Lovik finishes second at district, on to state Saturday

John Lovik will race at the state cross country meet Saturday after setting a PR at the district meet on Friday at Bush Park in Salem and placing second.

“It started really great,” Lovik, a sophomore, said. During the first half the race, Lovik, three runners from Molalla and a Cascade runner took the lead. At about the 1.5 mile mark, Lovik and David Palisoul of Molalla were leading.

Palisoul took off, Lovik said. “Coming up the hill, I started getting a stitch, but I just hung on and it ended.”

Going into the race, Lovik was nervous about the tough competition.

During the race, Sean Torassa from Cascade could have caught Lovik at any time, Lovik said. Matt Wood of Molalla finished behind Torassa, but he has finished in front of Lovik before.

“I feel awesome,” Lovik said. “It feels great. I was actually expecting to come in fourth.”

At the beginning of the season, Coach Spinney said, Lovik figured at about seventh, based on personal records (PR) around the Capital Conference.

Lovik finished at 16:43.3, a PR. Palisoul, a senior, finished in 16:15.

Lovik had been aiming at a 16:30 and was disappointed he didn’t meet that goal, “but I was happy with my place,” he said.

“John was really fresh,” Coach Spinney said. He will probably take a couple of days off and work in a couple of hard workouts this week.

The team finished fifth overall behind Molalla, Central, Sisters and Stayton.

“I think we could take it next year,” Lovik said. “But we’ve got Stayton and Central we’ve got to watch for.”

Looking forward to the state meet on Saturday at Lane Community College in Eugene, “I’d like to come in top 12,” Lovik said. That’s what it would take to qualify for the Border Clash, a meet between Washington and Oregon runners.

“I think John’s capable of 16:20,” Coach Spinney said.

As a team, “we looked really good,” Lovik said. “I think everyone PR’ed. Richard (Westvik) and Aaron (Lovik) were our personal highlights,” and Chris Burford beat his previous PR by some 20 seconds.

Chris Lovely, the fifth scoring Husky runner, did not PR.

Westvik broke 19 minutes for the first time, finishing 28th at 18:41. A. Lovik finished 33rd at 19:01. Both had set goals one second faster. Burford finished 19th at 18:11 earning an honorable mention all conference.

“I saw that clock coming in,” A. Lovik said. “I tried to get it. (That goal) was all I thought about the whole race.”

“I’m happy with my time,” Westvik said. Looking to next year, “I think we can push it up again. If we keep the same people and get a few people … I think we’ll do all right.”

Rounding out boys varsity were Robert McGarry, 40th, 20:15.6; and Keegan Burnett, 43rd, 21:30.9.

On junior varsity, Sam Crain finished 32nd but set a PR by about two minutes. At the beginning of the season Crain was finishing at more than 32 minutes.

“I was ahead of a kid from Molalla,” Crain said. “Right down the last hill, he passed me.”

He has been improving his time all year, but especially in recent weeks.

“I’ve just been running,” Crain said. Next year, he hopes to knock his time to 24 or even 22. Eventually, “I’d like to hit at least 19 if not better.”

“He ran great,” Coach Spinney said. “He’s been steady the whole time.”

Megan Snow led an incomplete girls team to PR by seven seconds at 17th and 22:24.7. That finish earned her all-conference honorable mention.

“Megan ran great today,” Coach Spinney said. “She ran so tough, passing people left and right.

“I think we ran tight,” Snow said. “We all started out pretty well. Everyone had a goal. I think we met them. I was happy with how I ran.

“I think I started out kind of fast, and I got tired after the first 1,500 (meters).

She added her thanks to all the people who have helped out and that “the whole team did a great job.”

Anne Helfrich said she ran a rough race. She finished 24th at 24:03.3. Andrea Martin finished 28th, 24:31.3. Raelynn Wirth finished 37th, 26:44.5, with a new PR.

On junior varsity, Angie Henderson finished 13th, 30:50.1.

Sisters won the girls varsity race. Molalla was second.