Brandon Moehlmann, No. 615, leads the Creswell charge at the beginning of the 3A Cross Country State Championship race at Lane Community College in Eugene on Saturday, Nov. 9. Moehlmann finished among the top 20 runners, and teammate Josiah Lee was 31st. Alesha Culp/For The Chronicle


EUGENE – Junior Brandon Moehlmann placed 17th with a time of 17:19.80 to finish among the top 20 runners during the 3A Cross Country State Championships on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Lane Community College.
Moehlmann, Creswell High School's top runner all season, helped propel the Bulldogs to a seventh-place team finish. Junior Josiah Lee finished in 31st place in 18:04.40.
Those results indicate how far the cross country team has come in two years. In 2017, Creswell didn't have a single runner reach the state championships, and in 2018 only Moehlmann qualified.
”For me, state has less pressure than Districts because you know that you've made it,” said Moehlman, who improved his time by more than a minute from his 2018 state performance, where he placed 35th.
”Especially because you're probably not going to win state, but it's so cool to be a part of. We're in running with the same people that run 14:35s, and that's really cool,” he said.
Running in the state championships, Moehlmann said, allows him to focus on competing in the moment and not worry about qualifying for the ”next race.”
Lee said he felt a little different regarding the pressure of performing at the state level.
”At least for me, I felt more pressure for state so I was nervous going into it,” he said. ”It wasn't pressure imposed on us but just pressure we'd put on ourselves to do well.”
Coach Jonathan Ferguson praised the team's mental and physical toughness throughout the season, and its strong finish.
”When we qualified for state at districts a couple of weeks ago, all of our guys were banged up, we didn't go into Districts super healthy” he said.
”Still, we got our second-place finish, we came back to State super healthy and we beat the team that had beat us in Districts. Talk about coming back strong.”