PENDLETON — Track meets during the month of March are usually held in cold, overcast conditions, typically with a 50 percent chance of rain.
Runners, jumpers and throwers will tell you that it’s not easy to limber yourself up if the air temperature resembles January.
But, luckily for the Hood River Valley track team, conditions weren’t an issue at last Saturday’s Buck Track Classic at Pendleton High School.
With blue skies all around and sunglasses in high demand, the Eagles were plenty warm and plenty focused, finishing fourth among eight teams in the co-ed standings.
“It was a great meet,” coach Shawn Meyle said. “I don’t think I’ve seen this nice of weather for a meet this early in the season. And, as a result, everyone did very well.”
HRV traveled with only 32 team members (roughly half of the roster), but all the top point-scorers besides senior distance runner Christy Paul were in attendance.
Meyle said he was most impressed by the girls 4 x 400 meter relay team, which finished first in a time of 4:17.20. Juniors Anna Hidle and Suni Davis teamed up with freshman Markee Cox and senior Emily Meyer to take home one of two girls team blue ribbons.
Hidle earned the other in the high jump, setting the meet standard at 5 feet, 1 inch. She also placed second in her banner event, the 400 meters.
Cox also had an impressive showing, taking third place in the 100 meters (times not available), and helping the 4 x 100 relay team to a second-place finish.
Meyer and Davis were also solid scorers for the girls. Meyer placed third in the 400 and sixth in the 100, while Davis took third in the 200 meters and sixth in the high jump.
Other girls team members enjoying early-season success at Pendleton were sophomore Kristen Hedges (100, 200, 400 and triple jump), senior Allison Byers (fourth in 1,500 meters; fifth in 3,000 meters), and sophomore Meghan Flink, who vaulted 7 feet, 6 inches for seventh place.
The boys team standout was sophomore distance runner Alex Jimenez, who tied his PR in the 1,500 and took fourth place in both the 1,500 and 3,000 meters.
Fellow distance runners Jeff Fisher and Mitchell Bohn each performed well in the 800 and 1,500, while Jon Wherry and Erik Hidle each sho0wed well in the 3,000.
Additional boys highlights came from senior sprinter Ben Albright, who took seventh in the 100 meters and eighth in the 200. Junior Mike Weber finished fifth in the pole vault, while sophomore Matt Coerper took sixth in the high jump.
For the throwers, junior Zach Royall recorded a PR in the shot put (39.5 inches), and German Vega threw the javelin 76 feet, 3 inches. Kelsie McKinney led the girls throwers with a 26.5-foot shot put toss and a 77’1” discus throw.