State cross country: Lake Oswego's Ana Peters wins gold in Eugene
Runners from all around Clackamas County had plenty to be proud about after the state championships in Eugene.
During the OSAA Cross Country State Championships at Lane Community College on Saturday, Nov. 5, athletes from the county combined to haul in gold, silver and bronze medals on the individual level, as well as another silver medal in team scoring and a total of 10 top-20 finishes across all races.
Here is a closer look at this year's top performances from the state meet.
Peters wins state title to lead Lakers' charge
Lake Oswego sophomore Ana Peters won the 6A girls state championship 5K race after edging out Ella McGillis of Central Catholic at the finish line, winning by a half-second with a time of 17:56.8.
"The race plan was to chill behind the leaders as much as possible, and then outkick," said the sophomore, who continued a family tradition by winning the state title. Peters' older sister Kate won the same trophy for the Lakers in 2021, but this time, it was Ana's turn to don the hardware.
Despite the close finish, Peters says that everything in the race went to plan.
"I think I executed pretty well," added the newly crowned state champion after her win on Saturday. "Right when we were on the track, I was like, 'OK, it's time to go.'"
Peters' championship-winning effort was not the only bright spot for Lake Oswego at the state meet. The Laker girls team finished seventh overall in team scoring and were one of only four teams in the 6A competition to have all five scoring members finish in the top 60. Sofie Howard capped off a solid sophomore year by placing 40th overall (19:41.1). Meanwhile, Taylor Sheldon (58th, 20:04.2), Joelle Thompson (59th, 20:04.7) and Noelle Plasse (60th, 20:05.3) rounded out the scoring for the Lakers.
Top-five finishes for Law, Cutting, Weisgerber
In the 5A boys state championship 5K race, the gold medal went to Crater's Tyrone Gorze, but three of the other spots in the top five were occupied by Clackamas County athletes.
Milwaukie senior Logan Law outpaced his friendly rivals from Wilsonville, seniors Carter Cutting and Mason Weisgerber, to take second place with a time of 15:16.1. Cutting finished third (15:31.1), while Weisgerber took fifth (15:37.6).
"My goal was to go out with Tyrone and hang on for as long as possible," said Law of battling Gorze for first place. "Should have slightly changed my training a bit, but I'm not mad. It was a good race. I gave it all I had."
Law added: "There's not much I could've changed; it was just fun to get out there and go after it."
While the Mustang senior took home the individual silver medal, Cutting and Weisgerber earned their own silverware by leading the Wildcat boys to a second-place finish in the team scoring behind Crater.
"I latched onto the back of that chase pack and kind of picked them off one by one," said Cutting of his race. "I was going for Logan, but he's got crazy endurance, couldn't quite reel him in."
As for Weisgerber, he was thinking less of his opponents and more about finishing out his own high school career as best as he could.
"I was sitting in 12th place at a mile (to go)," said Wiesgerber. "I told myself, 'You got a mile to go. This is it. This is your senior season.'"
Carter and Weisgerber added that their longtime friendship helped them get to this point.
"I've known Mason since kindergarten, so to be able to run our senior cross country race together is pretty special," said Cutting.
Weisgerber used the same word — "special" — to describe the day.
"Two years ago, he (Carter) went to Utah, and it's really special he's back now. Just a great training partner."
In addition to those two, freshman Liam Wilde (22nd, 16:33.3), sophomore Parker Fish (37th, 16:55.4), and senior Anthony Herrera-Alonzo (41st, 17:02.3) were the other scoring members of the Wilsonville team, but seniors Liam Wilde (43rd, 17:07.9) and Sean Colyer (47th, 17:11.5) were close behind their teammates.
Other standouts from around the county
While Wilsonville had the top finish among all boys teams, the Rex Putnam girls had the best placement on that side of things. Led by senior Noemi Lundgren's ninth-place finish (18:59.4), the Kingsmen captured fifth place in the 5A girls 5K race, with sophomores Gabriella Salvione (21st, 19:45.7) and Grace Flowerday (24th, 20:02.2) also notching top-25 times at state.
"It kind of got the best of me by the ponds, but I think I did really well," said Lundgren of her time on the course at Lane Community College. "I was definitely hoping for a better placement this year, but what happened, happened. Can't do anything about it now."
Elsewhere in the 5A girls race, La Salle Prep sophomore Maya Crimin (18th, 19:36.7) also placed in the top 20.
"I wanted to go out fast and push around the duck ponds," said Crimin. "I went out fast, and in the middle I started slowing down and thought, 'I can't do this.' I sort of found myself again and pushed it to the finish. I didn't get the time I wanted, but I think it was a good day."
In the 6A girls 5K race, Lakeridge finished with two top-20 finishers to make it up to ninth place in the team scoring. Freshman Grace Houlihan (16th, 18:55.4) and junior Breckyn Kornachuk (17th, 18:56.6) finished back-to-back to lead the Pacers. Oregon City senior Lydia Dale (34th, 19:35.6) was the county's next-best finisher in the 6A girls race behind Peters, Houlihan and Kornachuk.
In the 2A/1A boys 5K race, St. Stephen's Academy had two strong finishes that rocketed the Archers to sixth in team scoring. Those efforts were led by sophomore Nate Contreras (11th, 17:00.7) and senior Justus Jackson (13th, 17:17.4), with senior Jonathan Adams (38th, 18:53.3), freshman Gabriel Hall (46th, 19;12.2) and freshman Josiah Jackson (61st, 20:19.1) rounding out the scoring.
For full results of all eight races at the 2022 OSAA Cross Country State Championships, visit AthleticTiming.net.
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