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TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - These were the St. Mary's Academy runners at state last year with their third-place trophy. From left: Lucy O'Sullivan, Lacey Conner, Rowan Halsey, Molly McCullough, Kate Patterson, Lara Rix and Batya Beard.Year after year, the St. Mary’s Academy cross country team is among the state’s best.


The Blues return five of the runners who competed at Lane Community College last year as the team placed third behind South Eugene and Sunset at the Class 6A state meet.

The list of returnees includes senior Lacey Conner, who was St. Mary’s Academy No. 1 runner a year ago and took 16th at state.

Kate Patterson and Batya Beard also are back for their senior season, and both juniors Lara Rix and sophomore Rowan Halsey are consistent contributors again for St. Mary’s.

“The team is starting to take shape,” coach Michael Bojorquez says. “We lost a ton of good senior leaders who are now running in college, but we return a solid group.”

The graduating class of 2015 included Lucy O’Sullivan (Whitman College) and Molly McCullough (Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas), Laura Votava (St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn.) and Jillian Rix (Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa).

New to the varsity squad and in the mix this year are senior CeCe Hall, junior Maddie Ott and freshmen Willa Grund and Luciana Lenth.

“Our depth is a key to our success,” says Bojorquez, who counts 85 runners in the program.

The Blues are in their second season as a member of the Three Rivers League. They took the top seven spots in the girls district cross country meet last year, but Bojorquez doesn’t expect another sweep.

“The TRL is much stronger than last season, which is good for the sport,” he says. “We feel we still are the favorite to win league and advance to start. Right now, Lakeridge, Tualatin and Lake Oswego are our biggest threats, but I feel we have the most depth.

“We hope to make another trip onto the trophy stand at state.”

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