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Pacer cross country teams dominate meet in McMinnville

According to Lakeridge cross country coach Ken James, last weekends meet at the 5 Rock Ranch in McMinnville was one of the best the Pacers have had in a long time.

As a team, the Lakeridge boys won convincingly over a handful of solid teams.

'We knew we had a chance to win and these guys really rallied together,' James said.

Alex Anderson led the way with an eighth place finish but that doesn't tell the story of his race. It wasn't a good time for Anderson at all comparatively but there's a good reason for that.

First, the course was extremely difficult, featuring four river crossings and large mud pits. And second, Anderson lost his shoe midway through the race in one of those areas of mud.

'Alex was leading at that point and he probably would have won the race pretty easily,' James said.

According to James, the senior spent close to 45 seconds searching for it before giving up and running the rest of his race without it.

Anderson's loss may have been the rest of the team's gain however as he was then able to pace the second pack and push his teammates to solid finishes.

Kevin Pearson finished just two places behind Anderson as the team's second through fifth place runners all crossed the finish line within 30 seconds of each other.

Seth Troisi and Kyle Rathmanner finished back-to-back in 12th and 13th place while Max Heninger came in 16th.

'Our younger guys are really stepping up and pushing the older guys on the team,' James said.

Having all five runners finish in the top 20 helped stake the Pacers to an easy victory over second-place Cleveland.

In the girls race, Lakeridge took third place as a team with a solid effort from top to bottom.

While the Pacers don't possess a standout individual on the team, they had more depth than virtually every other team in attendance.

Kelly Bartz finished first for Lakeridge, taking 15th overall with Zoe Newman close behind in 18th.

Allison Heymann ran her best race of the year to finish third on the team while Kayla Al'Khaledy was equally solid in 30th.

Jenna Conan and Sydney Baker crossed the finish line at virtually the same time as Lakeridge's top six all finished in the top 40.

'Top to bottom the meet was really impressive. Our JV teams also did extremely well,' James said.

Lakeridge had a league meet on Wednesday with Lake Oswego and other league opponents in McMinnville but results were not available at press time.