Dallas ready for Pac-9 cross country meet

The Dragons' Michael Ryan and Vita Picci-Dobson are shooting for state.

DALLAS -- Dallas' cross country team gained a bit of momentum for the Pac-9 Conference Meet with a strong showing in a dual meet against Tigard and Canby on Oct. 20.

"We did awesome," Dallas coach Monique Lankheet said after the dual meet, which was hosted by Tigard. "The only people who didn't improve from the week before were the people who were sick or injured. Everybody performed really well.

"The girls beat Tigard by a point, which was awesome. We were pretty much killed by Canby, but they're undefeated in league so far. On the boys side, we competed really well. I had hoped we would compete well because I thought it'd be a good confidence-builder for district."

The Dragons will make their annual trip to Clackamas Community College on Thursday, Oct. 28 for the Pac-9 Meet. Races are scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. The junior varsity girls will go off first, followed by the JV boys, varsity girls and varsity boys.

Dallas enters the league meet as healthy as its been since the start of the season. Nick Wilson has returned after injuring his shoulder at the Trask Mountain Challenge.

Joe Crawford still is struggling with a knee problem and is questionable for the league meet. Michael Ryan, though, finally appears to have shaken his lingering leg woes.

"Michael's looking really smooth, really relaxed," Lankheet said. "He really had a solid workout today. He looked fresh. He looked the best he has all year."

The top two teams and top seven individuals in the varsity races advance to state. Dallas' best chances to qualify are Ryan and Vita Picci-Dobson, who took fourth in the dual meet at Tigard.

"Michael's got a pie-in-the-sky chance with him being injured for a good month," Lankheet said. "He's shooting for a huge goal. He's really motivated. He's a senior. He's got the talent, but I don't know if he's got the base right now.

"Vita ran a 19:40 at Tigard. She's in the mix. There are about four other girls that are right there with her. She could take seventh if she has a good, positive day."


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