Lakeridge places two boys and two girls in the top-10 at the district meet

by: VERN UYETAKE - Laura Manning ran a smart and steady race for the Pacers, finishing with a strong final mile to be the team's top finisher and earn a trip to state.Two Pacer girls and two Pacer boys qualified for state at last week's district cross-country meet. The Lakeridge girls finished third as a team behind Grant and Clackamas, narrowly missing a trip to state as a group.

Laura Manning and Lia Newman each ran smart and steady races for the Pacers. Newman started quickly, staying near the pack that formed behind Grant's top two runners and Clackamas' standout freshman.

Newman stayed close to West Linn freshman Johanna Briscoe early in the race. Midway through the course at Clackamas Community College, Manning caught up with her teammate and the pair continued to stay in a pack near the back of the top-10.

Both runners closed well with Manning kicking well in the final half-mile. Manning would make some late passes and took sixth place individually with one of her best times of the year in 20:21.30.

Newman was close behind, taking eighth place in 20:31.24, also qualifying for state.

Lake Oswego's top finisher was freshman Dulcie Jones in 15th place, turning in her second-best time of the season.

Emma Smith and Heidi Dufek also had very strong races, each finishing in the top-20. Lakeridge's Elli Newman finished in 13th place overall and Riley Humbert took 25th.

In the boys race, West Linn twins Roman and Grayson Ollar set the pace early but Lakeridge's Leo Lukens and Noah Belcik stayed close for the majority of the race.

After eventual winner Roman Ollar gained some separation, Lukens and Belcik each stayed with the front pack.

Lukens would finish in fifth place in 16:38.33, nearly setting a lifetime PR. Belcik was close behind in ninth, cracking 17 minutes in the fastest time of his career.

Also running well for the Pacers was Justin Miller in 23rd while Alex Harbert and Daniel Ragsdale finished back-to-back in 26th and 27th.

Lake Oswego was led by Jase Jacobsen, who finished in 17th place in 17:17.90, continuing his extremely consistent season.

Linn Rising finished in 24th for the Lakers while Evan Palmer and Brendan Holser each finished in the top-30.

The state meet will be this Saturday at Lane Community College in Eugene.

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