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Laker runners hope to be among league's best

The Lake Oswego cross-country teams have depth and potential to compete in a strong TRL


The Lake Oswego cross-country teams lost some top-end talent to graduation last year but the program's depth sees both the boys and girls squads reloaded and ready to make a run at state.

The Laker girls return a good portion of last year's varsity team and hope to be in the mix for a top-two finish in league behind powerhouse Grant.

Becca Miles is back and figures to be the team's top runner while a handful of others could challenge her as the season progresses.

Sarah Tucker should also play a big role on this year's team. Tucker is currently recovering from an ACL injury but is expected to be cleared to start running again in the next week or two.

“We're a little disjointed right now but it's a very strong returning crew,” coach Eric Lider said.

Kendra Jackson, Emma Smith and Madi Willihnganz are also returning from last year's varsity squad.

A handful of other runners could make a significant impact as well and could drop significant time over the fall.

Hurdling standout Mitra LeBuhn is back on the team and has made big strides from last year.

Freshman Katy Howells has also been impressive in early runs with the team.

Andrea Velasquez should also be in the mix for the top-seven.

The Lakers expect to make significant progress as the season progresses and, once they hit their stride, they could be among the best in the league.

“We're always slow starters and we always try to peak right at districts,” Lider said.

Grant appears to be loaded with talent again but the Lakers should be a significant factor in the battle for second place with both Lakeridge and West Linn.

On the boys side, Lake Oswego returns five varsity runners but graduated its top two individuals from last year's team.

“Obviously you can't replace those guys but we're pretty experienced,” Lider said.

Seniors Brendan Holser and Matt Agritelley bring experience to the varsity squad while sophomore Linn Rising has the potential to be a strong runner for the Lakers this year.

Jafe Jacobson made the switch from soccer to cross-country and may be primed to be the team's top runner this year.

“Once he figures out the sport a little more he's going to be very good. I think running definitely suits him,” Lider said.

Kohl Niccol should also make a big impact on the varsity team this year along with transfer Davis Landry.

Currently there doesn't appear to be a breakout runner for the Lakers as there is little separation from top to bottom in the varsity lineup.

But if the team can continue to drop time throughout the season, it could be in position to make a run at state as well.

“We kind of have a pack group right now with a lot of guys who will probably change places throughout the year,” Lider said.



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