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The Pacers show they're ready to back up their TRL league title from a year ago.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lakeridge junior Luke Loomis crests a hill in the setting sun during the Three RIvers League Preview Meet at Oregon City High School on Wednesday, Sept. 8.Strength in numbers.

It might as well be the team motto for the Lakeridge boys cross country team.

The Pacers, who won the Three Rivers League district meet last spring, showed they haven't lost a step in 2021, coming through to take top honors at Three Rivers League Preview Meet at Oregon City High School on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Lakeridge landed three runners among the day's top nine and all five of its varsity scorers in the top 13 to win the meet with 46 points, while second-place Tualatin finished with 61 points. The complete team scoring included Lakeridge 46, Tualatin 61, Canby 84, West Linn 98, Oregon City 99, Tigard 132 and Lake Oswego inc.

"When you get out there and when the whole team is really working — what I saw right behind me was (Lakeridge runners coming across the finish line) 1-2-3 — I was like, oh yeah," said Lakeridge junior Luke Loomis, who finished fifth overall. "It was a lot of fun."

Loomis was the Pacers' best on Wednesday, finishing the 5-kilometer race with a time of 17 minutes, 5.89 seconds. Following him across the line for Lakeridge were senior Maximus Chalpoutis (seventh at 17:13.80), senior Cooper Wood (ninth at 17:18.31), junior Lassen Baertsch Kovalchick (12th at 17:41.33) and junior Alex Torres (13th at 17:41.87).

Regarding his own race, Loomis ran with Tualatin senior Caleb Lakeman — the eventual winner at 15:43.50 and the reigning TRL champion — for the first mile before dropping back.

"It felt like a moral victory because I was feeling smooth going with him," Loomis said. "Yeah, the whole time I was talking, chatting, feeling like a little bit of a goofball because I was talking, but I felt good."

TRL Boys Preview Meet

West Linn's boys finished fourth in the team race using much of the same strategy as Lakeridge, with all five of its varsity scorers finishing within 27 seconds of one another. That group was led by junior Kogen Brown, who placed 18th with a personal-best time of 18:02.95.

"Our team goal really is to make state, which means getting in the top three at district," Brown said. "I think with a concerted effort, we can definitely make the top three and snag that last (berth)."

After Brown, the Lions saw senior Cavan Mikami place 20th at 18:13.17, followed by senior Quentin Robinson (22nd at 18:26.48), junior Tyler Coke (23rd at 18:29.17) and senior Max Parisio (25th at 18:29.96).

"I felt good for the first race of the season," Brown said. "I PR'd today which was really nice. I didn't PR at all last year so that was really good. I think it helped break the mental barrier a little bit."

Oregon City's boys finished just one point behind West Linn in fifth, their efforts led by senior Eli Dale and his fourth-place effort at 16:56.91.

"I was super happy with how I ran," Dale said. "(I) exceeded my own expectations of how I was going to do. I was coming into the race just wanting to see where I was at in the league and not really pushing for anything specific, other than just giving it my all, but I'm happy with my performance."

He was followed across the finish line by senior Christopher Young (eighth at 17:15.95), senior Evan Stasiewicz (24th at 18:29.42), senior Ethan Laib (37th at 19:05.23) and junior Caleb Jannsen (39th at 19:10.22).

"I'm super happy with our team this year," Dale added. "There was a lot of great stuff from everyone on the team and I think it was a really solid day. I can't wait to see how much faster our team gets as a whole throughout the rest of the season."

Lake Oswego fielded just two runners in the varsity race, with junior Garret Anderson placing 14th at 17:46.40 and senior Dawson Omdahl finishing 44th at 19:15.72.

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