Cottage Grove High School

Track and Field/Cross Country


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Deadline for apparel order is Friday, March 8th.

First Day Information

Registration is Open for Track and Field!

How to get started:

Week 1 - Season Information and Links

Welcome to Cottage Grove Track and Field 2024

We are excited to get rolling with another season!  Last year was one of the best track and field seasons in school history and we can't wait to build on that success.  Our goal is to provide a positive experience while developing skills to become successful athletes, students and people.  Each year we have 80-100 student athletes with a wide range of experience and skills.  We do not cut any student athletes from the program and expect each athlete to show up every day ready to put in the work required to improve.  While many perceive track and field to be an individual sport, we place an enormous emphasis on the team aspect.  We are excited for what each individual will be bringing to our team this year!  Here is a bit of information that will get us started. 

Please be sure to share this information with other family members.  If you have additional questions after reading this please communicate with your student athlete first, and encourage them to talk with the coaches.  One of our goals is to help develop responsible young adults by promoting communication between coaches, athletes and parents.  By including the student athletes in this process it helps to develop responsibility, and also cuts down on excessive texts, phone calls, and emails.  Also, please feel free to have questions ready for the parent meeting on Friday, March 1st.

On our first day of practice athletes will be given hard copies of a few items, but we want to make sure and keep parents/guardians in the loop.  Below is some information as well as links to some resources that will help you through the season. 

1.  This website will be updated weekly on Sunday afternoons.  Thank you for bookmarking this site and making it a habit to check here for weekly updates!

2. We push out more time sensitive information using several methods in addition to the website, so please be sure to follow us where it is most convenient for you.

3.   A link to a copy/printable version of our detailed schedule is here. TIMES/DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.  The most up to date schedule is always online at athletic.net (see #5 below). Please note the key at the bottom of the printable schedule as not all athletes will be competing at every meet. 

4.   There will be a parent meeting on Friday, March 1st at 6:15pm in the gym.  All spring sports will meet briefly and then we will have a track and field meeting.  Please make every effort to attend as we have some new information for this season.

5.   Athletic.net is the website that hosts all high school track and field meet results.  Sometimes meets have live results and other times they are posted shortly after the meet ends.

6.  Our team expectations are handed out to athletes on the first day of practice, but here is the link as well.  This document is loaded with information and includes a Q and A section.  Athletes are required to return the signed sheet before competing in the first meet.

7.  We will check out uniforms to each athlete for the season, but they also have the option to purchase additional apparel.  Order forms will be available for athletes to purchase personal apparel, but it is not required.  Money and the order forms should be returned to Lena Twyman in the main office by Friday, March 8thForms may also be accessed and printed HERE.  After the deadline on March 8th, the items will be printed and shipped to the high school for pickup within 3-4 weeks. 

8.  There will be no practice on Friday, March 29th, but we will have practice on the first four days of spring break and practice time will be at 9am. Please see team expectations if you will not be able to attend. Any questions or concerns regarding this will be addressed at the parent meeting.

Important upcoming dates in addition to meets:

March 1st: Parent meeting at 6:15pm in the gym.

March 21st: Team pictures at 3:45pm (packets will be handed out at practice prior to this day).

March 22nd: Team potluck and Squad Competition following practice.

That should be a good start for now.  We're also looking forward to addressing any other questions or concerns at our parent meeting on the 1st.  Thank you for all you do to support the student athletes as well as the Cottage Grove Track and Field program.

Go Lions!

Ricky Knutson

Head Track and Field Coach

ricky.knutson@slane.k12.or.us

Top 10 Moments of 2023

(Select arrow on bottom of each picture for caption)

#1:  STATE CHAMPION!  Carter goes undefeated and wins the state championship in cross country.  The XC state championship is unique. No weight classes, top athletes are not spread out in multiple events, no favorable tournament matchups after a top seed was eliminated by another team, no home field advantage, and no rankings that determine matchups. Carter stepped to the starting line against EVERY top 4A runner in the state and won. Carter became the first CGHS cross country runner since Dyrol Burleson in 1957 to accomplish this feat.  His time of 15:49 is the fastest time ever by a CGHS runner at the state championship (The 5k distance has been contested at state starting in 1975). 

#2:  ALL IN. The CG boys track team takes third and wins a state meet trophy for the first time since 1977.  Although Brennen managed to score 21 points by himself, all eight CG athletes that qualified for state scored points and earned all state honors.  Eli, Hayes, Brennen and Jaden all scored in multiple events, while Tyler, Brycen, Carter and Wyatt all stood on the podium as well. It was a special moment after finishing outside of the trophies by one point in 2022.   

#3: JACK OF ALL TRADES. Brennen Murphy scored 21 points in three events at the state track and field meet.  Brennen also qualified for the state in the high jump, but withdrew so that he could focus on his strongest events.  Brennen’s 21 points is the most  scored by a CGHS athlete since Jacob Woods scored 28 in 2018.  Brennen is one of the top track and field athletes of all time at CGHS.  He ranks #2 in the 200m and 400m, #12 in the triple jump, and is also on the list for the 100m and high jump.  Brennen has continued his track and field career and is competing at Western Oregon University.  

#4:  CG SCORES 14 POINTS IN THE 3K AT STATE! Jaden Owens and Carter Bengtson placed second and third in the 3000m at the state championship.  While it is not uncommon to have multiple athletes from the same school in the final of an event at the state meet, it is not typical to have two of this caliber at the same time.  A 2-3 finish at state is rare and it may be the only time it has happened in CGHS history. Jaden and Carter finished the season ranked #4 and #5 on the all time CGHS 3000m list.  Carter looks to keep moving up the list this spring.  

#5:  MAKING HERSTORY. For the first time in school history the girls cross country team won the district championship.  The Sky-Em was the toughest 4A league in 2023 with three of the top eight teams in the state. The CG girls entered the meet ranked third in the league behind Junction City and North Bend, but they erased a 15 point deficit after the first mile to overcome both teams for the win.  The girls followed up the next week by taking 6th place at state which equals the best finish ever by a CGHS girls cross country team.  The team accomplished this despite never being at full strength this season.  All the girls return next fall along with some strong additions joining from Lincoln Middle School.  

#6:  GIANT KILLERS. The boys track and field team repeated as district champions by defeating the heavy favorite AGAIN. Although Marsfield was the favorite with North Bend not far behind, the Lions knew a team effort would give them a shot.  As usual, the Cottage Grove athletes showed up when it mattered most, avoided major mistakes, and put together a nearly flawless performance over two days.  Top athletes held form while many others moved up to grab unexpected points in order to earn the win.  It’s the second time in school history that the boys have won back to back district titles.  The most recent district titles for the boys include 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022, and 2023.

#7:  REBUILD? NOPE, RELOADED! The boys cross country team defends their district title.  After losing six of the top seven varsity runners from last season nobody outside of Cottage Grove expected the Lions to be in the hunt.  For the first time in school history Cottage Grove won back to back district titles in cross country.  All seven varsity runners earned all league honors as they battled to overcome a 20 point deficit at the mile mark and defeat Marist.  The seventh place finish at the state meet also marks the third year in a row that the Lions have finished the season in the top 10 in the state.  The last such streak for CGHS occurred from 1957 to 1959.  The entire boys varsity team returns next fall with additional runners looking to break into the lineup.



#8:  DYNAMIC DUO! Maddison France and Ella Cardwell paced the girls cross country program back to the state championship.  After finishing second and third at the district championship Maddison and Ella both earned all state honors at the state championship.  It is the first time in 15 years that two Lady Lions have earned all state recognition at the same state meet.  The last duo to accomplish this was Patricia Guterrez and Rita Krantz in 2008.  Both Maddison and Ella return next fall, and several other returning runners look to potentially add their own names to the list of CGHS all state harriers.  

#9:  TWICE AS NICE!  For the first time in school history the boys and girls cross country programs won the district championship in the same year.  It was the second consecutive year that both programs qualified for the state championship in the same season, which also marked the second time in school history that this occurred.  Cottage Grove High School is one of only four 4A programs in the state with both boys and girls finishing in the top 7 at the 2023 state championship.  Give credit to these athletes for putting in the work. It's not an accident when both programs are finishing the season fighting for top spots. 

#10: COED DISTRICT CHAMPS! The Cottage Grove boys and girls track and field programs defended their title as coed district champions.  For the second time in school history the Lions collected back to back coed district titles.  Since the inception of the Sky-Em coed award in 2013 the Lions have won the award six times (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022, 2023).  Keep in mind that 2020 was canceled due to COVID and the 2021 season was shortened.  It is always an honor when the boys and girls combine forces to be recognized as the best overall track and field program in the Sky-Em League. 

STATE CHAMPION!

It has been 66 years since a Cottage Grove cross country athlete has been on top of the podium at the state championship.  On Saturday Carter followed in the footsteps of Dyrol Burleson by winning the state championship by over 40 seconds.  If you don't know who Dyrol Burleson is then you should pause here and do a quick Google search to learn more about the two time Olympian.  While it is often easy to write off successful athletes as just talented, that would be a huge disservice to the work that Carter has put in over the last few years.  Carter spent his first two seasons at CGHS learning from and chasing Jaden Owens, who is also one of the all time greats at CGHS.  After finishing in sixth place at the state cross country meet last fall, and third in the 3000m last spring at the state track and field championship, Carter took his training to another level.  His desire to improve and his commitment to doing the actual work it takes to get better has been what sets Carter apart from the rest.  While Carter may have crossed the finish line first at LCC on Saturday, the win was in the works during June, July, and August when Carter was adding up the miles.  Carter understands the importance of not only the running, but all of the ancillary things that make a big difference, such as strength and mobility work.  Even more impressive is that Carter managed to fit in all the training while also being an integral part of the soccer team and excelling in the classroom.  All of those miles resulted in a huge boost in confidence as he stepped up to the starting line in September, and the rest is history.  After nine races during the course of the season where a total of 822 athletes tried to get to the finish line first, Carter stood on top of the podium as a state champion!  Congratulations Carter, we're honored to have you represent our team, school, and community.

Boys and Girls XC Set Foundation for 2024 Trophy Runs

Boys Team Recap:  The boys team entered the state meet ranked #7 and they ended up taking 7th place, a one place improvement on the team finish last year.  While it is the first time the boys team has had a streak of three top 10 finishes at state since 1959 there was a definite feeling that the athletes wanted more.  This is a huge testament to the work that the athletes have put in and how far the bar has been raised in our program.  Most people outside of Cottage Grove did not expect to see the team back at state after having to replace six of the top seven guys on the varsity team, let alone upset Marist to win a district title.  It was a steep learning curve for the boys team as most of them experienced racing at the varsity level for the first time.  Carter, Frank and Easton have established the benchmark for what off season training should look like.  If the rest of the guys follow suit this summer then the team could look to contend for a state trophy next fall.  With some strong JV runners on our team this season and some passionate incoming freshmen next year, the varsity team is going to be a tough team to make next fall.  The 2023 season was a massive success in terms of gaining experience and taking a giant leap toward the future.  Congratulations to all the guys for a successful season!

Girls Team Recap:  The girls team entered the state meet ranked #6 and ended up placing 6th, just 10 points out of 4th place and a state trophy.  Although 6th place is a tie for the best finish in CG girls XC history, the girls had hoped for more when the season started.   The girls team faced some different challenges this season with only one girl athlete able to make it through all of the workouts this season without any significant modifications.  There were doubts at times that we would have a full squad on the starting line at the end of the season.  Despite a variety of health and medical obstacles the girls still managed to pull together a near perfect race at districts to upset Junction City for the district title, the FIRST GIRLS XC DISTRICT TITLE IN SCHOOL HISTORY!  Facing a couple of additional hiccups the week of the state meet the girls rallied to a 6th place finish.  The girls will return a veteran squad next season with three seniors that are not planning to leave the state meet empty handed in 2024.  The girls program will also be transitioning from not always fielding a full team on race day to a roster that will be challenging to make with the addition of several incoming freshmen next season.  Congratulations to the girls on another season for the history books!

Cottage Grove is one of four 4A schools that had both boys and girls programs finish in the top seven at the state meet.  These athletes have established a culture of hard work and high expectations for themselves and their teammates.  Congratulations to all athletes for making Cottage Grove one of the strongest 4A programs in the state. 

Cross Country 2023 District Championship Recap

It couldn't have been scripted any better.  From the perfect racing weather to runners executing race plans with surgical precision, it was another historic day for the Lion harriers.  The Lions spent the last month honing their racing tactics on slower and more challenging courses, and they expected some big improvements on Thursday.  However, they also knew that fast times would come as a result of putting themselves in the best positions possible to help their team.  The district championship is all about place rather than time.

Carter is the District Champion:

Carter became the first individual district champion for the CG boys since Jimmy Talley notched a win in 2018.  While the first mile was right on pace for Carter it proved to be too much for the two runners that attempted to try and hang with him.  Carter maintained the grueling pace and powered to the win by over 50 seconds while also claiming a 1 second personal best.  We believe he may have also set a state record for fastest time from the finish line to the porta potty.  Next week Carter will race with the hopes of becoming the first Cottage Grove athlete to win a XC state title since Dyrol Burleson won the 1.8 mile version of the race in 1957.  

Girls Race Recap:

The girls entered the meet ranked #3 in the league behind North Bend and the defending champions from Junction City.  It would be a fight for the two state qualifying team spots.  After the first mile it looked like the race may play out according to form as the ladies trailed North Bend by six points and Junction City by 15 points.  However, the CG runners had paced the first mile exactly as planned and they had positioned themselves to move up.  Maddison waited for the perfect moment to break free of the chase pack, while Ella trailed the pack closely enough so that she would be ready to pick off runners as they dropped.  Maddison powered her way to a second place finish as Ella devoured the four person pack to steal third place.  Allison fought some stomach issues during the race, but still managed a strong hold on her position and finished with a 23 second season best.  Hailey trailed two key North Bend runners by roughly 20 meters at the halfway point, but less than a mile later she had her own 20 meter lead on them.  She built on that lead late in the race to earn a 28 second PR.  Jordynn raced spectacularly after facing some challenges with training during the season.  As she moved up seven places after the mile she clocked a seven second PR, but more impressive was that it was nearly two minutes faster than her best time this season.  After having to take one month off to problem solve an injury issue Bella courageously chose to put herself out there to help her team.  Late in the race she debated stepping off the course due to pain she was experiencing, but chose to continue knowing the score would be close and that a tie breaker would come down to the sixth runner.  Zoey jumped in to help after spending the season with the soccer team.  If something would have happened with our 5th and 6th runner Zoey's place would have been strong enough to still secure the team a state meet birth.  The end result was a four point upset victory over Junction City and the first district championship in school history for the girls cross country team!  

Girls Results:

Maddison France: 2nd place, 20:05, PR by 45 seconds

Ella Cardwell: 3rd place, 20:13, PR by 1 minute and 20 seconds

Allison Palluck: 9th place, 21:32, Season Best by 26 seconds

Hailey Fergason: 10th place, 21:45, PR by 28 seconds

Jordynn Owens: 14th place, 22:23, PR by 7 seconds and Season Best by 1 minute and 52 seconds

Bella Keating: 23rd place, 23:17, Remarkable time for coming back after one month and running with discomfort

Zoey Knutson: 24th place, Season Best by 6 seconds

Boys Race Recap:

After watching the girls execute a perfect race plan the boys were ready to match what their female counterparts had just accomplished. Let's not forget that the CG boys were the defending district champs to start the race, but they also replaced six of the seven guys in the "starting lineup" this season. Marist entered the race as the favorite on paper, but after racing Marist early in the season the CG boys knew they had a chance to secure a win.  Carter pulled the race out to a hot start, and several runners from other teams chose to get out fast as well.  At the mile things looked a little scary as Marist held a 20 point lead over CG.  However, the mile splits told a different story as most of the Lions had hit the mile at the perfect pace.  It was time to get to work.  As Carter continued to pull away from the field, David hung with the main chase pack and waited for the right moment to make is move.  Still dealing with some jet lag from a recent trip, David managed to fight off one Marist runner that tried to go with him and he secured the 4th place finish.  Easton and Frank worked together to dial in the first mile and then move up.  Easton managed to reel in nine athletes after the mile and secure a first team all-league 6th place finish and a 39 second PR.  Frank picked off six guys to grab 8th place with a 20 second PR.  Just slightly back in the pack Jackson and Lucas were working to do much of the same.  Jackson moved up five places in the last 1,000 meters while Lucas managed three spots.  In the end, Jackson had a lifetime best by 45 seconds and Lucas saw a nearly 40 second improvement.  Ethan was also busy at work passing five runners in the last 350 meters to secure a top 20 finish and an amazing personal best by nearly 80 seconds! The end result was a 15 point victory and a district championship for the CG boys; the first time in school history that the XC boys have gone back to back.


Boys Results:

Carter Bengtson: District Champion, 15:41, PR by 1 second and currently the #1 4A time in the state.

David Culbert: 4th place, 17:54, The goal was not a fast time, but to minimize risk and secure 4th. Mission accomplished.

Easton Hutchins: 6th place, 18:01, PR by 39 seconds

Frank Garcia: 8th place, PR by 20 seconds

Jackson Gifford: 12th place, PR by 45 seconds

Lucas O'Hara: 14th place, 18:43, PR by 39 seconds

Ethan McClean: 18th place, 19:33, PR by 78 seconds

JV Recap:

It was an amazing day for the JV runners as well!  The JV guys dominated the race by taking seven of the top nine spots, to make it the third team win for Cottage Grove on the day.  Micah and Hayes pulled away from the pack and Micah was able to get the win and break 20 minutes for the first time.  Almost every CG JV athlete ran a personal best with the exception of one athlete only being four seconds off of a PR.  We're hoping for a full girls JV team next season so we can attempt to sweep all four team titles.  Many asked why there were not awards for the JV runners.  Keep in mind that cross country is one of the few (if not only) high school sports where a JV event is held in conjunction with a varsity championship event. In most sports the JV season ends prior to a varsity district championship happening.  We're excited that our JV runners get to compete at the district championship with our varsity athletes, and that our JV athletes get to see what they can work toward next season.   

Cottage Grove Boys Take Home 3rd Place Trophy!

First boys track and field state trophy since 1977!

The CG boys were tired of being on the outside of the top four teams at the conclusion of that last several state meet championships.  Over the last six years the Lion boys finished fifth place twice and sixth place once, missing 4th place by only one point last year. This year they would not be denied a trophy as all eight guys finished on the podium and in scoring position in every event they were entered in for a total of 13 all-state medals.  By the start of day two the Lions were almost a lock for the third place spot and even made a run at Pendleton, falling just short of second place by five points.  GO LIONS!

BACK TO BACK DISTRICT CHAMPIONS!

2023 BOYS DISTRICT CHAMPIONS

2023 COED CHAMPIONS!

Cottage Grove Boys Cross Country Team Places 3rd at the State Championship!

First state trophy since 1975

CG BOYS QUALIFY FOR STATE, GIRLS TAKE 3RD AT DISTRICTS!


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