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Normo, ONeill take 5th at state

by: VERN UYETAKE Lakeridge junior Kelly O’Neill matched her best showing at state, finishing in fifth place individually.

Cold and wet weather made for tough running conditions at the state cross country meet in Eugene last weekend but made for some exciting finishes.

Lake Oswego and Lakeridge were both well represented and had strong showings as individuals and as teams.

The Lakeridge boys finished sixth in state and Lake Oswego's team took eighth and the teams combined to put four individuals in the top 21.

Lake Oswego's Nate Normo put a nice capper on a terrific season, nearly setting another PR on the difficult course.

Normo finished in 15:55, taking fifth place after getting edged out at the finish line by Crater's Neil Seibert.

Also getting on the podium was Lakeridge's Julian Heninger who just missed his best time of the season as well in taking ninth.

Heninger and teammate Mubark Mebrat were locked in a three-man battle coming down the home stretch along with South Eugene's Joe Holvey.

All finished with a time of 16:08 with Heninger taking ninth and Mebrat taking 11th.

Lake Oswego's Todd Macdonald was next for his team, finishing 21st overall.

Lakeridge also received strong runs from Alec Koh, who finished 47th, Colton Ansberry, who took 70th, and Kevin Mertz who placed 78th.

Lake Oswego's Jared Bell finished in 57th followed by Phillip Kearns and Matt Agritelley.

In the girls race, the Pacers' Kelly O'Neill entered with the fifth fastest time in the state and that's where she ended up.

O'Neill stayed with the leaders for the majority of the race and finished just 21 seconds behind the winner, Paige Rice, from St. Mary's.

O'Neill's finish matches her best showing at state. She also took fifth as a freshman and was 10th last year.

The Pacer girls finished ninth as a team. Lia Newman was next for Lakeridge, finishing in 49th individually.

Aubrey Larson was next, taking 78th while Lea Zawada took 84th, Laura Suzuki was 87th and Madeline Hummel was 90th.