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Track team takes strides at Hermiston dual meet

Distance team makes solid impression

Hood River Valley distance running coach Tom Moline learned a few things about his team during last Friday’s dual meet at Hermiston High School.

First, they’re determined. Second, they’re hungry. And third, they’re all on the same page.

Each of Moline’s 12 runners posted season PR’s at Hermiston, while 11 of 12 posted career PR’s, giving Moline tons of confidence as the May 22-23 district meet rapidly approaches.

“It is really nice to see all the hard work paying off for everyone halfway through the season,” he said. “Usually, a coach can point to one or two runners that had a big race. But all of them did really well this meet.”

For the boys varsity team, Alex Jimenez, Jon Gehrig, Jeff Fisher and Mitchell Bohn continued their personal ascents, while Christy Paul, Allison Byers, Janne Lucas and Jenna Fisher led the varsity girls.

Paul won both the 1,500 and 3,000 meter races with relative ease, but it was her teammate Byers who really excelled. The senior ran a 5:31.46 for second place in the 1,500, and also placed top five in the 3,000 with a career PR.

A handful of JV runners also had standout efforts. Caitlin Becker, Graham Hay, Fernando Ochoa, Joe Smith and Jon Wherry each ran personal bests and impressed Moline from start to finish.

“It’s great to see everyone do consistently well,” he said. “They are a really great bunch of kids and they seem to feed off one another’s success.”

The rest of the HRV track team also competed well at Hermiston, but without a few top performers. Junior Anna Hidle missed her second straight meet, while freshman sprinter Markee Cox was still nursing a sprained ankle.

“The injuries have been hurting us a bit, especially with the girls team,” head coach Shawn Meyle said. “Our relay teams are really affected by this and it will be a tough road to get to state.”

One competitor who made her return last Friday was senior Emily Meyer, who ran a season-best 13.66 in the 100 meters. Junior Suni Davis posted a solid 26.97 in the 200 meters for second place, and won the 400 meters in a time of 1:01.62.

Sophomore Meghan Flink matched her PR of 8 feet in the pole vault, while freshman Jenna Fisher ran to a third place in the 800 meters. Also of note, Jessica Wienholt took second in the high jump at 4 feet, 4 inches, and Danielle Bohn placed fourth in the long jump at 11 feet, 9 inches.

The non-distance runners who stood out for the boys were junior Zach Royall (2nd, discus, 110’08”); junior Mike Weber (1st, pole vault, 13 feet); senior Ben Albright (3rd, 100 meters, 11.92; 3rd, 200 meters, 24.49); and freshman Travis Moore (4th, long jump, 16’6.75”).

Sophomore Adam Mack ran to a fourth-place finish in the 200 meters at 24.56, and was closely followed by Adam Brown in fifth place at 24.76. Brown also took fourth in the 100 at 12.29.

Gehrig won the 1,500 meters in 4:22.62 and took third in the 800 meters at 2:08.23. Mitchell Bohn finished fourth in the 800 at 2:08.79, while Jimenez won the 3,000 meters in 9:18.68.

The 4 x 100 relay team of Albright, Brown, Mack and Weber also fared well, taking second place with a time of 50.52.

The HRV track team travels to Central Catholic today and returns to Hermiston on Saturday for an invitational meet.

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