Cross Country: Kate Peters Thunderous Return, Impressive Freshmen And Sophomores Perform, Lakeridge, Philomath, South Eugene Dominate

The second weekend of cross country season featured a loaded slate of action taking place over in Tillamook and in Eugene, with many of Oregon’s best runners competing this weekend and trying to get into the early season groove of things. With so much action, there’s only so much that can be gone over in a reasonable amount of time. Here are the headliners from a packed weekend of action in cross country:

Kate Peters Return Is A Huge One

We haven’t seen in her in high school competition since she was a freshman, but two years later Kate Peters still has the dominance we saw in 2019. The Lincoln star who transferred to Lake Oswego, Peters arrived in Tillamook on Saturday and dominated the 6A/5A division, taking home the win in her first official race for the Lakers by almost a full minute with a 17:48 run. Last season, she ran with club teams instead of with Lake Oswego aside from an intersquad team race, and she dominated over on that side of the coin as well. All of 6A is back on notice that Peters is back and the favorite to win the 6A state title once again in 2021.

Freshmen and Sophomores Make Their Mark In Week 2

Between the meets in Eugene and Tillamook, there were plenty of freshmen and sophomore standouts that performed at high levels on Saturday. At the Ultimook Race, the new blood of Oregon cross country put their names on the map with quality performances. Freshmen Emily Wisniewski of Crescent Valley and Kate Peters sister Ana Peters took the second and third place spots in the 6A/5A Tillamook race, Lakeridge’s Breckyn Kornachuk rounded out the top five. The PIL’s Cleveland Warriors placed a pair of sophomores Addy Huss and Milla Carroll in the 9th and 11th spots. In the 1A-4A race, Philomath freshman Adele Beckstead and Horizon Christian sophomore Mikenzy Rosen took the fifth and ninth place spots.

As for the Richardson Park invite in Eugene, South Eugene’s Ansley Johnston took her second consecutive victory, winning the 5K on Saturday to add to her freshman 3K race win in Wilsonville from last week. Sheldon’s sophomore sisters Karalyn and Katryn Gilbert placed fifth and sixth, while two more South Eugene freshmen Nora Black and Elizabeth McCart finished in seventh and tenth for the Axe.

Philomath, Lakeridge, and South Eugene Win BIG

Amidst all of the impressive individual performances on Saturday, the team victories weren’t quite as close. Lakeridge dominated the 6A/5A category in Tillamook, with the Pacers placing five of their seven runners in the Top 21 of the field and finishing with 59 points on the afternoon, easily enough to get past Cleveland’s 94 point second place finish. In the 1A-4A division, the gap was even bigger for the Philomath Warriors, who placed all seven runners in the Top 30, including three in the first 11 finishers and five in the Top 16. They finished with 45 points and crushed second place Washougal (WA) to win the 1A-4A class.

The South Eugene Axe have arrived on stage and they asserted themselves as the best team in all of Eugene on Saturday, along with one of the best in Oregon. Seven of their athletes finished in the Top 14, including taking three of the first five positions and half of the top ten and twelve positions as well. If you were to take their times from Eugene and place them in the Tillamook Meet, every one of those seven would’ve placed ahead of 11th place. What is even more impressive is that beyond that senior core of Hannah Seubert and Anna Tavakolian, there are underclassmen returning in 2022 that can pick up the torch and run with it next season.

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