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The Lions and Pacers battle on the track and in the field for the first time in 743 days.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lakeridge's Kyle Goecks leans across the finish line while winning the 100 meters against West Linn at West Linn High School on Wednesday, April 14. West Linn's Quentin Robinson is at left.The last time that the West Linn and Lakeridge boys track teams matched up before Wednesday, April 14, was — wait for it — 743 days earlier.

Because they had to wait so long for the return to competition — both teams saw their 2020 spring season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic — the Lions and Pacers made the most of it. In the end, the Lions pulled away to win 78-65 under sunny skies at West Linn High School.

"I felt like we did a really good job," said West Linn junior Adam Maxwell, winner of the high jump and the 110-meter high hurdles. "I felt like everyone performed really well. We did a great job of giving each other motivation and telling each other great job

and had great sportsmanship throughout the meet."

With the win, the Lions improved to 1-0 in Three Rivers League competition and 1-0 overall. Lakeridge, meanwhile, fell to 0-1 in TRL action and 0-1 overall.

Despite the loss, the Pacers were happy with their efforts at West Linn.

"I think the team did amazing," said Lakeridge junior Cooper Wood, winner of the 1,500 meters. "There were a lot of events where we swept the heat, and there were some awesome finishes to watch."

"Our team fought until the very end," added Pacer senior Kyle Goecks, winner of both the 100 and 200. "Guys were able to step up when we needed them most."

While Lakeridge held the upper hand on the track, West Linn absolutely dominated in the field, taking first place in all seven events and getting two wins each from juniors Jake Rams and Victor Rodriguez.

Rams made his mark in the shot put and discus, winning the shot with a mark of 43 feet, 5 inches (with senior teammate Brenden Kobliha second at 36-4) and the discus at 107-0 (with Lakeridge junior Henry Welt second at 67-3).

Rodriguez, meanwhile, broke through to win the long jump and triple jump, leaping 19-1.75 to take the long jump (with sophomore teammate Simon Aguilar Auld second at 18-10.25), and stepping up to win the triple jump with a mark of 35-1 (with Lakeridge senior Jacob Barrett second at 32-6).

In the high jump, Maxwell soared 6-6 to win by 10 inches, with senior teammate Cody Pierce second at 5-8.

"I came out a little nervous — I haven't jumped over an actual bar in a year," Maxwell said. "But I felt really good about my performance, and feel like I'll be able to improve throughout the season."

On the track, the Lions saw Robinson break through to win the 400 with a time of 55.44 (with Lakeridge senior Tuli Freeman second at 56.96). In the 110 high hurdles, Maxwell raced to victory at 15.92 (with Lakeridge senior Ryan Boucher second at 16.09).

Other West Linn winners included: the 4 x 100 relay team of Robinson, Maxwell, Cody Pierce and Tyler Davis at 48.11; the 4 x 400 relay team of Maxwell, Davis, Robinson and Jaiden Fishbein at 4:13.66; freshman Jack Benninger in the javelin at 132-5 (with Boucher second at 125-11); and freshman Ashton Guvenir in the pole vault at 9-0 (with senior teammate Cooper Hurley second at 8-6).

For the Pacers, Goecks sped to victory in the 100 with a winning time of 11.56 (junior teammate Zachary Larson took second at 11.91), and later, topped the 200 at 23.69 (with Larson second again at 24.19).

"I thought I ran pretty well," Goecks said. "(It) felt great to be out there and compete again."

Wood, meanwhile, led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 1,500, taking first at 4:37.23, with sophomore Lassen Baertsch Kovalchick second at 4:38.33 and senior Tyler Smith third at 4:41.66.

"It's not as fast as I was hoping to run, but I think it's a good starting spot for this season, and I'm looking forward to hopefully running faster," Wood said.

Other Lakeridge winners were: junior Briggs Butler in the 800 at 2:04.82 (West Linn senior Jaiden Fishbein was second at 2:05.78); sophomore Luke Loomis in the 3,000 at 10:00.88 (with junior Maximus Chalpoutis second at 10:03.42); Boucher in the 300 intermediate hurdles at 42.61 (with junior teammate Tyler Bradley second at 45.06).


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