Lake Oswego junior Leo Cook wins his first individual TRL crown
The first time was great.
The second time, fantastic.
But the third time, the Lakeridge boys cross country team’s third straight Three Rivers League district championship, was unbelievable.
The Pacers grabbed that third consecutive TRL title by scoring 43 points to edge second-place Tualatin’s 47 on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Clackamas Community College. The complete team scoring included: Lakeridge 43, Tualatin 47, West Linn 72, Tigard 102, Lake Oswego 104, Oregon City 147.
“We are the best team,” said Lakeridge senior Luke Loomis, who finished third overall with a time of 16 minutes, 22.4 seconds. “Every single one here, every single person here, I love them to death. We have the strongest team and just the greatest program, just built off hard work.”
“I’m really happy,” said Pacer sophomore Curran Fogarty, who ran to fourth with a time of 16:41.3. “I joined this team last year and I was kind of at the bottom of (the JV team) and I worked my way up and it feels amazing to be able to contribute to the team’s success and be a part of that.”
Third-place West Linn, meanwhile, had hoped to secure one of the TRL’s two automatic team berths to state.
“Honestly, we were hoping to win but it didn’t happen,” said West Linn senior Kogen Brown, who placed seventh overall with a time of 16:49.8. “It’s kind of disappointing, but it is what it is.”
Lake Oswego’s boys finished fifth in the six-team field, but did see junior Leo Cook race to the individual title with a winning time of 16:08.5.
“I really love these races,” Cook said. “They really fit me when I can go out strong with two miles to go. That’s my style and I got to do that.”
In addition to Loomis and Fogarty’s success, the rest of the Pacers’ top five included: senior Walker Godfrey, ninth in a season-record time of 16:54.5; junior Finn Rolstad, 10th in a PR of 16:55.9; and senior Lassen Baertsch Kovalchick, 17th in a season record of 17:16.5.
“Every single person here, I guarantee they didn’t start on varsity when they came in in the beginning,” Loomis said. “But they work themselves to death trying to do it, not just for themselves, but for something bigger — they do it for the team and they do it for everyone in the past and we just have such a winning culture and it’s just so great.”
“I feel great,” Fogarty said. “I feel just thrilled to be able to do that, and like Luke said, just the grit of this team helped.”
For the Lions, the rest of the team’s top-five finishers were: senior Sam Sanford, 12th at 17:01.1; senior Liam Groah, 15th at 17:06.9; sophomore Russell Daniels, 18th at 17:17.9; and senior Tyler Coke, 20th at 17:29.3.
“Our strategy was we wanted to go out patiently, but I think we all — me included — went out too patiently and we all paid for it,” Brown said. “It’s all a game of how fast to go out.”
For Lake Oswego, after Cook’s first-place finish, senior Garret Anderson placed 22nd at 17:41.0, sophomore Colin Manning took 23rd in a PR of 17:48.4, sophomore Bryce Looney was 28th in a PR of 17:55.2 and senior Eli Fayloga finished 30th at 17:55.9.
“Me and (Tualatin senior Aaron Lakeman) kind of did a nice job pushing each other for the first mile, which felt good — right where I should have been,” Cook said. “Then with two miles to go, I know that Aaron and Luke are both quicker than me in the last 100 meters so I was like ‘I’ve got to drop these kids,’ so I started pushing a little bit.”
See the complete slideshow from this meet by clicking here.
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