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Friday, February 23, 2024
Feb. 23, 2024

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Charlotte Wilson of Union, Cohen Butler of Camas cruise to 4A GSHL cross country district titles

Union boys, Camas girls claim team victories

By , Columbian Sports Editor
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BATTLE GROUND — On a pleasantly warm afternoon at Lewisville Park, Charlotte Wilson and Cohen Butler put the competition on ice.

Both were runaway winners at the Class 4A Greater St. Helens League cross country championships on Wednesday.

Wilson, a senior from Union, took an early lead and never let it go. She covered the 5,000 meter course in 18 minutes, 53 seconds to win by more than 30 seconds.

“I wanted to go out pretty hard today,” Wilson said. “Last year I came in third and wanted to have a comeback from that.”

Wilson, who opened season with a win at the Steve Maas Run-a-Ree, has been consistently under 19 minutes this year. Her performance Wednesday has her feeling confident about the two races to come — the Westside Classic regional meet on Oct. 28 and the state championships on Nov. 4.

“Mentally I feel a lot more positive toward how regionals will go and how state will go,” Wilson said. “After this race it has kind of locked in what I already hoped was true.”

Butler, a sophomore from Camas, spent the race’s first two miles right behind Union’s Bradley Harris. But when the course’s lone significant hill arrived, Butler kicked into a higher gear.

“I had a plan for the race,“ Butler said. “I was going to stick behind (Harris) the whole race and then catch him at the hill. I executed it perfectly and ended up taking home the win.”

Butler pulled away to win by 22 seconds over Harris. His time of 15:59 was a personal best by nine seconds and checked off his goal of breaking 16 minutes.

“I haven’t really raced well in the past couple of weeks,” Butler said. “I’ve been sick. To be able to race that well today was definitely awesome. It’s a little confidence booster for myself and also for my team.”

Led by Harris, Union won its first boys team championship since 2011. Liam Wendell placed fourth, Sabin Kotsovos sixth, Grayson Caldwell seventh and Hyrum Lacher eighth.

That gave the Titans 27 points, 20 better than second-place Camas, which had won the last eight titles.

The girls team competition was as close as could be. Led by Eliisa Marshall’s second-place finish, Camas edged Union by one point to earn the title for the 11th time in the past 12 seasons.

Kate Westfall, Marilyn Green, Bethany McKinstry and Eva McGeachy placed eighth through 11th, respectively, to give the Papermakers 40 points.

Skyview’s Daphne Evenson placed third as the Storm finished third in the team standings with 45 points.