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The local runners show improvement at the Class 6A meet

EUGENE — The only downside to making the Class 6A State Championships, according to Tualatin High School sophomore Matthew Lovos, was the extra week of practice.

By the time the Timberwolves boys cross country team toed the starting line at Lane Community College Saturday, there was nothing but fun to be had.by: JONATHAN HOUSE - ALMOST DONE -- Tigard sophomore Elizabeth Dean nears the finish line at Saturday's state championships.

“It was pretty fun,” said Lovos, who was the top Tualatin finisher Saturday, coming in at 49th overall. “The extra week of practice wasn’t very much fun, but getting to finish (the season) on this nice course was great.”

Competing at state for the second consecutive year, the Tualatin boys finished 11th overall with 252 points, just two points behind 10th-place finisher McNary. The Timberwolves finished 10th overall at state last year, and Saturday’s seven-man lineup featured four runners who did not run at last year’s meet.

Lovos, who finished second overall at the Pacific Conference District Championships two weeks ago, paced the Timberwolves Saturday with a time 17:11, almost a minute faster than his time at last year’s state meet.

“Not my best, I think I went out too fast,” Lovos said. “I was like top-five to start out, then kind of died out. I was doing pretty well then I hit the hill and I wasn’t prepared for that.”

Lovos said the Timberwolves were able to relax and have fun, as opposed to the pressure-packed district meet race the week prior. They finished second at districts, which qualified them for state.

“This didn’t have the intensity that the other races had,” Lovos said. “It kind of did, but there were a lot of good schools out here that were going to be hard to beat.”

Junior Tyler Snyder finished second for Tualatin, improving last year’s state time by 14 seconds with a 78th-place finish in 17 minutes and 22 seconds. Sophomore Benjamin Love was the third Tualatin runner to cross the finish line, placing 71st at 17:39.

Also for Tualatin, senior Scott Allred was 76th at 17:46, sophomore William Calder was 87th at 18:03, sophomore Daniel Ennis was 96th at 18:31 and freshman Malachi Seib was 98th at 18:41. by: JONATHAN HOUSE - LEADING THE PACK -- Matthew Lovos leads a pack of Tualatin runners up hill during Saturday's Class 6A state cross country championships.

On the girls’ side, Tigard High School sophomore Elizabeth Dean ran to a 51st-place finish with a time of 20 minutes and 41 seconds.

After finishing fourth at districts, Dean said her goal Saturday was to beat the runners from Forest Grove — who qualified for state after winning the team title at districts.

Dean accomplished her goal, edging out the Vikings’ top runner, senior Elena Torry-Schrag, by nine seconds.

“I went out to stay with Forest Grove, but thought I could do more than that,” Dean said. “And I think I did, which is the best part.”

Last year, as a freshman, Dean was a late entry to state as a replacement for a runner who dropped out.

This year, she was more prepared and reaped the benefits, improving last year’s time by 48 seconds.

“I was still nervous, but I think it went way better,” Dean said. “My time was way better than last year’s, and I was more prepared for it and what the course was like.”

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