Lakeridge girls edge Tualatin to win Three Rivers district meet
The Pacers saved their best for last.
The Lakeridge girls cross country team, after going 9-0 in dual meet competition in 2021, came back strong again 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, put three of their five scorers into the day's top eight finishers and used that effort to win the district title with 58 points, while Tualatin took second at 60.
The complete team scoring was: Lakeridge 58, Tualatin 60, St. Mary's Academy 89, West Linn 98, Oregon City 108, Tigard 115, Lake Oswego 140.
After learning they'd won — the Pacers finished fifth at district a year ago — Lakeridge's athletes celebrated the stellar end to the long-in-doubt, pandemic-shortened season.
"We are such a close-knit team and create such a positive attitude for everyone else," said Lakeridge junior Ainsley Williams, who finished third overall at 20 minutes, 26.83 seconds. "I adore being with this team. Everyone has put so much effort into a shorter and awkward season to create an exciting experience."
"The team has worked so incredibly hard and I know everyone gave it their all," added senior Tessa Divergilio, who placed sixth overall at 21:09.10. "We had a lot of new people on varsity this year, but we all quickly learned to work together and have grown so much as a group."
After Williams and Divergilio, Lakeridge's top five included senior Holly Lane (21:14.58), freshman Megan Larson (19th at 23:02.63) and freshman Olivia Smith (26th at 23:25.45).
"The heat made it exceedingly difficult to race at full throttle, but I'm happy with the way I raced," Williams said of temperatures that reached into the low 70s. "Everyone's encouragement definitely helped me battle through this."
"I'm really happy about my performance (at district) and throughout the season," Divergilio said. "I put in a lot of work during preseason training and I feel it paid off."
Fourth-place West Linn — which finished just nine points out of third — was strong, too, its efforts led by junior Maddie Meyer and her 10th-place finish at 21:55.73.
"I feel good about my performance," Meyer said. "I am glad I was able to push it toward the end and feel that rush at the end of the race."
She had solid support from her teammates, too, with junior Kate Sousley finishing 13th at 22:10.40, sophomore Ava Sullivan taking 24th at 23:18.49, sophomore Audrey Jacklyn placing 25th at 23:21.86 and sophomore Shyan Hargis crossing the finish line in 31st at 23:53.88.
"I think our team has been doing a great job," Meyer added. "We all make an effort to have a fun time and motivate each other to do well. I am so grateful for my teammates and all the memories we share while racing."
For fifth-place Oregon City, sophomore Avery Sorenson set the pace by finishing ninth at 21:53.92. She was followed by junior Racquel May (14th at 22:32.45); junior Abby Todd (28th at 23:41.63); freshman Olivia Gordon (30th at 23:52.28); and junior Ellen Crooks (32nd at 23:53.90).
Lake Oswego had its bright spots, too, foremost among them the fifth-place finish by LO freshman Sydney Lim at 21:02.18.
"I placed well, but I wasn't ... happy with my (overall) performance and time," Lim said. "(But) my team did amazing. Some people got new (personal records) and others ran … really fantastic race(s) considering the circumstances of this year's season. I really admire everyone's hard work and dedication to the team, including the coaches."
After Lim, the Lakers saw sophomore Brooke Plasse finish 23rd at 23:17.51, senior Margaret Glad take 37th at 24:51.67, freshman Halle Sequeira place 38th at 25:00.89 and junior Heather Thom finish 42nd at 26:01.34.
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