Lakeridge boys use team strength to win Three Rivers district meet
As they have throughout the pandemic-shortened 2021 season, the Lakeridge boys cross country just flat brought it at the Three Rivers League district meet.
The Pacers, racing the rest of the TRL's best under sunny skies at Portland's Fernhill Park on Wednesday, March 31, capped their regular season in style, placing all five of their varsity scorers among the day's top 16 and winning the meet with 60 points, while Tualatin was second at 65.
The complete team scoring was: Lakeridge 60, Tualatin 65, Canby 86, Lake Oswego 89, Oregon City 97, West Linn 109, Tigard 180.
After going 7-1 in dual-meet competition in 2021, the Pacers used their strength and depth to win again at district. Their efforts there were led by sophomore Luke Loomis, who placed eighth at 17:39.56.
"I felt like my performance was exactly what I was planning it to be," Loomis said. "I stuck with the front group, dug deep and kicked hard on the last lap to catch a few people."
He was followed by sophomore teammate Lassen Baertsch Kovalchick in 10th at 17:44.24, followed by junior Wilson Godfrey (11th at 17:44.27), junior Maximus Chalpoutis (15th at 18:00.99) and senior Kevin Travers (16th at 18:14.04).
"I think my team this year … has put in a lot more work and has had a lot more dedication, not only to our workouts and coaches, but each other because cross country is a team sport and you're only as strong as your weakest link," Loomis said.
"We did a phenomenal job of running as a team and for each other today, Travers said. "When we all get locked as a group, we are a hard team to beat."
Lake Oswego made its presence felt, too. After finishing last at the 2019 district meet, the Lakers stepped up to place fourth with 89 points, just three points out of third.
Their efforts were led by the 1-2 punch of freshman Leo Cook and senior Nate Foster, with Cook third at 17:20.21 and Foster just .16 seconds behind in fourth at 17:20.37.
"I felt really happy with the fact I was the fastest freshman," Cook said.
Cook and Foster were followed across the finish line by teammates: freshman Jackson Rigney (14th at 18:00.37 — he was the second-fastest freshman in the meet); sophomore Cooper Whittington (26th at 19:00.57); and freshman Brody McFadden (42nd at 20:03.59).
"The team had an amazing race," Cook said. "We have a really young team, and to beat teams that are mostly juniors and seniors is genuinely impressive."
Oregon City and West Linn had their moments, too, with the Pioneers' fifth-place finish led by junior Christopher Young (seventh at 17:39.47). The rest of OC's varsity scorers included: junior Eli Dale (13th at 17:57.14); senior Johnny Brito (20th at 18:29.13); senior Isaiah Jannsen (28th at 19:12.47); and junior Ethan Laib (29th at 19:14.60).
For sixth-place West Linn, the Lions were led by senior Jaiden Fishbein, who finished fifth overall with a mark of 17:24.23. He was followed by: sophomore Kogen Brown (22nd at 18:50.34); senior Mick Jordan (23rd at 18:52.26); sophomore Tyler Coke (27th at 19:11.27); and sophomore Liam Groah (32nd at 19:24.29).
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