Tualatin teams run to victory at TRL meet
WEST LINN — The Tualatin High School cross country teams weren't able to let anything stand in their way.
For the Timberwolf boys overcame some injuries to key runners, while the Timberwolf girls had to battle against some strong competition, as both Tualatin squads swept the competition at a Three Rivers League four-way meet held Sept. 25 at Mary S. Young Park.
The Timberwolf boys, competing without injured standouts Andrew Payton and Ethan Klein, got a 25-32 win over rival Tigard and a 27-30 victory over West Linn at last week's meet.
"We've had a pretty strong summer of training, and we have a pretty deep team, and I think that will carry us through the rest of the season," said Tualatin sophomore Sam Roach, who led the way for the Tualatin boys at the meet.
Roach took second place at the race, with a time of 16 minutes and 27 seconds for the 5,000-meter event. West Linn senior Dash Lipsey finished just barely ahead of Roach, as he also had a mark of 16:27.
"Second is my best cross country place ever, so I was pretty happy with that," Roach said. "Maybe if I went a little bit earlier I might have won, but Dash is pretty good competition, he's pretty strong."
Still, Roach was happy with his race.
"It went pretty well. I felt pretty good around that first lap. I felt strong coming through, seeing the clock, and I said, 'I can keep this up.' I started to hear guys drop," he said. "I was coming off a bit of a setback, some iron deficiency. I've been getting my iron levels up, and I'm starting to feel better."
Senior Sam Smith also had a strong race for the Tualatin boys, as he ran to sixth place with a mark of 17:17. Also for the Wolves, sophomore Dean Horton was eighth at 17:21, junior Aidan Putnam was ninth at 17:26, freshman Aaron Lakeman was 10th at 17:33, junior Max Mitchell was 14th at 17:49 and senior Andrew McDade was 15th at 17:51.
"This was a lot of fun today," Roach said. "I love it, and I love being on the course. It's good being back."
The Tualatin boys are looking for more fun as the season goes on.
"We want to win district for sure," Roach said. "That's the goal. Maybe if we get Ethan back, that will help."
The Tualatin girls also have high hopes for the rest of the season.
"We definitely want to go to state," Tualatin junior Olivia Seits said. "Right now, we're just trying to get stronger as individuals. Our team, as a whole, is a really strong community, and we all support each other."
The Timberwolf girls, at last week's meet, got a 19-49 win over Tigard, they edged West Linn 27-30 and they bested St. Mary's Academy 24-31.
Senior Kaitlyn Gearin led the way for Tualatin at the meet, placing second with a time of 19:37. St. Mary's junior Fiona Lenth won the race with a mark of 19:28.
Seits, with a strong finish, placed eighth in a time of 20:19.
"It was alright. I'm currently recovering from injury, so I'm kind of getting back into things," Seits said. "I definitely tried to work my way up the last 1,000 (meters), and put some distance between myself and the other girls, so we could get some points and win as a team. I did the best I could with what I'm working with right now."
Also for the Tualatin girls, junior Lily Hughes was ninth at 20:30, sophomore Mahathi Sridhar was 10th at 20:36, junior Kara Helland was 11th at 20:37, sophomore Naiya Gates was 14th at 20:49 and junior Sierra Kurth was 22nd at 21:07.
The Tualatin teams will be back in action on Friday, when they run at the Flat & Fast Invitational, to be held at Joe Dancer Park in McMinnville. The varsity girls race starts at 4:15 p.m., with the varsity boys race to follow at 5 p.m.
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