Blue Devil tracksters strong at Centennial Invite

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GRESHAM, Ore. — Wa-Hi’s girls tossed their way to a second-place finish and the Blue Devil boys tied for seventh place in the 50th annual Centennial Invitational track and field meet that was contested here Saturday.

It was the second strong showing in as many years for Wa-Hi’s boys squad, which placed third here a year ago.

“It was a tremendous day all around,” Wa-Hi coach Eric Hisaw said. “This is a huge meet and it’s quite an honor to do well.”

There were 48 schools represented on the girls side of the meet and 45 boys squads participated.

The Blue Devil girls totaled 45 points for their second-place finish, trailing only meet champion Central Catholic’s 55 points. Barlow and Jesuit followed Wa-Hi with 37 points each to tie for third place.

Central Catholic also took home the boys team title with 63 points. Newberg was a distant second with 44 points, followed by Scappoose 30, Lake Oswego 28, Heritage and Barlow 27 each and Wa-Hi and R.A. Long witih 26 points apiece.

Wa-Hi’s girls didn’t score a single point on the track Saturday but made up for it with a strong showing in the throwing events.

Madison Doepker led the way for Wa-Hi. She won the javelin with a throw of 138 feet, 8 inches, placed third in the discus at 120-4 and third in the javelin at 133-0.

“I would have to say Heather was our performer of the meet with three personal bests,” Hisaw said of Doepker.

Katarina Tonhdavong was close behind. She won the discus with a throw of 131-8 and placed second in the shot put with a heave of 38-3/4.

Madelyn Sirmon placed third in the javelin for Wa-Hi with a distance of 133 feet and Miranda Doyle contributed points with a sixth-place finish in the triple jump at 34-9 1/2.

“Anytime you have someone place in this meet against some of Oregon’s best schools is tremendous,” Hisaw said. “It was a tremendous showing by our girls, especially those throwers. And our relay teams were fast and our distance girls were tremendous as well.”

Wa-Hi’s 1,600 relay squad of Hannah Moeller, Colleen Gibbons, Kassidy Willard and Kendall Davis was clocked in 4:26.19 for a 12th-place finish. And the quartet of Gibbons, Davis, Moeller and Lilly Richmond finished 16th in a time of 52.40 seconds.

Courtney Cox was clocked in 10:38.30 for 16th place in the 3,000, with Erika Leinweber running 25th in 11:00.32. In the 1,500, Hannah Hampson was 24th in 5:08.69, Lea Davidson was 31st in 5:14.84 and Jenny Wall came home 40th in 5:20.24.

Wa-Hi’s 400 relay team led the boys’ effort, with Darnell Handcox, Ethan Gardner, Brennan Barberich and Stuart Gillin taking the championship in 43.16, just a 10th of a second faster than the team from Scappoose.

The Blue Devils also tallied points in the sprints.

Gardner was third in the 100 in 11.35 seconds, with Gillin taking fourth in 11.40 and Handcox eighth in 11.47. And Gillin placed fifth in the 200 in 23.16.

“It was pretty cool to see three blue shirts in the finals of the 100,” Hisaw said. “And our relay team came in with the top seed and handled the pressure with grace.”

Hisaw was also pleased with the performances of a pair of freshmen, Samuel Hoe and Jack Jacobson, who finished 18th and 23rd, respectively, in the triple jump. Hoe cleared 40-2 1/2 and Jacobson reached 39-2. Handcox placed 10th in the event at 41-4.

“Those two youngsters each PRd by about a foot,” Hisaw said of Hoe and Jacobson. “They handled the big meet very well.

“It was a great day for all of our kids.”

Wa-Hi gets back to Mid-Columbia Conference competition Thursday at Southridge High School when the Blue Devils match up with the Suns and Pasco’s Bulldogs in a double-dual. The meet begins at 3:30 p.m.

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