LO girls 1st at district meet

by: Vern Uyetake, Lake Oswego’s Jacqui Wallis crosses the finish line en route to winning the 400m at last week’s district track meet.

For the first time in 15 years, the Lake Oswego girls took home the district track title last week while the Lake Oswego boys took third place, cracking 100 points for just the second time in school history.

Meanwhile, the Lakeridge girls finish in a strong third place and Dave Marks qualified in a pair of events for the Pacer boys as both schools will be well represented at the upcoming state meet in Eugene.

The Lake Oswego girls won every running event at district except for the 3,000 and the hurdles.

'There weren't many hiccups. The team did what it was supposed to do and I kind of sat back in awe. It was just one of those nights to remember,' Laker coach Eric Lider said.

Jacqui Wallis and Kate Mogentale dominated the sprints. Wallis walked away with four wins on the day while Mogentale had three and one second-place performance. That second place came in the 200 meters as she was edged out by Wallis.

But Mogentale, who has been running the 100 meters for less than a year, won that even in a time of 13.12.

'I knew it was going to be intense and that the girls on either side of me would push me. The 100 is so technical, one little thing could cost you the race,' Mogentale said.

In the 200, Wallis finished .13 seconds ahead of Mogentale but dominated in the 400. She took a second and a half off of her time in the prelims, winning in 58.46.

'I just wanted to try my hardest no matter what. I'm really excited to run with Kate. My goal is to make it to the finals in the 400,' Wallis said.

'Jacqui is so coachable and trainable. She had the speed, endurance and desire. She's definitely thinking more,' Lider said after Wallis dropped time in the 400.

Coming in second place in that event was Lakeridge's Amy Wiley, who also is headed to state.

One of the most highly anticipated races of the meet was the 800 meters which saw a showdown between Clackamas' Andrea Dittmer and Lake Oswego's Tate Murray.

Dittmer won the even in the finals while Murray qualified for state with a second place finish. The Lakers' Latane Cox had the fastest preliminary time and finished in fourth in the finals.

Murray picked up a win in the 1500 in a fast time of 4:58.83. And, in the 3000, Lauren Ohlson qualified for state with a second place finish.

In the hurdles, the Lakeridge pair of Sam Berryman and Claire Perusse were expected to battle Clackamas' Kate Jette for the league's two berths at state.

In the prelims, Berryman came in a solid second but, in the finals, she clipped the last hurdle and Perusse finished ahead of her by a tenth of a second for second place.

'I ran my hardest. That last (hurdle) definitely got me. But I'm really happy that Claire gets to go,' Berryman said.

Lake Oswego won both relays convincingly. The 4x100 team of Walis, Janelle Croy, Cali Reis and Madison Keele ran the final in 49.74 and the 4x400 team of Wallis, Murray, Mogentale and Aly Steinbacher won in 4:03.81.

Lakeridge had some strong showings in the field events, led by Lexi Ross. Ross finished second in the shot put and won the high jump with a leap of 5'4'. Ross should vie for a state title in the high jump.

In the javelin, it was apparent that one talented athlete wouldn't be headed to state due to the league's depth in that event. As expected, West Linn's Ali Super won handily while the Pacers' Andrea Hopkins took second with a throw of 138'8', just two feet short of her season best.

Also for Lakeridge, Berryman put together another stellar district meet. Berryman took second in the high jump, just two inches short Ross's winning leap.

She was also second in the long jump by a quarter of an inch and won the triple jump handily. Berryman earned 32 total points for her team and won her 11th district title, which is a Three Rivers League Record.

'I'm definitely happy. I think I can only get better (at state). A state title would be nice. It's always something I've been shooting for,' Berryman said.

At state, Berryman will be among the favorites in the triple jump where she will look to take home her first state title and will look to set Lakeridge's all-time scoring title. She is currently three points behind Mandy White.

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For the boys, Milwaukie and Clackamas dominated the spints but Lake Oswego and Lakeridge owned the distance events. Elijah Greer blew away the competition in the 800 and 1500.

The junior turned in a time of 1:55.43 in the 800, making him one of the favorites at state in that event.

'I went out strong and it was a good run. I know that some of these other guys can get me if I'm not at my best,' Greer said.

He also won the 1500 by nearly five seconds but will focus on just the 800 and the 4x400 relay in Eugene.

Lakeridge's Marks took second in the 1500 and, on Thursday, cruised to an easy victory in the 3000, turning in the top qualifying time in the state in that event.

Lake Oswego's 4x400 relay team of Greer, Thomas Belesiu, Paul Hoard and James Ratliff set a school record en route to winning the district crown.

The 4x100 team of Micah Hatfield, Ratliff, Belesiu and Chris Luetjen (also featuring Nick Bottcher and Victor Otto) took second to earn a trip to state.

The Lakers also dominated in the hurdles.

Ratliff won both the intermediate and high hurdles, setting a school record in the 300. But just a fraction of a second behind him in both events was teammate Micah Hatfield and the two will both head to Eugene.

'Those guys are good friends and they will continue to compete against each other. They could both get into the finals,' Lider said.

Finishing out of the top two but earning an automatic berth at state was pole-vaulter Curtis Houghton who cleared 14-feet to stamp his ticket to Eugene.

The state meet runs from Thursday through Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene.