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Forest Grove runners shine during Hood-to-Coast Relay
Five years in the making, Forest Grove's all-star running contingent finishes 11th out of more than 1,000 teams
When Forest Grove High School cross country coach Sue Fleskes first fielded a Hood-to-Coast Relay team in 1996, she dreamed of someday assembling all of her best former runners for an all-star squad that could challenge for a spot near the top of the grueling 199-mile race.
Fleskes dream came true this year, with 12 current and former Vikings assembling from all over the country to form a distance running dream team that tamed the course in 19 hours, 53 seconds to finish sixth in the mens open division and 11th overall out of 1,068 teams.
The 2012 Run Forest team consisted of Adrian Shipley, Chris Paterson, Connor Pitt, Drennan Wesley, Dusty Klein, Eric Weinbender, Josh Seitz, Justin Marble, Kellen Peters, Marc Roche, Nick Wallace and Tyler Shipley.
The athletes chose the legs that they would run based on their strengths and weaknesses, Fleskes said. It worked out great.
In addition, the Forest Grove girls team, Beautiful Speed, finished first in their division in the Portland-to-Coast High School Challenge, bettering their previous best time in the event by more than 10 minutes.