Velarde PR’s, DeMasters has season’s best time at Florence

By Gini Davis

The Creswell Chronicle

Freshman Jackson Velarde set a personal record and junior Freya DeMasters posted a season’s best time as the Creswell Bulldogs competed in the 5k JV race at the Woahink Lake Invitational, hosted by Siuslaw on Sept. 30 and held at East Woahink Lake, Honeyman State Park, in Florence.

Devin Schrader paced the Bulldogs in the boys’ 5k, finishing 87th of 208 runners in 21:37.68. Josiah Lee finished 98th in 21:49.66, Seth Handman finished 158th in 23:13.80 and Velarde finished 168 in a personal-best 23:54.29.

“I felt tired, but I liked the course,” Velarde said.

“I felt like I could’ve done better, but for the most part I did the best I could for that day – and it was a tough course, so I think I did pretty good,” Handman said.

“It was one of those more mental than physical struggles; the hills definitely slowed me down,” Lee said, adding that his goal was to “try to go as fast as I could up and to maintain that pace and try not to slow down.”

When he saw the finish line approaching and his time was 20 minutes, “I realized I wasn’t going to make PR – but that’s when I went as fast as I could for the rest of the race, and that paid off….” The payoff, Lee said, was edging out Ramiro Ramirez of Siuslaw – a runner with whom he had traded spots during the race.

“It was a fun course – bad timewise, but kind of what I thought it would be like,” Lee added.

Freya DeMasters led Creswell in the girls’ 5k, finishing 39th of 126 runners in a season’s-best 25:22.44. Morgan Janshen finished 110th in 30:34.82 and Emily Garcia-Anson finished 118th in 32:17.73.

“The team rounded out a hard week of training on a challenging course,” said Creswell Head Coach Juli Accurso. “Woahink is a really technical course with a lot of twists and turns, hills, and even a section of hay bales to jump over. I am really proud of everyone’s effort, especially considering that they are in the middle of a training block.”

This Saturday, the Dawgs will race at the Harrier Classic in Albany.