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Lakers, Pacers put up good marks at state track meet

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN Madi Greenleaf hands the baton to Kelly O’Neill in the final of the 4x400 relay in Eugene last week

The state track meet saw the Lakeridge girls pick up another top-10 finish while a handful of individuals stood out for both the Pacers and the Lakers.

The Pacer girls finished in eight place, just two points out of sixth in a solid overall showing. Lakeridge had finalists in multiple events and saved one of its best showings for last.

In the 4x400 relay, Madi Greenleaf, Kelly O'Neill, Sydney Lautze and Krissy Hengesh barely qualified for the finals with the eighth fastest time but moved up to fourth in the finals, cracking the four-minute barrier in the process.

Fourth place was familiar territory for O'Neill. The long-distance specialist ran her fastest time of the year in the 3000 on Friday to take fourth. Then, on Saturday, the 1500 proved to have one of the better finishes of the afternoon.

Four runners, including O'Neill, had a shot heading into the final 200 meters. O'Neill stayed with the lead pack and would finish in fourth again, less than a second and a half behind the winner.

"I just tried to stick with the leaders as long as possible and I was feeling pretty good. I was definitely less nervous today than I was yesterday (during the 3000)," O'Neill said.

In the 400, Hengesh qualified for the finals and would finish in sixth place.

Greenleaf also qualified for the finals in both hurdles events in her first state meet. In the high hurdles, Greenleaf fell midway through the race but was able to finish and take eighth.

She then had a very strong 300 hurdles bettering her preliminary time to finish in fifth.

Also scoring for Lakeridge was Kyleigh Young, who took sixth in the javelin with the best throw of her career.

For Lake Oswego, Christy Wood made the finals in both the 200 and the 400. She entered the 400 with the second-fastest time in the prelims and would take third in the finals.

"I'm a little disappointed. I was hoping to set a PR but it was still an incredibly fun race," Wood said.

Then, in the 200, Wood nearly broke the 25-second barrier in the finals to finish in fourth place.

The Lakers also received a point from Amber Swayne who took eighth in the discus, just missing a PR.

For the boys, Nate Normo ran the best time of his career in the 1500 and finished in 10th.

Myke Tavarres scored all of the points at state for the Lakeridge boys, making the finals in both the 110 and 300 hurdles.

In the high hurdles, Tavarres had the second-fastest time in the prelims and would better that time in the finals en route to a third-place finish.

"I was hoping to win it. I was in pretty good shape and I had a good start but I hit a hurdle at the end and that slowed me down," Tavarres said.

Tavarres picked up another top-five finish in the 300 hurdles, moving up from sixth after the prelims to fifth overall.