Pacer girls take 5th at state
By MATTHEW SHERMAN
The Lakeridge girls track team ended up with another top-five showing at the state meet, capping the season with some terrific finishes but also a touch of disappointment.
The Pacers finished in fifth place with 39 points but also had their talented 4x100 relay team disqualified in prelims following a miscue.
Still, there was plenty to be proud about as the Pacers racked up points in multiple events.
In the field, Saskia McNairy tallied her best-ever mark in the triple jump, leaping 36'3" to finish in third place.
Kyleigh Young scored a fourth place finish in the javelin with a best throw of 138'6" and narrowly missed scoring in the discus with a ninth place finish.
On the first day of competition, Lakeridge's Kelly O'Neill took eighth place in the 3000 with a time of 10:14.99. She would come back on Saturday to take fifth in the 1500, setting a PR with a time of 4:37.22.
"I was hoping for the school record which I didn't quite get. I didn't have the best position. Everyone was really packed and it was tough to get around," O'Neill said.
In the 400, Krissy Hengesh made the finals and took fifth place in a time of 57.82 seconds. Lakeridge's biggest point scorer in the meet was hurdler and relay member Madi Greenleaf. Greenleaf took third in the 100 hurdles, nearly setting a PR with a time of 14.88 seconds.
Then, in the 300 hurdles, Greenleaf ran the fastest time in the prelims, setting a PR by a tenth of a second. In the finals, she was locked in a dead heat with the defending state champion from Centennial. Greenleaf clipped the very last hurdle and took second place while still running a terrific time of 44.58 seconds.
Capping the meet for the Pacer girls, the 4x400 relay team of Hengesh, Greenleaf, Lauren King and Sydney Lautze was seeded fifth in the prelims and improved to fourth in the finals, breaking four minutes with a time of 3:58.17.
For the Lake Oswego girls there was also disappointment in the 4x100 as a false start cost the team a likely high finish.
Christy Wood scored well for the Lakers in the sprints. After setting a PR in the 100 of 12.25 seconds in the prelims, Wood took third place in the finals.
"I'm really happy. This might be my final 100 meters and finishing in the top three against these competitors is awesome," Wood said.
She would also take fifth place in the 200 in a time of 25.61.
Amber Swayne also scored for the Lakers with a fifth place showing in the shot put. She had a best throw of 38'6".
In the boys' meet, the best finish of the day happened on Friday in the 3000. Lakeridge's Julian Heninger ran a nearly perfect race, staying with the front of the pack and biding his time.
"Heading into the last lap I thought I might have a shot at it," Heninger said.
He stuck with Beaverton's Dan Oekerman and the pair hit the final 100 meters in a dramatic sprint to the finish. The pair hit the finish line in a photo finish with Oekerman edging him by one hundredth of a second, which was the closest finish in the history of the event at the state track meet.
"I've never had to practice leaning for the finish line before in the 3000," Heninger said.
Heninger's time of 8:40.17 was a PR by more than 10 seconds. Lakeridge's Mubark Mebrat took eighth in the 3000.
Lakeridge also picked up points in the 800 with both Spence Russell and Colton Ansberry making the finals. The pair paced each other again and finished in fourth and fifth place.
Heninger would also score a point in the 1500 with a time of 4:01.69. Nate Normo took third place in the 1500 in a terrific race, setting a PR by nearly three seconds in a time of 3:56. 82.
The Laker's Connor Bracken made the finals in the 110 hurdles and moved up a spot to seventh place in the finals in a time of 15.83.
Lakeridge's vaunted 4x400 relay team also had a strong finish to the year. The team qualified in sixth place and improved its time by nearly two seconds in the finals.
The team of Russell, Ansberry, Alex Alamida and Micahel Walker finished in 3:25.59 seconds and took fourth.
In the high jump, both local teams scored points. Mason Collett cleared 6'1" and took third place while Lakeridge's Andrew Clarke cleared 5'11" for a sixth place showing.
Also scoring for the Lakers was Jasper Yildirim in the long jump with a lead of 22'00.25". Lake Oswego had a pair of near misses in terms of scoring as well with Sam Lantow taking ninth in the javelin and Jack Halvorson taking ninth ninth in the pole vault.