Central Catholic's Wes Shipsey (left) held off Wilsonville's Carter Cutting down the stretch on Friday. (Photo by Jon Olson)
Central Catholic's Wes Shipsey (left) held off Wilsonville's Carter Cutting down the stretch on Friday. (Photo by Jon Olson)

Central Catholic's Wes Shipsey got his promising senior year off to a strong start Friday by clocking the best 3,000-meter time out of all the races in the 49-team Night Meet at Wilsonville High School.

The Wake Forest-bound Shipsey, who placed third in the 6A meet last year, finished in 8 minutes, 45.92 seconds Friday. He held on to win the senior class race over Wilsonville's Carter Cutting (8:47.06), who had the second-best overall time in the meet.

Shipsey's performance marked a six-second improvement over his time in the meet last year, when he won the junior class race. He ran a patient race Friday, according to Central Catholic coach Dave Frank.

“Wes sort of let the race play,” Frank said. “He didn't try to go hard early on. Wes doesn't consider himself a kicker, although he ran 49.7 in the 4x400 last year. I think Wes' late speed is as good as anybody's, but he doesn't think of himself that way.”

Shipsey is coming off an outstanding junior track season in which he placed third in the 1,500 and eighth in the 3,000.

“I don't think there's any question that his goal is to win three state championships this year,” Frank said. “He's got high hopes, for sure. He wants to win every single race. He wants to break every course record. One of the things that makes Wes so good is his truly competitive nature.”

Frank said that Shipsey “ doesn't have the same feel” for cross country as he does for track.

“He's a super tough kid, he just doesn't quite believe yet,” Frank said. “I think ultimately he'll be fine, it just takes him a while to believe.”

In the senior boys race, Shipsey and Geisberger were followed by West Salem's Brady Bliven (8:54.45), Lincoln's Samy Anderson (8:54.97) and Roosevelt's William Heslam (8:55.31).

The meet featured races for each class. Other boys winners were West Salem junior Jack Meier (9:02.34), Franklin sophomore Brennan McEwen (9:10.17) and South Eugene freshman Tejas Sanghvi (9:58.89).

Lake Oswego's Ana Peters had the fastest time for girls, running the sophomore race in 10:26.25 to narrowly defeat South Eugene's Ansley Johnston (10:26.93). Other girls winners were Lincoln senior Eva Novy-Hildesley (10:39.98), Central Catholic junior Ella McGillis (10:29.21) and South Eugene freshman Madi Zemper-Prill (10:37.66).

Notes: Santiam Christian senior Benjamin Bourne (16:46.78) and Molalla freshman Anika Jenson (20:13.01) were the top finishers in the 10-team Canby Invitational on Thursday at Molalla River State Park. … Vale junior Trevor Stewart (10:41.37) and Adrian junior Presley Speelmon (13:11.10) were the winners on the two-mile course in the Dash-N-Splash at Vale on Thursday. … In Saturday's eight-team Crusader Invitational, hosted by St. Mary's of Medford, Cascade Christian sophomore Tayen Landers (12:00.43) won the boys race and St. Mary's senior Saniyah Ayala (12:48.36) won the girls race.