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The Beavers step up

Beaverton's girls win twice, edging Southridge and racing past Westview
by: MILES VANCE, ON HER OWN — Southridge senior Perrin Considine shook off last week’s 85-degree heat and the rest of the competition to win her team’s meet against Beaverton and Westview.

ROCK CREEK - Everyone knows about the girls cross country teams from Jesuit and Sunset.

Everyone knows that the Crusaders and Apollos are favored to rule the Metro League - and perhaps the Class 6A state meet - this year. What they might not know, however, is that Beaverton's girls have raced out to a 3-0 start to tie Jesuit atop the Metro standings after sweeping past Southridge and Westview last Wednesday.

The Beavers took out Westview 25-31 and edged Southridge 28-29 to stay unbeaten behind the efforts of their top finisher, senior Sarah Curry, who was second overall in 20 minutes, 38 seconds. Curry ended her day by catching Southridge senior Taylor Smiley in the final 400 meters of their 5-kilometer race to finish second behind Skyhawk senior Perrin Considine. Southridge beat Westview 25-30 in the other third of the day's dual races.

'I beat (Smiley) at district last year so I thought 'I can beat her again. I can do it.' So on the track, I took off and that's what happened,' Curry said. 'I do track, and that's my favorite sport, so the track is mine.'

'I was really happy with the girls,' added Beaverton coach Jim Archer. 'They attacked the whole way and it was a very competitive race.'

It took a team effort to knock off Southridge and Westview, however, and Curry got plenty of help from her teammates, including Courtney Graham (fifth in 20:52.37), Lindsey Thomas (sixth in 20:56.39), Kate Eppler (eighth in 21:25.32) and Melissa Reith (18th in 24:47.63).

'We were hanging together. I really felt the support of the girls,' Curry said.

Southridge, which moved to 1-2 in league competition after picking up its first win over Westview, notched two of the day's top three finishers in Considine, who won the event in 20:36, and Smiley, who was third in 20:44. Considine made her move to the front in the latter half of the race, taking off with Smiley as the course stretched to the north end of the Westview campus.

'When I got down in the back part of the course, I thought I could get it together and put a move on, but then I didn't want to be too competitive with Taylor so I said we could both just go together,' Considine said.

Her intuition paid off, as she and Smiley were 1-2 as they entered the Westview stadium and hit the track. Though Smiley couldn't hold off Curry in the day's afternoon heat, Considine did and took top honors on the day.

'When I'm racing, I don't even think about the heat,' Considine explained. 'If anything, I think it just makes me more focused, more intense.'

After those two, the rest of the Skyhawks' varsity finishers were Chelsey Gehrts (10th in 22:03.73), Breanne Whitlock (11th in 22:21.56) and Chloe Steinbeck (13th in 23:10.03).

For Westview, which fell to 0-3 in Metro competition, Bianca Martin led the way in fourth place with a finishing time of 20:51. Teammate Jessica Crannell crossed next for the Wildcats in seventh at 21:24, followed by Kristen Francis (ninth in 21:37), Melissa Alder (12th in 22:39) and Laura Kingzett (14th in 23:12).

In upcoming meets, Beaverton and Westview both run in the Jim Danner Invitational at Blue Lake Park in Gresham at 9 a.m. Saturday.