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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation November 16, 2018

11/6/2018 12:25:00 PM
Peckham 15th at state cross-country meet
John Peckham raced to 15th place at the state cross-country championship. photo by Charlie Kanzig
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John Peckham raced to 15th place at the state cross-country championship. photo by Charlie Kanzig

By Charlie Kanzig

John Peckham's stellar sophomore season drew to a close Saturday, November 3, with a 15th-place finish at the OSAA State Championships at Lane Community College.

Peckham's breakout season included a personal record of 16:05 at the Oregon West District meet on October 25, where he placed fifth in a field that ended up including four of the top 10 finishers at the state meet.

On Saturday, the crowded field made the going tough for Peckham as he got caught in about 40th place for much of the first half-mile, leaving him to fight his way through the pack in hopes of getting back in contact with the runners he had kept pace with all season.

He kept his wits and moved up to as high as 12th place in the second half of the race, but a top-10 finish was not meant to be as he crossed the line in 16:58.

"I am not that disappointed," he said after the race.

It would be understandable for Peckham to feel some disappointment, however, considering he consistently ran close and even beat a number of the boys during the season who placed ahead of him Saturday.

"The field of runners was so tight through 15 guys going into the meet we thought any of those guys might have won on a given day," said Head Coach Josh Nordell.

As a freshman, Peckham ran 17:46 at state and placed 42nd, which provides perspective on his impressive improvement in one year's time.

Joey Peterson of Marist Catholic won the race in 16:10, followed by Stayton's Matthew Frazeur (16:13) and Newport's Kolby Spink (16:15).

Marist won the team title with 54 points in its first season since dropping down from the 5A classification. Newport placed second with 81 points to edge third-place Tillamook, who finished with 84 points. Valley Catholic nabbed the fourth- place trophy with 119 points, just one point in front of Klamath Union.

"John had an incredible season and became one of our fastest runners in school history," said Nordell.

"He's certainly the fastest right now in 10th grade among 4A runners, so he has a lot to look forward to for sure."

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