HRV track off the blocks in season of high hopes

Hood River Valley High School track and field got its feet wet in a four-way icebreaker meet Wednesday at Forest Grove. The varsity girls, led by first-place finishes from Jestena Mattson, Kassidy Davidson, Lauren Robinson, Sascha Bockius and Zoe Peterson, won handily over Forest Grove, Century and South Salem, while the boys faced stiffer competition and ended third overall, with Sebastian Barajas and Parker Kennedy the team’s only event winners.

Icebreaker highlights

Girls top five finishers

100 meters: Jestena Mattson, 1st (12.67); Maya Anderson, 2nd; Zoe Peterson, 3rd

200 meters: Jestena Mattson, 1st (26.73)

400 meters: Kassidy Davidson, 1st (1:03.61)

1,500 meters: Lauren Robinson, 1st (5:13.10); Sophie Marble, 2nd

3,000 meters: Sascha Bockius, 1st (11:15.85)

100 meter hurdles: Marlie Bloomster, 3rd; Georgia Orgain, 4th

300 meter hurdles: Marlie Bloomster, 3rd; Georgia Orgain, 4th

Shot put: Bayly Stevens, 4th

Discus: Lauren Winans, 4th; Zoe Peterson, 5th

Javelin: Morgan Totten, 3rd; Terri Hewitt, 4th

Pole Vault: Zoe Peterson, 1st (10’); Kimberlee Boquist, 2nd; Christina Garcia, 3rd

Long Jump: Kassidy Davidson, 2nd; Georgia Orgain, 3rd

Boys top five finishers

100 meters: Wyatt Wsebber, 3rd

200 meters: Cole Osborne, 4th; Will Rominson, 5th

800 meters: Jorge Cuevas, 4th

3,000 meters: Ricardo Castillo, 2nd; Quinn Fetkenhour, 4th

4x100 relay: 2nd, Parker Irusta, Tyrone Stinzi, Will Robinson, Wyatt Webber

4x400 relay: 2nd (names unavailable)

Shot put: Sebastian Barajas, 1st (43-04.50)

Discus: Sebastian Barajas, 1st (145-00); Sam Fults, 5th

Javelin: Sebastian Barajas, 5th

High Jump: Parker Irusta, 4th

Pole Vault: Parker Kennedy, 1st (12-0)

Long Jump: Parker Irusta, 2nd; Wyatt Webber, 4th

Triple Jump: Jose Quintana, 5th

The meet kicked off what is expected to be a strong season for HRV track and field, which finished second in the Columbia River Conference and ninth overall at state last season and has many of the same athletes on the roster again this year, including state champions Mattson (200 meters; second 100 meters, fourth, 400 relay, 10th 1,600 relay) and Barajas (discus) and top 10 state placers Parker Irusta (fourth 400 relay, fifth 1,600 relay), Wyatt Webber (fourth 400 relay, fifth 1,600 relay), Parker Kennedy (fourth 400 relay, fifth 1,600 relay, seventh 400 meters, 10th pole vault), Anna Schlosser (fourth 400 relay, 10th 1,600 relay), Patrick Crompton (eighth pole vault), Kassidy Davidson (10th 1,600 meters), Georgia Orgain (fourth 400 relay) and Zoe Peterson (seventh pole vault).

“The girls team looked very good in putting up a pretty dominating team victory over South Salem, Century and Forest Grove — all 6A schools,” coach Donnie Herneisen said. “Jestena is asserting herself as one of the top track athletes in the state with some very good early season marks, and we have many younger athletes stepping up to create a really well-rounded team.”

After graduating just one female from last year’s group of state placers and with just three seniors on the varsity lineup this year (Peterson, Schlosser and Orgain), Herneisen and his coaching staff are excited for what the future should bring for the girls team. The girls have the addition of sophomore Sascha Bockius, a standout distance runner who won the CRC title in the fall.

For the boys, although the team has fewer numbers to help prop up overall results, individuals like Barajas, Kennedy, Crompton, Irusta and Webber, among others, should have solid results as the season progresses. Another cross country crossover, senior Ricardo Castillo, will be another to watch in the 3,000 meters.

“The boys team does not have the depth of the girls, but many individuals are putting up great marks already,” Herneisen said. “Sebastian Barajas, only a sophomore and the defending 5A state champ in the discus, is already in mid-season form.

“With only one meet under our belts, we’re still working on getting kids into “track and field” fitness and putting the puzzle pieces together to challenge Hermiston this season.”

Last season Hermiston outdid both boys and girls squads for the CRC title, although the HRV girls were just 13 points behind. The team competes next April 1 in a CRC dual meet at Pendleton. Home meets this season set for April 15, 18 and 29, while the CRC championships will be held at Hermiston May 16-17.

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