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Pacer track teams look to continue run of success

Both teams have large numbers and the girls will defend 2013s state title

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lakeridge's Marissa Miller returns to the Pacers this year to anchor the sprints and is expected to be one of the top runners in the league in those eventsThe Lakeridge track teams are primed for another terrific season, coming off last year's historic spring where the Pacer girls took home their first state title.

Lakeridge lost some key pieces from last year's team, most notably hurdler Madi Greenleaf and distance runner Kelly O'Neill, both of whom were also key relay components.

However, Lakeridge also returns some standouts with the capacity to score big at the state meet and had a big turnout this year.

“I think kids want to be a part of the program after last year,” coach Ken James said.

The Pacer girls have won five straight league titles and should be difficult to contend with again this year.

Lakeridge returns three of its four competitors from its 4x100 relay team last year in Marissa Miller, Sydney Lautze and Ranya al-Khaledy.

Miller figures to be one of the league's top sprinters this year and Lautze should be very competitive in the 400.

In the 800, Lakeridge is led by Andi Bisbjerg and a pair of veteran cross-country runners will anchor the distance events.

Laura Manning was sixth in the league in cross-country this year and Lia Newman could be one of the top competitors in the TRL in the 1500.

In the hurdles, Sydney Borgeson has been impressive in both events early in the year as a sophomore and Saskia McNairy gives the team versatility in those events as well.

McNairy is one of the top all-around athletes in the state and is being recruited for the heptathlon at Oregon State University.

“We definitely have some big point-scorers for us this year,” James said.

She figures to be one of the top long and triple jumpers in the state this year and also a valuable component on relays.

Nicole Kangas placed at state in the pole vault last year and is returning. She also gives the Pacers depth in the jumps.

Maddie Moxness and freshman Alexa Harris have each shined in the high jump early in the year and the team expects big things out of Maddie Rabing in the throws.

Rabing has a chance to win state titles in both the discus and the shot put this year and should be a strong competitor in the javelin.

Rabing is also an incredibly versatile athlete, helping the team in dual meets with her ability to compete in the 200 and 400.

“She's really unbelievable. Her goal is to win state in her two best events but she's also one of our faster girls and has great footwork,” James said.

For the boys, the team graduated a strong senior class last year but have strong competitors across the board and should continue to be a strong dual meet team.

“We have the raw materials, so to speak, but we need to use the year to refine them in to a competitive team in the TRL,” coach Joe Schloetter said.

Brent Pottenger and Cameron Russell will be the Pacers' primary sprinters this season and Corrado Pitari figures to be a contender for state in the middle distances.

Noah Belcik will anchor the 1500 and 3000 for Lakeridge, coming off a strong cross-country season.

Lakeridge has a strong and deep hurdling core of Cameron Clarke, Reilly Kirk and Sam Reed.

In the field, Michael Kiever, Owen Hart and James Andrew will shore up the throws and should score points for the Pacers in league meets this year while Alec Home will be the squad's top jumper.

“We should be a balanced team this year. For us to reach our goals we will need all of our athletes to continue to improve over the course of the season,” Schloetter said.

Lakeridge had its first TRL meet of the season Wednesday against Lake Oswego.

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