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Racing to state

Beaverton's Oekerman and Jesuit's boys set the pace at district


BEAVERTON — It was a battle of titans at last week’s Metro League boys district cross country meet.

by: MILES VANCE - ALL ALONE - Beaverton senior Dan Oekerman bursts out of the forest at Tualatin Hills after leaving the rest of the field in his wake during his victory in the Metro League District Championship on Oct. 24.

On the team front, the Jesuit boys did exactly what they wanted to in the meet, held at Tualatin Hills on Oct. 24. They landed all five of their varsity scorers among the day’s top 10 finishers and won the team title with just 30 points, while runner-up Lincoln was second at 64 and Westview third with 74.

Jesuit senior Josh Sealand led the way for the Crusaders by finishing second overall with a time of 15 minutes, 42.44 seconds for the 5-kilometer race, trailing only event-winner Dan Oekerman of Beaverton. Sealand had lots of familiar faces near the front of the pack too, with teammate Sam Remington fourth at 15:49.18, Brian McDavitt fifth at 15:50.72, Hunter McGuirk ninth at 16:00.34 and Matt Piercy 10th at 16:01.66.

Also headed to state with Jesuit will be Alex Joseph, who took 11th at 16:05.50, and Michael Godbout, who finished 13th at 16:11.53.

“I was happy. Looking back and seeing them right there, it was like ‘We’re all right here. This is great,’” Sealand said. “This is where we want to be as a team and this is how we’re going to make it to nationals.”

by: MILES VANCE - DUEL TO THE FINISH - Jesuits Josh Sealand (left) accelerates past Lincolns Tanner Smith en route to a runner-up finish in the Metro League District meet at Tualatin Hills on Oct. 25.

It may also pave the way for a big finish at state too, and that’s exactly what the Crusaders are aiming for.

“We’re hoping to win, so having a pack like this helps,” Sealand said.

Lincoln landed two of its scorers in the top 10 — led by Tanner Smith (third in 15:42.75) — and its top five inside the top 22 to claim the league’s second team berth to state.

But there was more success from the league’s Beaverton-area teams, none more so than by Beaverton senior Oekerman, who sped away from the lead pack midway through the race and ran to his first Metro League championship with a winning time of 15:14.69, almost 28 seconds faster than Sealand’s runner-up mark.

“I just felt really good today, and I figured I might as well get at least one Metro League title while I’m here,” said Oekerman, who finished fifth at district and third at state a year ago. “I took the first mile out pretty controlled, then just put the hammer down once I got up” on the Walker Road loop.

Oekerman’s blistering time not only gave him the Metro title he craved, but also gave him high hopes for the coming state meet.

“The thing is, the past few years at state, the one who won Metro isn’t the first finisher at state so I’m just hoping to break that trend,” Oekerman said. “My main goal is to win state this year. That’s my only goal.”

Still, he knows it won’t be easy, expecting challenges from Central Catholic’s Kyle Thompson and Sheldon’s Jackson Darland.

“I was just trying to make it to state today, and now I have 10 days to train hard,” Oekerman said. “It’s not going to be an easy win if I do win. I just have to race the way I did today — stay in control that first mile, then be ready to make a move when the move needs to be made. We’ll see what happens.”

Besides Oekerman, the Metro League will also send Westview seniors RJ Morgan and Matt Kingzett and Aloha junior Devin Sellers to state as individuals, with Morgan grabbing sixth at 15:52.69, Kingzett taking seventh at 15:55.03, and Sellers placing 12th at 16:07.15.

Other top finishers from around the league were: Aloha’s Berkeley Andrus (18th at 16:41.81) and Bae Garmondeh (20th at 16:44.97); Beaverton’s Harrison Garrett (21st at 16:45.37); Southridge’s Riley Temple (43rd at 17:37.50); Sunset’s Mark Sussman (16th at 16:38.50); and Westview’s Alec Smith (15th at 16:21.75) and Dakota McFadden (19th at 16:42.06).

“I’m not too happy about it. My PR is still from my freshman year so I’m disappointed,” Sussman said. “I just wanted to beat those Westview kids because that’s where we needed to go to get to state.”

To see a complete photo gallery from this meet, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.




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  • 19 Aug 2014

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