The Hood River Valley track team felt something it hadn’t experienced in more than one year last Saturday: the home track advantage.
Hosting the annual Blossom Invitational, the Eagles were poised to make their only appearance at Henderson Stadium a good one.
And while the team scores offered mixed results — third for the girls, sixth for the boys — the individual efforts continued to impress coach Shawn Meyle and his staff.
“The kids did a great job,” said Meyle, whose team will travel to Hermiston on Thursday for its final district preparation. “We are just fine-tuning now and getting ready for districts a week from Friday.”
Five other teams joined the Eagles at the Blossom Invitational, which took place one month later than usual this year to take advantage of superior weather conditions.
Hermiston won both the boys and girls team competitions, while Pendleton finished second among girls teams, and Mountain View (Wash.) finished second in the boys standings.
Leading the way for the girls were senior Christy Paul, juniors Anna Hidle and Suni Davis, and sophomore Kristen Hedges.
Paul won the 3,000 meters in a time of 11:15.82, and also placed third in the 1,500 with a time of 5:05.10. Hidle placed second in the 400 meters, breaking the one-minute mark for the first time this season at 59.92, and also took third in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches).
Meanwhile, Davis ran to a third-place finish in the 400 meters (1:00.52) as well as the 200 meters (27.92). Hedges finished third in the triple jump (31 feet, 8.75 inches) and fifth in the 100 meters (13.46).
Additional top five finishes for the girls included senior Allison Byers (3rd, 3,000 meters, 11:53.43), senior Emily Meyer (4th, 200, 28.24), freshman McKenna Hering (3rd, pole vault, 8 feet), freshman Jessica Wienholt (5th, high jump, 4’4”), and freshman Katie Price (5th, triple jump, 30’09”).
In addition, the 4 x 100 meter relay of Markee Cox, Davis, Hedges and Meyer placed second (51.63), and the 4 x 400 relay team of Meyer, Hedges, Davis and Hidle placed first at 4:11.40.
Taking the lead for the Eagle boys last Saturday were senior Jon Gehrig and sophomores Adam Brown, Matt Coerper and Adam Mack.
Gehrig bolted to a second-place finish in the 1,500 meters (4:16.22) and a seventh place in the 800 (2:08.60), while Mack took third in the 400 meters at 54.36, and Coerper placed fourth in the 100 meters at 11.77 seconds.
Brown, meanwhile, placed fourth in the 200 meters (24.44) by edging out teammate Ben Albright, who placed fifth (24.61). Albright also finished fifth in the 100 meters (11.79), while Mack took sixth in the 200 meters (24.80).
In other action, sophomore Alex Jimenez took dual seventh places in the 1,500 (4:25.06) and 3,000 (9:47.84) and senior Mitchell Bohn finished sixth in the 800 meters (2:08.05) and ninth in the 1,500 (4:31.87).
In the field events, junior Mike Weber placed seventh in the javelin (127;07:), freshman Travis Moore took seventh in the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches), and Coerper snagged eighth in the long jump at 17 feet, 8 inches.
Also of note, freshman Ben Wadman placed 10th in the pole vault at 9 feet, 6 inches.
For complete results from all HRV track events this season, go to www.hrvtrack.com.