Three Rivers League Championships, Clackamas Community College, Oregon City
The Three Rivers League meet three of the top female athletes in the state go at it at Clackamas Community College on a rather ideal day for distance runners. Tate Murray of Lake Oswego, Erin McLaughlin of Milwaukie & Kelly O’ Neill of Lakeridge took a lead early during the first half mile as a chase pack that included Michaela Freeby of Putnam, Shannon Susbauer of Milwaukie, Kate Jette of Clackamas & Latane Cox of Lake Oswego. For Tate the race was one of caution as she had been out of action for almost a month due to knee problems & forced to work out in the pool, so trailed McLaughlin & O’ Neill early.
The leaders widened the gap that everyone else would have to battle for fourth place. Kelly is just a freshman, while her rivals are seniors, and as the race progressed she began to struggle to maintain the pace. The ensuing mile found Kelly trailing by about ten meters as Erin pushed the pace trailed by Tate. Behind them Jette, Freeby & Susbauer dueled as Latane Cox dropped back about 15 meters. Behind them trailed Chelsea Ollar of West Linn, who was left to race alone in somewhat of a no-man’s land.
The race was ultimately decided, while the leaders were out of sight on the back side of the course, & when they appeared it was Tate, who led the way. She crossed the line in an excellent time of 18:32, which is the fifth fastest time for a league girl and in truth only Claire Michel with three times & Kiran Aldinger-Gibson have ever run faster. It has to be a real confidence-builder as she now prepares for State. Erin finished only four seconds back in a time that would have won in all but four other years. It was also over a half minute better than the time she ran on the course last fall, so she too can look forward to Sate with some degree of confidence.
Kelly O’ Neill raced home alone to take third in a fine 18:51: a time that normally would win the race too. Look for her to do well at State as well. Latane Cox, who had looked like she might be struggling early, ran a heady race as she picked off runners ahead of her to take fourth in 19:22, which was two seconds in front of Kate Jette. Michaela Freeby earned sixth ahead of Shannon Susbauer, while Chelsea Ollar came home eighth. Madison Hutchinson of Clackamas placed ninth & Elliott Prince claimed tenth.
The team race was close also as West Linn earned a narrow victory over Lake Oswego 64 to 69, as both teams earned berths at State. Clackamas finished third & Lakeridge was fourth but both teams had 78 points with sixth runner for Clackamas Natasha Rowland of Clackamas proving the difference.
The guys race saw the West Linn duo of Taylor West & Cullen Wannarka establish a ten meter lead in the first 100 meters and from there the battle was joined. After half a mile the two raced along as they widened their lead over any would-be challengers. Behind them their team mates had three runners (Zach Boyd-Helm, Tim Donnelly & Lukas Erickson) controlled three of the next four positions with only Alan Johnston of Clackamas being from another team.
The next two miles would see no change up front except for an ever increasing gap between them and third but behind there was action as a number of runners began to move through the pack. Still ahead, however, there was a definite duel for first with West having an edge as they hit the track for the final meters.It was at that point that Cullen made a charge and closed ground as West responded to the move. West was flying as he neared the finish line but Wannarka was just a bit faster & he earned a narrow victory as both were clocked in 16:17. Trailing the pair was Max Heninger of Lakeridge, who made a big move late in the race to take third.
Colton Snook of Putnam garnered fourth as Zach Boyd-Helm held on for fifth. Alan Johnston of Clackamas, Tim Donnely, Julian Heninger of Lakeridge, Spencer Bankofier of Clackamas and Graham Frank of West Linn rounded out the top ten.
West Linn won the team race with a low 25 points followed by Lakeridge with 49. Clackamas took third with 73 points and Putnam was fourth with 84.
Girls Individual Results