When your school's been around for 70 years and girls sports have been contested for almost 50, it's not easy breaking new ground.
But that's just what Lake Oswego junior Kate Peters did on Saturday, Nov. 6.
Peters ran to victory — the first in her school's long history — in the Class 6A state cross country meet at Lane Community College in Eugene.
Peters, already the Three Rivers League champion, unbeaten in six 2021 races and the fastest Class 6A runner in the state before Saturday, proved that she was the real deal in Eugene. She took off with the lead group for the first two miles of the 5-kilometer race, then put the pedal to the metal in the final third of the race and sped to victory with a winning time of 17 minutes, 28.70 seconds.
"I was very happy with my performance," Peters said. "It will definitely be a highlight of my season."
Coming into the state race, Peters knew she had a target on her back as the favorite.
"I was a little nervous before the race because if I lost, it would be pretty embarrassing since I was the favorite to win," she said.
Along the way, Peters fought off a tough challenge from Jesuit senior Chloe Foerster, who finished second at 17:35.0 in the field of 153 runners.
"It was tough for sure," Foerster said. "It was very tough trying to keep up with her. She was going very hard. I just wish I had a little more in the tank at the end and was closer on the track."
"Once I hit the two-mile mark, I decided to have some fun and see what I could do the last mile," Peters said. "I knew that taking off the last mile would drop most of the pack. I looked behind me with (one kilometer) to go and saw that I had a pretty big gap on second place. At that point, I knew I was probably going to win the race."Â
"Kate ran her race and stuck to the plan pretty well," said Lake Oswego coach Vince Kinney, whose team qualified for the state meet for the first time in 13 years. "The race was very close up until two miles. That's when Kate started to separate herself."
The Lakers' next-best finisher was freshman Ana Peters, who placed 40th with a time of 19:40.10.
In the team race, Summit took first with 55 points to edge Jesuit's 58, while Lakeridge placed 12th with 319, Lake Oswego was 13th at 321 and Clackamas 19th at 506.
For Lakeridge, senior Ainsley Williams was the Pacers' best, finishing 23rd with a time of 19:08.50, while sophomore Breckyn Kornachuk placed 38th at 19:35.30.
For Clackamas, senior Jasmine Fletcher was the Cavaliers' best, placing 39th with a mark of 19:38.60.
Class 6A boys meet
In the 6A boys race, Lake Oswego sophomore Leo Cook was the best individual among area competitors, running to 43rd place with a time of 16:32.20 in the field of 155. Sherwood senior James Crabtree won the individual crown with a time of 15:04.50.
On the team front, Jesuit finished first with 66 points to edge runner-up Central Catholic's 83, while Lakeridge was 17th at 458 and Clackamas 21st at 583.
The Pacers were led by junior Luke Loomis and his 78th-place finish at 17:09.10, while Clackamas senior Cole Lewis led the Cavaliers in 81st at 17:11.40. For Oregon City, senior Eli Dale finished 77th as an individual at 17:04.20.
Andrew Millbrooke of OSAAtoday contributed to this story.
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