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LO boys win rivalry track meet

A strong performance against rival Lakeridge has Coach Eric Lider feeling even better about his Lake Oswego High School boys track team.

Running on their home track on April 30, the Lakers pulled away to a convincing 96-47 victory.

LO couldn't catch Pacer sprint ace Billy Mitchell, who won the 100 and 200 meters, as well as the long jump. Mitchell blazed to a personal best time of 22.42 in winning the 200.

But the only other Pacer to get first was Chris Hoch, who won the high jump with an effort of 5-6.

'Everything is starting to click,' said Lider, the long-time Laker track leader. 'This is what we've been hoping for.'

Lider saw plenty of good things against Lakeridge, including two distance race wins by Elijah Greer, a league-best performance in the high hurdles by Micah Hatfield, a personal record by Chris Luetjen in the javelin, and Jimmy Jacobson coming into his own in the discus.

Greer, the defending state champion in the 1500 meters, showed his class by winning the 800 in 2:00.70 and the 1500 in 4:09.90, showing he is shaking off the effects of an early season injury.

But Lider said, 'We're still real cautious. Elijah is at a place in his training where he needed some good races. But we held him out of the Jesuit Relays. This time of year you've got to get healthy.'

What could have been a battle royal in the 3000 didn't happen because Lakeridge standout Dave Marks was held out in order to be at top form for the Jesuit Relays last Friday.

Marks definitely lived up to the hopes of Coach Joseph Schloetter.

He took third place in the 1500 against an outstanding field with a fast time of 3:57.66.

That was impressive by itself, but it was also the third fastest time in Lakeridge High history, the fourth fastest time in the state this year and was faster than the state championship winning time of last year.

Marks' duel against Greer will certainly be a premier feature of the TRL meet next week.

Other Lakers taking first were Thomas Belesiu in the 400, Hatfield in the 110 high hurdles (in a league best time of 15.06), James Ratliffe in the 300 hurdles, Curtis Houghton in the pole vault, and Nick Bottcher in the triple jump.

Jimmy Jacobson led a Laker sweep of the weight events by winning the discus with a heave of 143-05. He also won high praise from Lider.

'Jimmy is starting to throw really well, and he's starting to get consistent, which is the main thing,' Lider said. 'He has consistently been throwing over 140 feet.'

Other weight winners were Brandon Akerman in the shot put, where his mark of 47-03.5 was close to his personal best, and Luetjen in the javelin, where his mark of 147-08 exceeded his personal best by 7 feet.

Lake Oswego also swept the relay events.

The Lakers won the 4 by 100 relay in a time of 3:44.06 with the quartet of Belesiu, Hatfield, Ratliff and Luetjen.

In the 4 by 400 relay, the foursome of Belesiu, Jacobson, Paul Hoard and Ratliff clocked a winning time of 3:44.06.

Other Lakeridge highlights included Austin Denny taking second in the pole vault (10-6) and a sweep of the medal spots in the long jump, with Mitchell, Robbie Magill and Adam Bartholemew.

Now, Lider and Schloetter can think about winning the Three Rivers League district meet next week.

'This is the best position we've been in for a long time,' Lider said. 'I think we'll be right there along with Clackamas, Oregon City and probably Putnam. If we're healthy, we'll really compete.'

Lakeridge and Lake Oswego will compete in the Three Rivers League district championship on Wednesday and Friday of next week which will be held at Clackamas High School.