The Pacers are the second-best Oregon team in the meet’s top division
The Lakeridge girls cross country team made a statement.
The Pacers — competing in the Nike Hole in the Wall XC Invitational at Lakewood High School in Arlington, Washington, on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7-8 — showed their ability to run with the best teams in the Northwest, finishing 11th in the Women’s Elite avg under 20:00 division.
“We are proud of the steps the girls team has made the past few weeks,” said Lakeridge coach Scott Spear, who has led his Pacers to two straight Three Rivers League district championships. “This past weekend was a good reflection of that growth. With the better understanding of managing numbers at the start, they better reflected their fitness, compared to the Nike PDX meet a couple weeks back.”
Lakeridge’s efforts at the Hole in the Wall meet were led by the top-20 finishes of junior Breckyn Kornachuk and freshman Grace Houlihan. Kornachuk ran to 15th place overall with a finishing time of 18 minutes, 27.5 seconds, while Houlihan took 19th at 18:43.8.
“The obvious improvements were (from) Breckyn and Grace as they both finished in the top 20 among some of the best runners in the Northwest,” Spear said, adding that junior Megan Larson — she finished 110th at 20:33.0 — “also ran a season’s best time on a challenging course.”
The rest of the Pacers’ finishers included: junior Olivia Smith (91st at 20:17.3); sophomore Rachel Fleck (106th at 20:26.5); sophomore Sigrid Brakenhielm (109th at 20:33.0); and sophomore Alexis Gonzalez (120th at 20:51.3).
“The entire group made tremendous growth and is growing in confidence as we enter the championship phase of the season,” Spear added. “Their support of each other has not wavered, even on the rough days. They’ve managed to hold each other up through tough workouts, sickness, injury and disappointment. (And) they continue to build a stronger bond and trust in each other and we’ve balanced the focus and drive with smiles and laughter.”
Jesuit won the meet with 97 points, while Lakeridge was the second Oregon finisher in the field in 11th at 266.
Next up, the Pacers run in the second annual Rose City Championship Invitational at Rose City Golf Course on Friday, Oct. 14, with the varsity boys race starting at 3:30 p.m. and the varsity girls race at 4 p.m.