LO runners look to take big strides
The Laker girls return their entire top-seven from 2014
After Lake Oswego missed out on qualifying anyone for state last year, its cross-country teams appear to be reloaded and ready to surprise some teams this year.
The Lake Oswego girls return their entire top-seven from last year's squad which finished fourth at districts, missing out on qualifying for state by the slimmest of margins.
Sophomore Grace David just missed out on a state berth individually last year and is back as one of her team's top runners this season.
Katy Howells, Emma Smith, Kendra Jackson, Dulcie Jones, Emily Van Orman and Andrea Velazquez all cracked the top 40 at districts last year and all return, giving the Lakers depth and experience as they look to get over the hump this season.
Jones, after being one of Lake Oswego's top runners as a freshman, was hampered by an injury last year and the team is looking forward to having her back and health this season.
I would say that getting to state is definitely a goal. We have a very solid top seven that is much stronger than last year, coach Eric Lider said.
Amy Moring and June Pauly could also make a big impact for the Lakers as they were two of the top finishers in last year's Varsity II meet at districts.
A pair of twins also transferred into the district from Grant in Madeleine and Payton Schult, both of whom ran varsity for the Generals.
For the boys, Lake Oswego expects to make big strides from last year. It also returns its top runner in Linn Rising who hopes to lower his times significantly this year.
Two more varsity runners from last year's squad also return in Kohl Nicoll and Nick Kiddle. Another transfer should help the boys squad as well in Austin Wiens, who moved up from California.
There are plenty of options for Lider as he looks to round out his varsity squad, one which he feels has much more depth than last season.
The boys team should be very much improved. I think we'll be much more competitive, Lider said.
Colin Hennessy, Timmy Hanson, Nick Gadinas, Ethan Looney and freshman Eric Snell are all intriguing athletes as is Ian Galbraith, who missed much of last year with an injury.
The Lakers have been practicing hard and are eager to take on some competition.
We haven't done a lot of speed work yet. We're just building a strong foundation right now, Lider said.
The Lakers will run at the Canby Invitational next week as they open competition and will also run at the Northwest Classic this year on the state meet course in Eugene.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT