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LO runners fare well in Eugene

The Lake Oswego cross country teams got a chance to see what running in the state meet might look like over the weekend.

The Lakers went down to Eugene and ran at Lane Community College on a similar course to state.

And apparently the Lakers took a liking to their surroundings.

Against strong competition the Lake Oswego boys took third place, just five points behind second-place Grant while the girls finished in seventh.

But there were a handful of personal-best times making it an extremely successful meet.

'We had 60 runners in the events and I think there were only two kids who didn't set a PR,' coach Eric Lider said.

The boys were led by their one-two punch of Elijah Greer and John Paden who finished in second and fourth place respectively.

Greer started off behind the leaders before starting his trademark kick toward the finish.

He picked off a handful of runners down the stretch and had his sights set on Springfield's Tim Costin but couldn't catch him, taking second place by just four seconds while setting another personal-best time in the process.

'There was just too much distance between him and the leader but I know the (Springfield) coach was worried,' Lider said.

Paden wasn't far behind, also closing his race strong to finish in the top five.

Perhaps the race of the day belonged to Paul Hoard who beat his personal-best time by over 10 seconds. As he hit the track for the final few hundred meters, Hoard passed a number of runners to move into 14th place overall.

'Paul keeps getting stronger. He ran that race on pure heart,' Lider said.

Rounding out the top five for the Lakers were Isaac Hayden and Reed Oliver. Hayden ran his best time of the year by nearly 25 seconds while Oliver came just a few seconds away from matching his career best finish.

'Isaac and Reed have been very consistent for us all year,' Lider said.

In the girls race, Tate Murray ran strategically, biding her time before moving up toward the leaders.

She found herself in the top five and then moved into third place on the track, finishing in 19:19 which was her best time of the year so far.

Behind Murray were a handful of personal best races from her teammates.

Emily Hoard knocked 25 seconds off of her best time while Molly Ponkevitch ran her best meet of the year.

Sarah Morse and Jocelyn Aguilar ran neck and neck for much of the race and finished just two seconds apart to completed the Lakers' top five.

The trip to Eugene also provided a time for bonding as a team.

'It's always a fun day. I think the kids had a great time,' Lider said.

Lake Oswego has three more meets before districts in late October.