Jason Waldram takes a wrong turn, but still beats Southridge's best
by: JONATHAN HOUSE, TOP FINISHER — Aloha’s Jason Waldram ran away with the boys race against Southridge last week.

BEAVERTON - The cross country course at Greenway Park for the boys dual meet between Southridge and Aloha was 5 kilometers long.

Aloha sophomore Jason Waldram tacked some extra meters onto that workload, yet still managed to win the individual title in 17 minutes, 9 seconds on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

'It was pretty confusing,' Waldram said. 'A few times I was leading and took the wrong turn and had to catch back up. It was tough, but eventually I got it.'

Despite the detours, Waldram moved into the lead, passing Southridge's Michael T. Brown with two kilometers left, and never relinquished it. Brown finished strong but couldn't catch Waldram and crossed as the runner-up in 17:13

'He pulled ahead in the third loop and I just couldn't get him,' Brown said. 'He kept going the wrong way, but he still was in front of me. I closed the gap but I didn't pass him.'

Three Aloha runners, including Waldram, ran in a pack with Brown through the first two kilometers before Brown moved into the lead at the halfway point and Waldram was the only Warrior to stay with him.

'At first it was really good because Aloha was together in front where they should be,' Waldram said. 'The first loop I was trying to stay with the team. The last time I caught him (Brown), I could tell he was having a hard time so I left him behind.'

Despite a dropoff throughout the race, Aloha still managed to win the team contest 26-29 and improved to 2-2 in league meets, while Southridge dropped to 1-3.

'The guys ran a little flat today,' Aloha coach Tim Tank said. 'We're going to have to find a way to run better to qualify for state. Southridge ran pretty good.'

Brown paced the Skyhawks and may have found a new approach in the process.

'I usually go too fast for the first mile, so I decided to try something different this time,' Brown said. 'I decided to go as hard as I could in the second mile even if I died. It just hurt. I wasn't used to it. But it was a good race though. I think that worked better.'

Aloha's Ryan Abriel finished 300 yards behind Brown, taking third in 17:41. Southridge's runners consistently completed the course strong, but it wasn't enough to beat the Warriors.

Skyhawk senior Jordan Brown (17:59) and sophomore Kyle Schenone (18:03) overtook a pair of Aloha counterparts late in the race to place fourth and fifth. But the Warriors filled three of the next four spots to hold on for the team victory. Seniors Brad Ackerson (18:10) and Kurtis Owen (18:13) placed sixth and seventh, while sophomore teammate Kevin Sepulveda was ninth in 18:22 to round out Aloha's scorers.

Southridge junior Kyle Bailey charged past Sepulveda in the final 50 yards to take eighth in 18:20, while sophomore teammate Johnny Panaccione was 10th in 18:28 to complete the Skyhawks' scoring lineup.

Waldram, who took 17th at districts last year, is starting to emerge in his sophomore campaign. He fed off his fourth-place finish in the Division 2 race of the Jim Danner Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 7, in which he ran a personal-best time of 16:29.

'I'm really excited to see what I can do,' Waldram said. 'I've always had high expectations for myself and figured I'd eventually show people.'

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