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Runners compete at 17th annual Border Clash

Chistine Mcmanigal, Staff Reporter
Originally published December 18, 2015

At Nike’s 17th annual Border Clash race, Washington dominated Oregon 27-29, winning it’s fifteenth title on Nov. 22.

Oregon and Washington are known for their ongoing rivalry in sports. While Oregon is known for its professional and NCAA runners, Washington has beaten Oregon fifteen consecutive times in the high school Border Clash race.

The race consisted of the top 40 male runners and top 40 female runners from Washington and Oregon meeting at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. There, both states’ teams competed in a 5K race. Participants in the race are determined by their finishes at their respective state cross-country championships.

From the cross-country team, seniors Jamie Smith, Owen Buck and junior James Konugres participated in the race. This year is the first time all three runners competed in the annual race.

“Everyone wants to go to Border Clash,” Smith said. “It’s fun and neat because there is a lot of pressure leading up to State and a lot of anxiety around State. I didn’t put as much weight on this race, but I learned a lot from being there. I ended up not doing very well but I enjoyed meeting a lot of other fast girls and running with them.” Smith took 61st out of 80 with a time of 19:55.4.

On the boys team, Buck took 28th and Konugres, 33rd out of 80. Buck placed higher than he was expected to.

“For running, especially in distance categories, Washington has been very successful for the high school division,” Buck said. “Oregon has some really talented guys down there but there’s just extreme depth in running for Washington which isn’t found in many other states.”

Buck found that the whole season is geared towards the state meets as well. “I wasn’t really thinking past the state meet because as a team we did very well and [Border Clash] was a cool opportunity that I wasn’t expecting to have. It was a cool last thing to do as a senior,” Buck said.

Buck looks forward to running in college at the Division 1 level. This last cross-country race was another way to help himself prepare for his future. However, track and field is more of Buck’s forte. “Doing as well as I did though definitely was a confidence booster,” he said. Buck had managed to beat one of Washington’s state division champs at Border Clash.

Buck and Smith will be leaving the cross-country team this year, however Konugres will remain behind to continue his high school career. “I definitely want to qualify for Border Clash again [next year] and even hopefully make Nationals,” Konugres said.

Konugres isn’t too disappointed that he will be losing his teammates, “There are a lot of other juniors on the team that are on the rise as runners, so I’m looking forward to next season.”

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Runners compete at 17th annual Border Clash