GRESHAM — When the HRV track-and-field team steps to the start line, the athletes aren’t only up against the day’s opponent. They’re also competing against themselves.
To many, personal records are just as important as ribbons at this point in the season. And there were plenty of PR’s to go around in the team’s first meet last Thursday at Gresham — one the Gophers ran away with by a score of 118-27.
“This was a good tune-up for us,” coach Shawn Meyle said. “We set tons of PR’s (23 total) and a lot of the kids got off to pretty strong starts.”
But focusing on personal improvement alone didn’t stop a few Eagle athletes from winning their events outright.
Although he hasn’t yet reached personal-record form in his two banner events, senior Nate Armerding still won the pole vault and triple jump.
“Nate is stud of an athlete who is going to do well at whatever events he chooses,” Meyle said of Armerding, who also posted a big PR of 17.64 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles.
“We’re shortening his (vault) approach right now so we can work on his technique,” Meyle said. “He still has a lot of work ahead of him, but he’s committed to the vault and has the right mental approach to it.”
Two more HRV athletes won their events Thursday and four more won second places. Few were surprised when junior Christy Paul won the 1,500 meters, but Meyle was ecstatic to see sophomore Anna Hidle come out so strong in the first meet, winning the high jump and the 400 meters.
“Anna was the big star of the meet,” he said. “She’s such a natural athlete and has a great attitude to match.”
Hidle also ran on the second-place 1,600-meter relay team along with Suni Davis, Emily Meyer and Paul.
Meyer was impressive in her two best events, taking second place in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Meyle said Meyer would likely focus on running the rest of the season instead of attempting the pole vault — an event she was working on earlier in the season.
Because the team’s other vaulter, Jazzy Cohen, is nursing an injured back, Meyle said he may look to one of his best overall athletes to take over.
“Lindsay Benjamin can jump seven feet without even practicing,” he said. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t at least post a score in that event.”
On Thursday, Benjamin placed fourth in the discus and fifth in the shot put.
Other top finishes for the Eagles at Gresham were Scott Becker, who took second in the 3,000 meters, 1,500 meters and 1,600 meter relay; Eric Avila, who finished second in the 400 meters; Chris Merrill, who took second in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump; Mickie Halliday, who finished third in the long jump and triple jump, and fifth in the high jump; and Allison Byers, who took third in the 3,000 meters.
HRV will host the Blossom Invitational Saturday, beginning at noon at Henderson Stadium.