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Dakota Glover wins the boys race, while rookie Heather Shaver is first in the girls

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Estacada rookie Heather Shaver staved off Gladstone twins Brynn and Brooklyn Tatom through the entire 3.1-mile course, pulling away late to win in 21:26.68.

The Estacada girls cross country team went unchallenged at the Tri-Valley Conference district championships last week at McIver Park, finishing only two points off a perfect score.

Rookie Heather Shaver was the pace-setter throughout the 3.1-mile race, holding off Gladstone twins Brynn and Brooklyn Tatom, who raced on her heels through most of the course. Shaver lost them on the last few twists and turns, and headed up the finishing hill with a comfortable lead. She clocked in with a winning time of 21:26.68.

"They were stalking me," Shaver said with a smile. "I knew I had a good kick, so I used that to open up the space. I started out fast and I would speed up anytime I heard them getting closer."

The Rangers support pack of Kaitlin Willis, Megan Holmes and Julia Griffith all gained ground over the final mile and slipped through the finish line consecutively less than a minute apart.

"Our number one goal was to pass as many people as possible," Griffith said. "We were determined to get what we wanted today."

Gladstone also packed four racers up near the front, but the Gladiators were missing a fifth runner, which eliminated them from the team competition.

Estacada sophomore Faith Grainger rounded out the Rangers lineup, coming in 12th overall in 25:06.41, beating the top runner from Corbett and the No. 3 racer from Molalla — the only other two schools that factored into the team race.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Estacadas Dakota Glover sprints for the finish line a stride ahead of Gladstones Derek Johnson during the Tri-Valley Conference championship race Wednesday.

In the boys race, Estacada senior Dakota Glover went out with the lead pack and a crowd of seven runners clumped together for most of the race.

Late in the second loop around the park, Glover and Gladstone's Derek Johnson pulled away, making it a two-man sprint for the finish line. Glover, the pace-setter throughout the third mile, had a step on his opponent and maintained that lead through the finish line, crossing in 17:53.80.

"With about 800 meters left I started pushing pretty hard — I felt like I had a lot left in me," Glover said. "I could hear him right behind me and didn't want him to pass."

Estacada sophomore Mason Bouck came through in eighth place, while Lliam Baird finished 16th.

Molalla and Gladstone each packed four finishers into the top 10 to claim the two team spots to state with the Indians winning the team title by five points.

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This story is slated for our Nov. 7, print edition.

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