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Senior star is seeking her fourth trip to the Class 6A state championship meet

TIMES FILE PHOTO - Westview senior Irene Nagasaka currently has the ninth-best time in the Metro League.

Irene Nagasaka is one the more revered runners in the Metro League, now in her senior year after three trips to the Class 6A state cross country championship meet.

The Westview senior went to state as part of Westview's 2016 team that took third in the district and traveled to Lane Community College as a unit. Since then she's been to state twice as an individual, working her way into the oceans of Jesuit and Sunset runners who tend to cram the top-10 of the district championship meet. You can catch Nagasaka at the front, right alongside or just behind the Crusaders and Apollos, who unofficially adopted her as part of their pack because of her constant presence.

Nagasaka, for all her prowess, would like nothing more than to take her Wildcat team to state as a competing group one last time in her senior season. The Wildcats only have seniors on the roster with Nagasaka leading the unit. Alisha Bryant, Mia Tierney, Hailey Henstrom and Sofia Lee will try and take Westview back to state as the season heads into October.

"The coaching staff knows our top girls (a few more are vying for top spots) are capable of running hard and will be competitive throughout the season," Westview head coach Rebecca Martin said. "Westview will be competing for the third qualifying spot with both boys and girls. Aloha always produces good results at districts and Mountainside girls are very competitive as well."

Nagasaka has the eighth-best time in the district as of Sept. 19, but it's still relatively early in the season. Training will ramp up over the next month as the Metro's best begin jockeying for position atop the district podium. Bryant's 20:22.6 is the 12th best time in Metro. Freshman Xian Hartenstein ran a personal best 22:02.5 at the Oregon City XC Invitational. Sophomore Peyton Childers was close behind with a 22:13.9 personal record at the same meet.

Seniors Cameron Nazal, Max Lin and sophomore Prabhass Nakkala will lead Westview boys' squad. Martin said Westview has a deep boys' team this season and the coaching staff is looking forward to solid results. Junior Saaketh Bhattiprolu produced a personal best 16:32 at the Oregon City XC Invite and currently has the 11thbest finish in Metro. Nazal ran a 16:45 at the Oregon City XC invite and is 17thoverall. Junior Brinton Call is 24thafter running a personal best 17:23.5 and John Wang finished with the same range with a 17:26.

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