Horizon Christian wins boys Big Sky track and field title

The Horizon Christian School boys track and field team used its depth Saturday to win the District 3 Big Sky Conference championship in Moro.

The Hawks scored 127 points, 20 more than runner-up Dufur in the 10-team meet at Sherman High School. It was the third district title in the past four years for the Hawks, who also won in 2015 and 2016, and were second last season.

Senior Andy Hung was the lone boys individual champion for Horizon; he won the 400-meter dash in a lifetime best of 53.04 seconds. Hung also was second in the 200 (personal best 23.17 seconds) and anchored Horizon’s 1600-meter relay to fourth.

“I was proud of Andy in how he came back this season, stuck with it after missing last year because of a leg injury,” Horizon coach Emma Neiworth-Petshow said. “He has been a key part of three of our district championship teams.”

The top two finishers in each event at district qualified for this week’s Oregon School Activities Association state meet Thursday and Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Joining Hung at state for the Horizon boys will be senior Connor Wells, who was second at district in the 800, and his brother, Andrew, a junior, who was runner-up in the discus. Senior Ian Gray also qualified by finishing second in the pole vault.

Gray was one of seven Horizon athletes to score 11 or more points at district, attesting to the team’s overall depth.

Junior Bailey Holste, who has battled injuries this season, placed in three events (fifth high jump, and third in long jump and pole vault) and scored 16 team points. Gray and junior Peter Li added 15 points apiece. Connor Wells scored 13 (he also was fourth in the 3000), and junior Alec Coats and freshman Deacon Lundby each scored 11. Two freshmen, Ethan Fuller and J.J. Holste, combined to scored 16 points and junior Joseph Durham added one with his eighth-place finish in the shot put.

“It was a true team effort,” Neiworth-Petshow said. “We had a number of athletes, like Bailey, who were relatively new to their events this season and they all came through for us. Ian, for his first time out for track, had an exceptional year.”

The Horizon girls were led by junior Kaitlin Wenz, who won the 400 in a school record 64.55 seconds and was second in the 200 and long jump. Wenz capped her busy day by anchoring the Hawks’ 1600-relay to a runner-up finish and a berth in the state meet. Wenz scored 26 points, helping the seven-member Horizon squad to fifth in the team chase with 57 points.

“Kaitlin proved again that she is one of the best athletes in our district,” Neiworth-Petshow said.

Joining Wenz at state will be freshman Valerie Bruggeman, who was second in the pole vault, and junior Marena Decker, who was second in the discus behind a nine-foot improvement of 89 feet, 1 inch.

Bruggeman, Wentz, seniors Miranda Roberts, Claire Wu and Mattea Schwab, and freshman Kayla Kilgore are part of Horizon’s state qualifying relay team.



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