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Pacer girls win districts, records fall at TRL meet

by: VERN UYETAKE Lakeridge’s Madi Greenleaf won the 100 and the 300 hurdles at last week’s district meet and helped set a school record on the 4x400 relay team.

It was an incredibly successful district track meet for both Lakeridge and Lake Oswego last week and each school will send a strong contingent to state this Friday and Saturday.

The Lakeridge girls won the meet with Lake Oswego taking second.

For the Lakers, Christy Wood was a heavy favorite in both the 200 and the 400 and she lived up to her billing by winning both events.

She cruised to a win in the 400, finishing in a time of 56.77 seconds. Lakeridge's Krissy Hengesh was second in the race, also qualifying for state.

"I was nervous going into the race but once it started I got my confidence. The 400 is completely a mental race," Wood said.

Wood also rolled to a win by half a second in the 200, topping West Linn's Madison Leek.

The distance events belonged to Lakeridge's Kelly O'Neill.

On Thursday she picked up an easy victory in the 3000, winning by five seconds and will look to score for the Pacers at state.

Then, on Friday, O'Neill held of Grant's Parkes Kendrick for her second district title.

Lakeridge had another double winner in Madi Greenleaf. Greenleaf improved in the hurdles throughout the season and picked a good time to have two of her best races of the year.

In the 100 hurdles she got off to a strong start and made her early lead hold up, winning in a time of 15.41 seconds.

"I'm really happy with it. I just had to tell myself that it's a sprint and to attack each hurdle. My best race is really the 300. I didn't start running the high hurdles until late in the season but I tried them and it's a really fun race," Greenleaf said.

The Laker's Janelle Croy finished third in the 100 hurdles, clipping the final hurdle as West Linn's Casey Livesay nipped her for second place.

Later, in the 300 hurdles, Greenleaf won by nearly a second over Livesay with another fast time.

The 4x400 relay proved to be the best race of the afternoon. The Three Rivers League boasts the three fastest teams in the state and they all showed off on Friday.

Lakeridge's team of Greenleaf, O'Neill, Hengesh and Sydney Lautze actually finished in third but it set a new school record in the process and earned a wild card entry to state.

In the field, Lake Oswego saw some tremendous results.

Amber Swayne took second in the shot put, nearly matching her best throw of the year.

Then the Lakers went 1-2 in the discus. Haley Russell had the best throw of her career to win the event, edging out Swayne who topped her personal best by 10 feet.

Lakeridge's Kyleigh Young survived the always competitive javelin competition to finish in second place with a throw of 133'11".

And, in the triple jump, the Pacers' Anne Mueller topped her previous best leap by more than a foot to finish in second place and earn a trip to state.

In the boys' meet, Lake Oswego's Will Shannon continued his comeback from a broken foot.

He has gotten steadily faster in each meet this year and that trend continued in the finals of the 100.

Shannon, the defending district champion in the 100, finished in a virtual tie with Grant's Danny Harkins and will make a return trip to state.

"I had a pretty slow start. When my head came up I was two lengths behind and just had to dig in," Shannon said.

Shannon would finish third in the 200.

In the 800, Lakeridge's Michael Walker was able to match a fast early pace set by West Linn's Zach Boyd-Helm Walker then kicked hard and finished in second place to qualify for state.

Lakeridge had plenty of success in the distance events. There was another exciting finish in the 1500 with Julian Heninger holding off two strong finishers to win the district title.

"It was definitely a kicker's race. With about 300 meters left I just went for it. Coming down the stretch the crowd's cheering and you never know exactly who's behind you," Heninger said.

Lake Oswego's Nathan Normo ran his best time of the season and edged out Oregon City's Nathan Meeker for second place to head to state.

In the 3000, it was the Pacers' Mubark Mebrat making it to state, shattering his best time of the year and edging out Heninger for second place.

Lakeridge's Myke Tavarres entered both hurdles events as a favorite. He captured the 110 hurdles impressively in a time of 15.2 seconds.

Then, after finishing second in the prelims of the 300 hurdles, he edged Oregon City's Kody Kozak for the district title in that event as well.

Tavarres would also clear 6'0" in the high jump and take third in that event.

But earning a berth at state in the field events was Lakeridge's Spencer Russell. Russell had the best jump of his career to take second in the long jump.

The state meet will be this Friday and Saturday at the University of Oregon in Eugene.