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Cross-country season wraps up at state

Noah Belcik makes the podium for the Lakeridge boys with a 10th place finish

MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridge's Noah Belcik finishes strong at last week's state meet, passing a runner on the final back stretch to take 10th place.The cross-country season finished on a high note for Lakeridge last week in Eugene. Both the boys and girls tallied top-10 finishes at the state meet and the Pacers put an individual on the podium as well.

The Lakeridge boys finished in ninth place overall. It was an unexpectedly slow start to the race which led to a large contingent of contenders bunched together for more than a mile. That was fine for the Pacers' Noah Belcik, one of the state's top 800 runners who knew he could close with a strong kick.

Belcik hung with the lead pack for more than half of the race before a handful of runners started to separate themselves.

Still, he found himself in an advantageous position and knew exactly where he stood as he hit the track for the final 300 meters.

“I knew how many people were ahead of me and I knew I could close well,” Belcik said.

Belcik picked off runners late in the race, including one right at the finish line to claim 10th place, more than meeting his goal of cracking the top-18 to qualify for Boardercross.

“Honestly, I wasn't even thinking about getting on the podium so I'm really happy,” Belcik said.

His time of 16:03 was 37 seconds faster than his finish at state last year.

Next for Lakeridge was Daniel Ragsdale who also closed strong, taking 30th place in a solid time of 16:31 and narrowly missing a PR.

Justin Miller had one of his best races of the year and finished in 64th in 17:04, followed closely by teammate Alex Harbert in 66th, just two seconds behind.

Rounding out the scoring for Lakeridge was Matt Lautze in 89th in 17:27.

In the girls race, Sarah Lyell was solid in her first appearance at state. She was the Pacers' top finisher in a time of 19:38, good enough for 29th.

Lilly Bar was next, taking 63rd in 20:17. Eva Svoboda was just a handful of seconds behind Bar in 72nd in a time of 20:32 while Maj Wehrmeister also cracked the top-100 in 92nd.

Lake Oswego's two individual qualifiers each made the most of their first trip to state. Dulcie Jones finished in a time of 20:01 which put her at 40th while Grace David was just four seconds behind in 44th.