By DAVE LEDER
News staff writer
BEND — Even without some of its best athletes, the Hood River Valley track team still managed to make a solid showing at last Thursday’s Summit High School four-way dual meet.
Competing without senior Alex Jimenez and freshman Ashley Braniff, the Eagles posted 41 personal bests on the day, finishing third among girls teams and fourth among boys teams.
Final scores for the girls were Summit with 79, The Dalles-Wahtonka with 76, HRV with 58 and Mountain View with 53. Summit also won the boys competition with 80 points, followed by TDW (72), Mountain View (68) and HRV (46).
“The kids are all doing great,” said HRV head coach Shawn Meyle. “There were a lot of good performances, but the highlight of the meet was McKenna Hering’s PR in the high jump. Her five-inch improvement tied the school record set by Anna Hidle at last year’s state meet (5 feet, 3 inches), and ranks her first in the district.”
Hering, whose specialty is the pole vault, became the third member of the HRV girls team to clear the five-foot mark this season, joining Jessica Wienholt and Jacquie Mattson. In addition to winning the high jump, Hering also took third place in the pole vault with a jump of 9 feet.
Also showing well at the Summit four-way was sophomore Melissa Kauffman, who won the 1,500 and 3,000 meter events with times of 5:10.50 and 11:37.70, respectively. Teammate Kayla Lloyd finished second to Kauffman in the 1,500 at 5:18.50, and also placed third in the 800 at 2:31.20.
Freshman Kari Hidle was the Eagles’ other event winner on the day, taking the triple jump with a PR leap of 32 feet, 8 inches. Freshman Lindsey Halliday placed third with her season best of 31’ 3.5”, while senior Kristen Hedges was fourth at 30’ 10”.
Meanwhile, junior Markee Cox ran season-best times in both the 100 (12.94) and 200 (26.48), taking third place in each event. Sophomore Laura Yates finished third in the 400 meters at 1:06.57, freshman Kylee Staughton placed fourth in the 400 at 1:07.43, Hidle placed fifth in the 200 at 27.03, and Mattson was second in the high jump (5 feet) and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles (18.46).
Rounding out the HRV girls’ top-five finishes was junior Alisandra Denton, who finished fifth in the pole vault at 9 feet. Senior Meghan Flink was sixth, also at 9 feet, but she needed more attempts. Also of note, the girls 4 x 100 meter relay team of Cox, Yates, Hidle and Hedges placed third at 51.58 seconds.
Boys team highlights were turned in by freshman Leo Castillo, who won the 3,000 meters in 9:36.40 and placed second in the 1,500 at 4:19.30; junior Jacob Thornton, who won the long jump with a leap of 20’ 0.5”; and senior Adam Brown, who knocked off a half second in both the 200 (23.54) and 100 (11.54) to place third and fourth, respectively.
Additional top-five finishes were recorded by David Warren in the 300-meter hurdles (3rd at 47.47) and 110-meter hurdles (4th at 18.29); Julio Avila in the 400 (4th at 57.20); Antonio Garcia in the triple jump (3rd at 38’ 5”); Joel Miller in the pole vault (3rd at 12’6”); Stefan Zosa in the high jump (5’ 6”) and 300-meter hurdles (4th at 48.45); Tyson Olds in the 3,000 (4th at 11:22.40); Alex Van Slyke in the 3,000 (5th at 11:25.50); Thornton in the 100 (5th at 12.06); and Emerson Stewart in the shot put (5th at 42’ 5”). The sophomore thrower also finished sixth in the discus at 112’ 4”.
“We have some young guys who are pretty tough this year,” Meyle said. “Our freshman class is especially strong, and they are making it so we can fill every varsity event for the first time in years. We should be loaded for the next couple years.”
The Eagles’ 4 x 100 meter relay team (Brown, Thornton, Juan Zuniga and Travis Moore) finished fourth with a time of 47.22, while the 4 x 400 relay team (names NA) was third at 3:51.50.
Additional HRV boys highlights were recorded by Fernando Morales, who took sixth in both the 1,500 (4:39.70) and 800 (2:14.25); Carlos Quintana, who took 10th in both the 1,500 (5:02.90) and 800 (2:25.40); Sal Ledezma, who took sixth in the shot put (38’3”); Thornton, who took eighth in the javelin (127’0”); Warren, who took seventh in the pole vault (10’ 6”); and Zuniga, who placed 10th in the 100 (12.22) and 200 (25.56).
Four HRV athletes were invited to compete at the Centennial Invitational last Saturday. McKenna Hering was the big winner for the Eagles, placing fourth in the pole vault at 10 feet, and tying for seventh in the high jump at 4’ 10”.
Alisandra Denton was 12th in the girls pole vault at 9 feet, while Joel Miller was 16th in the boys pole vault at 12 feet. Markee Cox was scheduled to compete in the 100 and 200, but was unable to attend due to illness.
The entire HRV team will be at a Centennial High School dual meet on Thursday, and the varsity team will compete at the Hermiston Invitational on Saturday.