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District down, state to go

Beavers and Skyhawks send two individuals each to the state meet
by: Miles Vance OUT OF THE WOODS — Jesuit’s David Leavy leads Beaverton’s Hussein Mohamed as he completes the Walker Road loop and heads to victory in the Metro District cross country meet at Tualatin Hills on Oct. 26.

BEAVERTON - The streak continues for the Jesuit boys cross country team.

The Crusaders, already Metro League dual meet champions for the year, added a 10th straight district title to their long list of accomplishments last week, scoring 34 points to easily outdistance second-place Lincoln's 80.

Jesuit senior David Leavy did his part at the district meet - held Oct. 26 at Tualatin Hills - running to victory in a time of 15 minutes, 33.34 seconds, almost nine seconds ahead of Southridge senior runner-up Justin Rocereto.

'It feels really good,' Leavy said. 'I put in all those miles, getting up at 6 o'clock in the morning, hitting the track at Jesuit - I guess it's paid off.'

Still, there were challenges along the way, notably from Rocereto - he finished second at 15:41.84 - and Beaverton senior Hussein Mohamed, who placed third overall at 15:43.66.

'We had some jostling going on, but I broke away in the trees, I hit the downhill really nicely and brought it home,' Leavy said. 'I battled hard when nobody was watching and I guess that's when a champion is made.'

Leavy will have plenty of company at the Class 6A state meet too - it's set for 3 p.m. Saturday at Lane Community College in Eugene - after a strong team effort by the powerful Crusaders. Jesuit's other four varsity scorers all joined Leavy in the top 10, with Hunter McGuirk sixth at 15:50.72, Sam Remington eighth at 16:00.88, Brian McDavitt ninth at 16:03.62, and Joshua Sealand 10th at 16:07.94.

Now, the Crusaders can set their sights on another strong performance at state - they were third a year ago with Leavy, McGuirk and Sealand on board.

'I couldn't do this without my teammates,' Leavy said. 'They're what keeps me motivated, keeps me pushing. I'd lose focus if it wasn't for them.'

Lincoln's efforts were led by junior Tanner Smith's seventh-place finish at 15:51.62 and an 11th by Evan Martin. That duo's success - along with 15th, 23rd and 24th-place finishes from the team's other varsity scorers - was enough to lift the Cardinals past Southridge and on to state as a team.

Southridge will send two runners on to state, however, led by Rocereto - who ran a personal best on his way to second place - and teammate Ryan Jones, who took fourth in 15:46.78.

'I'm pretty happy with it, but I had pretty high expectations for myself. I would have liked to have won it,' Rocereto said.

Now mostly recovered from a bout with the flu, Rocereto believes he can run with the state's best on Saturday

'I think by state it will be gone and I'll be ready,' he said. 'I think if I have one of those days where I feel really good, I think I'll have a chance to win it.'

Also headed to state from the Metro League are Beaverton senior Hussein Mohamed (he was third at 15:43.66) and junior teammate Dan Oekerman (he was fifth at 15:50.28). Together, they helped Beaverton to a fifth-place finish with 128 points.

That said, Mohamed - just coming back from a hamstring injury - wanted more.

'I'm not happy, but it's better than finishing last,' he said. I was feeling a little bit tired and kind of tight (but) … I'm recovering. Hopefully, I'll win (at state), but I've got to feel better than today. I have 10 days to recover so I'll train hard and get ready for state.'

Westview's boys were fourth overall with 102 points, that result highlighted by junior RJ Morgan's 13th-place finish at 16:17.18.

'I felt all right. It's my first year running cross country and it was a great experience,' Morgan said. 'I felt pretty good with my time and I'm looking forward to next year and doing better.'

Sunset's and Aloha's boys tied for sixth place in the team race at 130 points, the Apollos led by senior Nathan Brown's 14th-place finish in 16:20.15 while sophomore Devin Sellers was 17th for the Warriors at 16:33.50.

For Brown, who fell just 150 yards into the race, the result was a difficult one to swallow.

'I wanted a lot more than that,' he said. 'I started off and I thought I was doing good. Then I fell.'

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