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The North Spokane girls cross country team poses before the Nike Cross Nationals Championship on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Portland. (Dempsey Ortega / Courtesy)

North Spokane girls take sixth at Nike Cross Nationals Championship

PORTLAND – Erinn Hill crossed the finish line in 18 minutes, 44.4 seconds to lead the North Spokane girls to a sixth-place finish at the Nike Cross Nationals Championship on Saturday at Glendoveer Golf Course.

North Spokane, which is made up of runners from North Central High School, scored 204 points. Kinetic Running (Saratoga Springs, New York) won the team title with a score of 78.

“We came into the weekend hoping to get up on the podium, but these girls will walk away knowing that they’re one of the most successful teams in Washington history,” North Spokane coach Dempsey Ortega said. “So there’s no hanging heads at all.”

Allie Janke completed the 5,000-meter course in 63rd place with a time of 18:52.5, followed by teammates Marie Taylor (67th, 15:55.1) and Amelu Ruff (68th, 18:55.4).

Mia Hill rounded out the scoring runners for North Spokane with a 149th-place finish in 20:01.5.

“The conditions were some of the toughest the girls have ever ran in today,” Ortega said. “It was definitely one of the muddiest races I’ve seen and we predicted that might be the case looking at the weather yesterday.

“The boys ran first, so the course was pretty torn up, but that’s what this team is about. They’re tough and they weren’t going to let course conditions stop them from running great.”

Lewis and Clark senior Wil Smith finished 10th in the boys race in 15:15.9. Smith ran as an independent from the Northwest region.