GRESHAM — Wilsonville cross country coach David Barkley has tried to keep Mason Weisgerber off the radar.
The freshman made that more difficult last Wednesday at Blue Lake Park.
Running in the NWOC Preview, Weisgerber finished fifth in 16 minutes and 54.82 seconds to lead the Wildcats to first place in the varsity boys team standings.
"We're just trying to let him be a freshman as much as he can," Barkley said. "He's pretty hard to hide. He's going to have lots of big races before he's done. We try to keep him under wraps a little bit so we don't lean so hard on a freshman, but when the gun goes off, the boy can race. He's super tough."
Weisgerber, who was competing in his first 5K, stuck with a pack of Wilsonville runners for the first half of the race before taking off on his own.
"We sort of took the leash off and let him go," Barkley said. "He ran real smart from there."
Sophomore twins, Jacob and Ben McClelland, finished sixth and seventh in 17:01.42 and 17:02.16.
"Jake McClellan had a super smart race," Barkley said. "He didn't take off as aggressively as some of his teammates did. But he got almost all of them by the end. It was nice to watch him make a decision on his feet and it be the right decision."
Wilsonville junior Sebastian Pinger placed eighth in 17:04.74.
Parkrose senior Ahmed Ibrahim won the race in 15:56.47.
"He's a bad man," Barkley said of Ibrahim. "I think he's probably one of the top 10 or 15 kids in the country. He's that good. And kids hung out with him for half the race, which we didn't quite expect so many kids to be close to him. The quality of the field really showed."
Weisgerber was not the only freshman to make a splash. Milwaukie ninth grader Logan Law finished third in 16:29.77 behind St. Helen's senior Waylon Nichols, who took second in 16:25.28.
Wilsonville dominated the varsity girls race.
Senior Samantha Prusse won by more than a minute, finishing in 19:25.65.
"I didn't know I was ahead by that much," Prusse said. "I thought there was someone behind me. It was a really good race and I think everyone did really well on my team."
Prusse's younger sister, Gabriella, a sophomore, placed second in 20:27.19, and junior Sydney Burns took third in 20:48.26.
Sophomore Sarah Somerscales and freshman Fiona Dunn finished sixth and eighth in 21:15.91 and 21:26.18.
Putnam placed second in the girls standings.
"The big surprise is Putnam continues to improve, especially on the girls side," Barkley said. "They're good enough that we have to run well to beat them."
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