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Pacer track teams each eye league titles


Lakeridge is deep and talented across the board

The Lakeridge track teams are exceedingly strong again with plenty of numbers and talent that should make both the boys and girls squads contenders for the district title.

The Pacer boys have their eyes on that goal this year after finishing second last season. Lakeridge has a loaded distance crew led by Julian Heninger, one of the top 1500 and 3000 runners in the state.

Colton Andsberry and Micahel Walker also return as two of the top 800 runners in the league.

Freshman Leo Lukens could also make an impact in the distance events.

“After our boys won the district cross country meet this year, the distance squad is obviously strong but we have strength in many other areas as well,” coach Joe Schloetter said.

Alex Alamida has already had a very strong start to the season, posting some of the top times in the state in the 100 and the 200. He should also be a factor in the long jump.

Andrew Clarke will also play a big role on this year's team in the high jump and on the squad's very talented 4x400 relay team.

Micah Bartel is new to track this season but has shown plenty of promise in both the triple jump and long jump. Corrado Pitari has also been solid in the triple jump and is another strong 800 runner.

In the field, Michael Kiever has made big strides since his freshman year in the shot put.

Lakeridge doesn't have many gaps and should be both a formidable dual meet team and one that could rack up points at districts.

“(Winning districts) will be a difficult task as the smallest school in the league. However, we feel that our success is dependent on our ability to work hard and focus on our own improvement. We will be working towards the district meet on May 16 and 17. That is our main goal this season,” Schloetter said.

For the girls, Lakeridge is hoping to pick up its fifth straight league title. The Pacers haven't lost a dual meet in nearly five years and they hope to continue that streak.

The Pacers are strong across the board and feature a little bit of everything. In the sprints, Marissa Miller and Ranya Al-Khaledy are both very strong along with returner Sydney Lautze in the 200 and 400.

Lautze was a member of the both relays which qualified for state last year.

Madi Greenleaf, who recently signed to run for UCLA, also hopes to make a big impact this year in the relays and both hurdles events but she is currently recovering from a heel injury and may not be back until the end of the season.

In the distances, Kelly O'Neil is back for her final season and is, once again, one of the top runners in the state, along with teammates, Lia Newman, Dorothy Wang and Laura Suzuki.

“Depth is definitely a strength for us this year, especially in the distances,” coach Ken James said.

Andi Bisbjerg should also make a big impact for Lakeridge in the 800.

In the field, the Pacers will turn to Saskia McNairy in multiple events. She is particularly strong in both the long jump and triple jump but can also handle the javelin and run sprints.

“She's amazing. We'll put her all over this year,” James said.

Freshman Maddie Rabing has already made her presence known in the throwing events, setting the school record in the shot put this season.

Nicole Kangas should make an impact in the pole vault as will Maddie Moxness in the high jump.

The Pacers hope to continue their league dominance and also make plenty of noise at state.

“We'll give it a shot this year. I think a trophy is possible,” James said.

Lakeridge and Lake Oswego squared off in a dual meet on Wednesday. Look for results next week.