Lake Oswego's Kate Peters triumphs at Nike Portland XC
With more than 100 high schools from several states competing in 17 races, the Nike Portland XC meet — held Saturday at Blue Lake Regional Park — is one of the top high school cross country invitationals in the nation.
It's no wonder that it has become the go-to meet for many of Oregon's best runners.
Lake Oswego junior Kate Peters took advantage of the big stage, winning the girls Danner Championship race in a new personal-record of 16 minutes, 40.90 seconds to defeat senior Riley Stewart (16:43.70) of Cherry Creek High School in Colorado, the nation's fourth-ranked girl by DyeStat. Peters, ranked No. 6, and Stewart were more than 30 seconds ahead of third-place Dalia Frias, a senior at California's Mira Costa High School.
"I felt really good out there," Peters said. "I feel like this was my first big meet of the year and it went great, so I am very happy with it. I was very excited to come away with a win today."
Peters is happy to be back training with her team after the interruptions caused by COVID during the past year.
"My training is going really great," Peters said. "I love training with my team. It's really fun to train with some of the boys and be able to work out with a group of people again."
Peters had planned to try to qualify again for Nike Cross Nationals, where she finished ninth as a freshman in 2019, but the meet was canceled last week for a second consecutive year.
Peters is still focused on running in a national championship race at the end of the season — it just won't be close to home in Portland at NXN.
"Now, all eyes are on Foot Locker," Peters said. "It doesn't change much, just a different location and not Nike-sponsored."
The Foot Locker West regionals will be held in Walnut, Calif., on Dec. 4 and the national championships will be held Dec. 11 in San Diego.
In a battle of nationally ranked teams, No. 2 ranked Cherry Creek got the win over No. 3 Summit, 69-82, with seven runners in front of the Storm's fifth. Mira Costa had three of the top seven to finish third with 83 points. Summit was led by seniors Teaghan Knox (fourth in 17:35.30) and Maggie Williams (ninth in 17:49.50).
Other top Oregon finishers included; Sunset junior Paige Wiley (11th in 17:54.10), Wells senior Charlotte Richman (13th in 17:56.40), Summit junior Ella Thorsett (14th in 17:59.70), Sherwood senior Nancy Biegel (15th in 19:03.40), Summit junior Barrett Justema (17th in 18:08.70) and Crescent Valley freshman Emily Wisnieski (18th in 18:12.60).
In the boys Danner race, Tualatin senior Caleb Lakeman placed fifth in 15:07.60, while Milwaukie junior Logan Law took seventh in 15:11.60.
Mira Costa won the boys team title with 96 points, ahead of Sunset (131) and Sheldon (157).
The boys D2 race saw the closest finish of the day as Siuslaw junior Samuel Ulrich and Lake Oswego sophomore Leo Cook were credited with the same time, 16:08.80.
"I thought I had it," Cook said. "I felt like nobody else looked like they were fresh. I felt pretty good coming to that final straight and then somebody else brought it home."
Ulrich won the photo finish and was credited with the victory, leading the 4A Vikings to the team title over 6A Mountainside, 93-111.
"I was just like stay with them, stay with them, don't lose them and see what happens," Ulrich said.
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