by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton sophomore Daniel Larabee finished ninth at the Tualatin Invite just six seconds behind his older brother, Drew.

His little brother is quickly gaining on him in size and speed.

The day might be approaching when the unthinkable happens and Daniel Larabee beats his older brother Drew in a cross country race.

Not that losing would be a bad thing. Both Larabees are talented runners guiding the Beaverton boys’ cross country team. Each is capable of taking the reins and being the Beavers’ alpha dog at any given point in a race.

However, toward the finish of the Tualatin High Invite on Sept. 4 Drew wasn’t about to let Daniel pass him. He loves his younger sibling, of course, but just can’t let him win yet.

Drew zipped around Daniel going down the dirt road toward Byron Elementary School and never looked back as he crossed the covered basketball courts and back up the ungraded path to the TuHS football field. Drew’s sixth place (16:53) finished six seconds ahead of Daniel’s ninth (16:59) to clench bragging rights both during their training runs and family dinners around the Larabee table.

“He was out ahead of me and I was keeping him in my sights because I couldn’t let my little brother beat me,” laughed Drew Larabee. “At the end of the race, I started reeling him in. I think it was good that we could push each other. He was pushing himself to stay ahead of me, and I was pushing myself to stay with him. It was a good way to kick off the season, and hopefully, we keep it rolling from here.”

“I was actually pretty shocked because at the start of the race I was fearing I’d get last,” said Daniel Larabee. “Those were those first-race-of-the-season nerves, I was scared out there. But I happened to have a good race. It was fun.”

Daniel and Drew run about the same pace per mile with similar strides, so the brothers are able to do training runs tgether and propel each other to better times.

“I think it’s just really fun having a brother to work out with. It’s pretty cool,” said Drew Larabee. “I don’t know how many people can say that.”

As a freshman, Daniel said he was terrified of beating his older bro just because he didn’t want Drew to get mad at him at home. This season, however, Daniel wants to stay up with Drew and thinks their tough training routines will be beneficial.

“We’re friends on the course and off the course, too,” said Drew. “We want to help each other get our best time. And, of course, someone has to beat the other guy, so if we alternate (wins) all the time then that’s awesome. Hopefully we just push each other each race.”

Drew said since Beaverton missed out on the 6A state championships the past two years, it’d be really cool to take the Beavers to Lane Community College-the site of the 6A meet- as a senior. Daniel stated he wants to aid Drew in advancing to state any way he can. by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton senior Drew Larabee used a strong kick over the final mile of the Tualatin Invite to place sixth overall.

“For four years, he hasn’t been able to make it. This year could be the year we could go as a team,” said Daniel. “The strength of the team isn’t the biggest aspect of the team. The strength is the friendships, the team community. We’re pretty tight-knit. We build each other up daily to help each other get better. That’s what I like about cross country.”

Harrison Garrett (17th place at Tualatin), Zach Collins (22nd place), Jared Rutherford (36th place), Brian Callahan (41st place), Henry Tannier (46th place), Hamilton Beard (63rd place) and Joseph Hill (21:09) are surefooted runners who can help the Larabees clinch their dream.

“Daniel and I have to step up at districts and hopefully run our hearts out,” added Drew. “We have to have our three, four, and five guys right there with us. Hopefully, we can run as a huge pack and all push each other. Whatever it takes to get motivated, work together ,and I think we can do it.”

Aloha freshman Jeremy Shahan had a spirited first race of his career coming down the final 100 meters of the Tualatin track. Locked into a footrace with West Linn’s John Goetze, the two runners bumped into each other and traded elbows as both lunged for the finish line. It was a photo finish all the way with Shahan edging the Lion senior by a hair to take 17th overall.

“I stumbled a little bit, but I just sprinted as fast as I could,” said Shahan. “It got pretty physical, but I didn’t want him to pass me.”

Shahan said he was gassed early in the race, yet the Warrior was able to maintain a steady pace and stay with the mid-17-minute pack that galloped around Tualatin High. by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha freshman Jeremy Shahan lunges across the finish line to beat out a West Linn runner for 20th place at the Tualatin Invite.

“I was planning to start going fast at the 1,000-meter loop but I was too tired for that,” said Shahan. “I tried picking it up a little bit, and when I saw the track, I started speeding up even more. When I was on the track, I sprinted as fast as I could.”

Aloha’s Tony Watts said his only goal on Wednesday was to beat Shahan. The race started slowly as the sophomore started out in 50th place but zipped up to 25th or so and zeroed in on Shahan, who was 100 yards ahead with less than a mile remaining.

While Watts wasn’t able to catch his Aloha counterpart, he still outkicked West Linn’s Michael Katanick at the finish to take 20th place (17:43) and notch an individual medal.

“I bolted,” said Watts. “That’s basically what led me to get the medal. I was so focused on Jeremy. I didn’t think about anybody else around me. I always have a pretty good finish. It’s just the middle is that mind game. You think about the pain but you try to ignore and focus on the guy ahead of you.” by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha sophomore Tony Watts races past a West Linn runner at the finish line of the Tualatin Invite last Wednesday.

Watts prefers to conserve enough energy until the very end of the race when opposing challengers are on his radar and the competitive juices start to jump. With the Aloha faithful screaming from the bleachers, Watts rushed through the tape and through the final shoot for the medal.

“I keep my pace, and then when I get to 100 yards, 200 yards, I just go bananas,” said Watts. “I forget everything and just hurt myself really bad going that extra distance. Three girls on my team were like ‘Go Tony!’ and that was motivation to get down and pass him. My mom was also on the side, so I had some good family and friends to help me with that finish.”

With a majority of Aloha’s varsity runners resting for an upcoming meet in New York, Shahan and Watts stepped up admirably and kept the Warrior boys competitive as a team. Senior Carson Richards finished 39th (18:45). Junior Jonathan Rohr (19:34) and Jonathan Campbell (19:35) took 56th and 57th respectively.

“I think we took care of business pretty well,” said Watts. “Together as a team we finished really well.”

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