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Senior long distance runner takes 1,500, 3,000 meters, Crusaders take Metro meet

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit junior Sam Baricevic and the Crusader 4x100 relay team helped Jesuit win the Metro League team title.

The kings of the Metro League aren't giving up their crown anytime soon.

Paced by its highly decorated stable of long-distance runners and sprint champs who outdid themselves on the district stage, the Jesuit boys track team won yet another Metro title with 171.83 points at Aloha High School on May 16.

The Crusaders won seven of the 10 runnings events, led by the double up efforts of Will Sheaffer in the 3,000 and 1,500, Sam Baricevic in the 400 and 4x100 relay and Gary Hollands in the 100 and 4x100. Baricevic, Jack Kelley and Michael Brittingham ran on both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays and Kelley took top honors in the 200. There were champions abound from the sprints to the middle distance and beyond.

"We all get to unite into one team and cheer for each and pull for each other," Sheaffer said. "You have 100-pound cross country runners interacting with these huge shot put dudes who are 250+ (pounds). It's a really cool dynamic. Coach (Ralph) Lambert has done a really good job of having us come together and focus on winning Metro and hopefully state."

Westview took second with 149 points, Sunset was third with 109.33. Aloha (83) and Beaverton (71.5) placed fourth and fifth while Southridge (34) and Mountainside (26.33) were sixth and sixth, respectively. Jesuit will be among the favorites to win the Class 6A state championship meet which runs Friday and Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College.

With former teammate and Metro champ Grant Summers looking on, Sheaffer won his first two individual district championships of his career, heading a deep group of state-bound long distance runners that includes Jack Bennett and John Schuler. Sheaffer said Summers was one of the leaders who helped show him the ways to win.

"It's really a tribute to him and those guys that helped me become a runner," Sheaffer said. "That's been really cool, knowing it's bigger than just myself."

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit senior Gary Hollands won the 100-meter dash at the Metro League district title meet.

Hollands had himself a day as well, winning the 100 while running the first leg of the 4x100 relay. Kelley won the 200, beating Westview's Kojo Manu at the tape.

It should come as no surprise that Hollands, Baricevic, Sheaffer and Kelley all set personal records in their respective individual events. Under the watchful eyes of Lambert, who won Metro Coach of the Year, and long distance specialist Tom Rothenberger, each athlete is carefully brought along throughout the course with the goal of peak performance in the postseason. There's a healthy competitive nature that's fostered throughout the program, athletes seeing other attain greatness and wanting to follow that path. The end game is always the bigger prize, the trophies and medals that come when the stakes are the highest.

"I'll be out there doing a track workout and I'll run by Sam and he's cheering me on," Sheaffer said. "Even though we're not working out together necessarily, we're all pushing each other to the limit. It's been great to see how the entirety of the program has really progressed."

For much more on the Metro League district meet, please visit www.beavertonvalleytimes.com.

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit senior Will Sheaffer won the 1,500 and 3,000 meters for the Crusaders.


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