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Tualatin's Lovos, French shine at state

Tigard's Caufield and Sherwood's Pierce also compete at the event


by: DAVID BLAIR:FOR THE TIMES - WOLF ON THE RUN -- Tualatin sophomore Mark French keeps up the pace during the Class 6A state cross country meet. EUGENE — The first two years that Tualatin High School junior Matthew Lovos ran at the Class 6A state cross country meet, he was competing as a part of a team.

With that, Lovos said, comes pressure.

So although he wished more than one of his Tualatin teammates could have joined him at Saturday’s state meet at Lane Community College in Eugene, he felt a bit of relief that he qualified as an individual.

“We weren’t competing for a team award, so it took the pressure off to do well,” Lovos said. “It was fun running for fun rather than trying to place.”

The result?

Lovos notched his best-ever finish, place-wise and time-wise, coming it at 45th overall with a time of 16 minutes and 50 seconds for the 5,000-meter race.

Last year, when the Timberwolves finished 11th as a team, Lovos finished 49th in 17:11. As a freshman, he placed 93rd in 18:02.

Lovos said his two years of experience had him prepared for what to expect.

“It started out quick and it ended really quick,” he said. “It’s just a fun race to do.”

Though his coaches told him his goal should be a top-20 finish, Lovos said he was satisfied with 45th.

“I felt like top-50 was a better pace to do,” he said. “Enjoy the scenery a bit more that way.”

Lovos was joined by one Tualatin teammate — sophomore Mark French, who earned his first-ever state berth by finishing ninth at districts two weeks ago.

“I was just grateful to be here,” said French, who finished 96th with a time of 18:15. “I was really excited to run and be apart of this. It really got my adrenaline pumping.”

French, who said a sickness he’d been dealing with led to “not (his) best race,” credited his Tualatin teammates for pushing him over the course of the season.

by: DAVID BLAIR: FOR THE TIMES - RYAN'S HOPE -- Sherwood's Ryan Pierce runs strong during Saturday's Class 5A state cross country championships in Eugene. “The whole team was really great, everyone really supported each other,” he said. “It was really fun running for Tualatin this year.”

Also representing the Pacific Conference as an individual, Tigard junior John Caufield raced to a 70th-place finish in 17:21 on Saturday.

Caufield, Tigard’s No. 3 runner the majority of the season, qualified for state by finishing eighth at districts.

Central Catholic won the Class 6A boys team championship with a score of 33. Central Catholic senior Kyle Thompson was the individual winner with a time of 15:22.

In the Class 5A boys race, senior Ryan Pierce represented Sherwood. Pierce nabbed his state bid by finishing fifth at the district meet. On Saturday, he ran to a 55th-place finish with a time of 17:25.

Summit of Bend won the Class 5A boys team championship with a score of 38. Summit junior Matthew Maton was the individual winner of the Class 5A boys race in a time of 14:59.




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