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The Wildcats win big in NWOC event over La Salle, Putnam and Milwaukie on Wednesday.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Milwaukie junior Logan Law left the competition far behind to win the NWOC meet at Wilsonville Memorial Park on Wednesday, Sept. 22.There's never a wrong time to take your best shot.

That's just what the best boys cross country runners from Wilsonville, Milwaukie, La Salle and Putnam high schools did on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Wilsonville Memorial Park.

And when the dust had finally settled, it was the Wildcats who had run off with first place at 20 points, followed by La Salle with 56, Putnam at 60 and Milwaukie incomplete.

"It was a good effort and it felt good to run with all my team members," said Wilsonville senior Ben McClelland, who finished second overall in the 5-kilometer race with a time of 18 minutes, 5.4 seconds. "We talked about just having a good, smart race. You can't smash every race out of the park — sometimes, you have to run and be smart."

"I'm really glad to be on the team this year," said senior Jacob McClelland, who took fourth with a time of 18:05.85. "We were thinking it might be a rebuilding year, but after seeing what the other guys have done … we're feeling a little more optimistic."

The rest of the Wildcats' top-five finishers included junior Mason Weisgerber (third at 18:05.65), senior Johnny Garcia (seventh at 19:31.27) and senior Nick Scott (ninth at 19:43.80).

"I told my boys, 'Hey. Be smart. Run it so you can push through the second lap and (work on) the competitive aspect of racing. You're pacing yourself so you can get the best finish,'" Ben McClelland said.

"I felt that I would focus on morale (this season) and getting to know everyone, especially those younger guys, and helping them step up through the year," Jacob McClelland said.

Milwaukie may have finished with an incomplete team score — the Mustangs fielded just three varsity runners — but still walked away with the day's biggest individual honor when junior Logan Law ran to victory in the event at 17:34.23.

"I felt really good," said Law. "I just ran 15:20 (at the Meriwether CC Invitational on Sept. 17) and I think I have a lot of room left in the tank. … I think I could probably squeeze in under 15:10."

NWOC Boys Cross Country

In addition to Law, the Mustangs saw junior Carter Sprague place 21st at 20:35.44 and sophomore Monk Bachara take 40th with a 26:39.11.

For La Salle, it was senior Ethan Baker who set the pace by finishing sixth overall with a mark of 19:27.14.

"It was all right. It's a slower course, but it was fun to run with my friends," he said. "There was … good competition out here. We did pretty good."

Following Baker, it was senior Murphy Schuster (10th at 19:47.45), freshman Abraham Scales (14th at 20:05.33), junior Massimo Greco (16th at 20:11.01) and sophomore Tyler Smith (17th at 20:11.67).

Putnam, meanwhile, followed the lead of senior Cameron Cutler, who battled his way to fifth place overall with a time of 19:11.60.

"I feel pretty good," said Cutler, who is still rounding into shape after missing most of the past year due to injury. "I'm coming off an injury — I've only been running a few weeks— but I'm getting into the flow of things again and just working through it."

Following Cutler's finish, Putnam saw junior Max Wright place eighth at 19:33.64, senior Zachary Stock finish 13th with a 20:02.28, junior Cole Busic take 24th at 20:56.18 and freshman Dominic Keller finish 26th with a 21:22.25.

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