Lake Oswego boys battle West Linn in 81-64 loss
It may have been just the first meet of the regular season, but the Lake Oswego and West Linn boys track teams went at it hard last week.
The Lakers and Lions matched up under sunny skies at West Linn High School on April 4, and at day's end, West Linn had won 12 of the day's 17 events and pulled away to beat Lake Oswego 81-64.
"We are a very young team when it comes to who is on varsity (so) there is a lot of room for improvement, (but) I love the attitude that was brought out," said Lake Oswego coach Vince Kinney.
"I was very pleased with how we competed as a team," said West Linn coach Joe Cerny. "My team is very young and we have some rookies stepping up and being competitive."
The Lions were tough across the board against LO, winning seven of 10 races on the track and also taking five of seven field events. Senior Justin Gould and senior Justin Babcock were both two-time winners for the Lions, with Gould taking top honors in the pole vault at 14 feet, 6 inches — tied for the second-best mark in the state — and also winning the long jump at 19-0, while Babcock topped the shot put field with a throw of 51-1 and also won the discus with a mark of 139-0.
In one of the more exciting races of the day, West Linn junior John Wetzsteon outdueled Lake Oswego senior Eric Sasadeusz to win the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:19.84, with Sasadeusz second in 4:21.10.
West Linn junior Avery Cook and Wetzsteon took the race out fast with a 1:08 first lap and Cook led for most of the first three laps while Wetzsteon ran a close second and Sasadeusz trailed by 10 or more yards most of the way.
Wetzsteon took the lead part way through the third lap and looked like he'd roll to victory from there, but Sasadeusz sped from behind with 200 meters remaining, took the lead and forced Wetzsteon to step on the gas one more time before edging away to win by 1.26 seconds.
"I decided to go about the start of the third hundred on the last lap," Sasadeusz said. "I thought I had the energy to make something happen and I started sprinting and I caught up at about the 200, took the lead and it was pretty stable until right at the end there."
"I had no idea (he was there)," Wetzsteon said. "I saw a little glimpse of feet behind me around the 200 mark and he went past and I was like 'Geez. I'm going to have to run.' That was a real hard kick to have to try and catch back up to him."
For Lake Oswego, junior Collin Bracken set the pace with wins in both the 100 and 300 intermediate hurdles, speeding to victory in the 100 with a time of 11.36, and coming back later in the meet to take the intermediate hurdles at 40.39 — the second-best time in the state this year.
The Lakers also saw senior teammate Alex Bassett take the high hurdles with a mark of 16.84. In the field events, senior Joseph Lantos set the pace in the javelin with a winning mark of 151-0, and in the triple jump, senior Kameron Harvey topped the triple jump field with a leap of 42-8.
In West Linn's other individual wins on the track, junior Matt Dyer took the 200 at 24.08, senior Davis Schmitz won the 400 with a 53.85, senior Kenny McElroy topped the 800 at 2:08.30 and Cook set the pace in the 3,000 with a 9:46.34.
The Lions also swept the day's two relays, with Ubong Udoh, Schmitz, Collin Smith and Dyer winning the 4 x 100 at 45.03, and McElroy, Andre Best, Dyer and Nate Davidson taking the 4 x 400 with a mark of 3:42.54.
"I was very pleased with the boys in all areas," Cerny said.
In their dominant performance in the field events, Babcock and Gould led the way with their two victories apiece, and were joined in the winner's circle by teammate Cody Pierce (a freshman who took the high jump at 6-0).
Next up, Lake Oswego will run in the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field on Friday and Saturday, then will join Canby in a meet at Lakeridge at 4 p.m. April 18. The Lions run in the Willamette Falls Invitational at Oregon City High School at 10 a.m. Saturday, then will run with Tigard at Newberg at 4 p.m. April 18.