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Meeker, Crawford run strong at crossover

Oregon City's boys cross country team was in pretty good form at last Thursday's Three Rivers League/Mt. Hood Conference league crossover meet.

The Pioneers scored 158 points and finished sixth in the 13-team field, trailing only Lake Oswego (92), Grant (103) and Lakeridge (133) in the seven-team TRL.

Central Catholic (71) and Barlow (75) were the top boys teams.

'I was pleased with what the boys did,' said Oregon City coach Brandon Lee. 'We're quite a bit ahead of where we were last year. Overall our times were a minute better across the board and Nathan Meeker ran a lifetime best….

'I know the guys were a little disappointed, because they felt like they could have done better. But I was very pleased. We're well ahead of last year, and we're going to get better.'

Meeker, a senior, placed seventh in the 104-runner varsity boys field with a time of 16:27 for the 5,000-meter Blue Lake Park course.

'A Central Catholic kid [Kyle Thompson, 15:44] was out front, but Nathan was in the next group of six or seven guys who ran together for most of the race,' said Lee.

Meeker finished fifth among TRL runners, finishing back of Lake Oswego senior Nathan Normo (16:06), Grant senior Andrew Walker (16:10), Lakeridge senior Mubark Mebrat (16:22) and Lakeridge junior Julian Heninger (16:26).

Other scorers for Oregon City boys included: Bradley Laughlin, 20th (17:02); Brenden Oliver, 37th (17:34); Matthew Trone, 41st (17:39); and Chris Durant, 55th (17:55).

Clackamas boys were led by seniors Alan Johnston (17th, 16:57) and Ciaran Smythe (28th, 17:10). The Cavaliers placed ninth, with a team tally of 270.

Junior Rachel Crawford ran a strong race for Oregon City girls, finishing sixth (20:17) in the 120-runner varsity girls field.

'Rachel ran very well,' said Lee. 'A St. Mary's girl [Paige Rice, 18:12] was well ahead of the rest of the field, but Rachel ran with the lead pack. She ran right with a Lakeridge girl who was dominant [in league] last year and she was third among Three Rivers League [female] runners….

'She was right at her PR from last year.'

Lakeridge junior Kelly O'Neill (second, 19:28) and Lakeridge sophomore Lia Newman (fourth, 20:01) were the only TRL athletes to finish in front of Crawford.

St. Mary's won the girls meet with 27 points, well ahead of the second place girls team from Lakeridge (115). Oregon City (212) and Clackamas (351) placed 10th and 13th respectively in the girls team scoring.

Clackamas girls were led by senior Natasha Rowland, who placed 64th (22:20).

TRL dual competition begins this afternoon, with the Pioneers, Canby, David Douglas, Gresham and St. Mary's squaring off with West Linn at Mary S. Young State Park.