North Clackamas County high school cross country: Top runners to watch in 2022
Another cross country season is about to get underway at high schools across Oregon, with official competitions opening Thursday, Aug. 25.
For schools in the north Clackamas County area, the 2021 season was dotted with plenty of individual success. Lake Oswego's Kate Peters and St. Stephen's Academy Colin Friend each won individual state championships in their respective classifications, and a few more standouts had top-10 finishes at state. While Friend isn't around to defend his title, Peters will be — and the senior is just one of the many returning stars aiming for a title in 2022.
Below is a look top returning runners at each of the 12 schools with cross country teams in the north Clackamas County area. (Note: As defined by Pamplin Media Group, this region accounts for schools in Clackamas, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Oregon City, West Linn and Wilsonville.)
CLACKAMAS CAVALIERS (6A)
Diaz-Garcia, a top-10 finisher in the league last year, returns as the senior leader for the Cavalier girls. Chen, meanwhile, has been putting in the work this summer and could improve on his eighth-place finish at districts. Both will be chasing state qualification in 2022.
LAKE OSWEGO LAKERS (6A)
The Peters sisters look to lead the Lakers again this season, with senior Kate returning as the 6A state champion. Ana, meanwhile, placed second at districts and took 40th at state. As for Cook, he took second at districts and was the Lakers' only state rep on the boys' side.
LAKERIDGE PACERS (6A)
Kornachuk, a rising junior, was the only returning athlete besides state champion Kate Peters who broke the 18-minute mark — a time that should easily qualify for state. Loomis leads a strong returning cast, and the Lakeridge boys could have the inside track to a district title.
Miles comes back as the top returning junior in the Mt. Hood Conference, and he finished ninth at the conference championships a year ago. Pizzuti, meanwhile, did not participate in the girls district meet but was the Hawks' most consistent performer throughout the year.
OREGON CITY PIONEERS (6A)
Dale was Oregon City's top placer at the girls district championships, placing 14th while shaving more than five minutes off the time she clocked as a freshman. For the boys, Jannsen is the most consistent returner for the Pios after breaking the 20-minute mark in all nine meets.
WEST LINN LIONS (6A)
Brown returns as a top-10 runner in the district. He was a model of consistency for the West Linn boys, logging the team's two fastest 5K times last year. Noce is coming off a standout freshman campaign and could break the 20-minute barrier for the girls team as a sophomore.
LA SALLE PREP FALCONS (5A)
Crimin was a freshman revelation for the Falcons, finishing 23rd at the 5A state championships and logging a sub-20:00 time at The Harrier Classic. Smith, meanwhile, was the only runner on the boys team to finish in under 19 minutes in each of La Salle's final six meets.
MILWAUKIE MUSTANGS (5A)
Law was the NWOC champion a year ago, but he had to settle for fifth place at the state championships. If he hits another gear, a state title is absolutely within reach. Meanwhile, the Milwaukie girls team consisted of just two freshmen, and Harris was the faster of the pair.
PUTNAM KINGSMEN (5A)
Lundgren returns after earning a district title and registering a top-10 finish at state. She could lead the Putnam girls to a team title at districts after falling three points shy of Wilsonville in 2021. Wright is the Kingsmen's top returner on the boys' side after taking 24th at districts.
WILSONVILLE WILDCATS (5A)
Weisberger took second place at the 2021 NWOC Championships and 13th at the 5A state finals, making him the top runner for the Wildcat boys. Milanovich had some great performances in her own right, taking fifth at districts and placing 15th at the state championships.
GLADSTONE GLADIATORS (4A)
Hummel was the only individual state qualifier for the boys or girls teams at Gladstone last year, and he represented the Glads well with a top-50 finish in the boys' meet. After going to state as a sophomore, Sanderson just missed the cut in 2021 after taking sixth at districts.
ST. STEPHEN'S ACADEMY ARCHERS (1A)
After watching teammate Colin Friend win the 2A/1A state title in 2021, Morrow will try to repeat the accomplishment in 2022 after taking third at districts and 11th at the state championships. Lind had a great first season on the girls' side, showing steady improvement all year.
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