awhile. She ran a great race but not a good time, but it was better than her time here last year, but not as good as her district championship run.”
Lonai’s last mile turned out to be the difference.
“The first mile was fast,” Lonai said. “I felt good for the first two miles, but I died in the third.
“I like to run in the rain and cold,” Lonai added. “The pace was better than district. I’m a little disappointed as I thought I could be in the top 10.”
Romero-diaz followed Lonai home as Romero-diaz turned a 20:27 to finish 14th.
For the Pioneers, the future looks bright as two sophomores ran to 11th and 14th place in the state meet and will return.
“It was a very competitive race,” Milleson concluded. “A great way to end the season.”