Marisa Hamilton wins all three throws and lifts her team to victory

by: MILES VANCE - Southridge's Jordan Searle (center) speeds to victory in the 100-meter dash against Westview at Southridge High School on April 17.BEAVERTON — Southridge’s girls track team wasn’t going to let this one pass.

The Skyhawks, hosting Westview in Metro League action on April 17, knew they had a chance to get their first Metro League win of the year and grabbed hold of it with everything they had.

Southridge won 11 of the day’s 17 events — with senior Marisa Hamilton sweeping to first-place finishes in all three throws — and used that edge to beat the Wildcats 95-50 at Southridge High School. The win lifted Southridge’s Metro record to 1-2 and a fourth-place tie with both Westview and Beaverton.

“It was really cool because I know some of the girls from Westview, so I got to compete against some girls I know,” said Southridge junior Rachel Niesen, winner of the 1500 meters and a member of Southridge’s 4 x 400 relay team. “It was fun winning against them.”

For their part, the Wildcats knew they’d had a chance against Southridge and enjoyed the opportunity despite the final score.

“We always come in knowing they could be close competitors, so we try to know when we have to step up,” said Westview senior Sarah Curl, who won the high jump with a personal-best mark of 5 feet. “And in the high jump, we really got some good points for our team.”

That said, Hamilton and her teammates made sure Westview’s points would add up to a win. Hamilton, a senior, dominated all three throwing events, winning the shot put by more than 5 feet, taking the discus by almost 22, and finally, winning the javelin by more than 8 feet.

In the shot put, Hamilton threw 36-4.5 to easily outdistance teammate Heather Cusworth’s 30-11. In the discus, Hamilton posted a 102-5 to beat teammate Krista Jansen’s 80-7. And in the javelin, Hamilton recorded a winning mark of 90-10, while Westview runner-up Curl ended at 82-5.

Niesen did her part in the 1500 and 4 x 400, taking control of the 1500 early on and leaving Westview’s best far behind to win at 5 minutes, 1.1 seconds (Westview’s Alexis Carr took second at 5:09.0). And in the 4 x 400, she teamed with Natalie Leckey, Heather LaPlante and JJ Osborn to win with a mark of 4:11.68.

“I knew what my competitors’ times were, so I just wanted to stay ahead of them,” Niesen said of her win in the 1500. “My first lap felt a little slow, but my last two laps, I kicked it in.”

Southridge senior Jordyn Searle was also a two-time winner in individual events, kicking off her day by winning the 100 at 13.0 (with teammate Jaena Goddard second at 13.12), then adding a first in the long jump at 16-10 (with teammate Victoria Cronin-Perry second at 14-10.75).

Searle was also a part of her team’s winning 4 x 100 relay, joining Goddard, Madison Smukalla and Leckey for a 50.8.

Southridge’s other wins came from: Goddard in the 200 at 26.96 (with Westview’s Riley Hackley second at 27.60;) Madison Tasker in the 800 at 2:31.79 (teammate Cassie Kiene grabbed second at 2:31.82); and Leckey in the 300 intermediate hurdles at 46.92 (teammate Rachel Karambelas was second at 49.99).

While Westview came up short on the final score, the Wildcats had plenty of highlights, including a pair of wins from senior Hannah Lautenbach in the high hurdles and triple jump. Lautenbach took the long jump at 33-6.75 (Southridge’s Cronin-Penney was second at 32-10.25), then came from behind to win the high hurdles with a mark of 17.06 (Leckey was second there at 17.19).

Curl broke through to win the high jump with a new personal best of 5 feet, while Lautenbach finished second.

“I got my PR finally, got into the 5-foot club,” Curl said. “It was just all the elements that coach Davis talks to us about coming together. It felt great.”

Westview also got wins from: Lauren Gastineau in the 400 at 1:01.90 (with Southridge’s Osborn second at 1:02.47;) Rebecca Scheer in the 3000 at 11:20.5 (with Skyhawk Emily Jones second at 11:48.2); and Emily McGaffey in the pole vault at 9-6 (Southridge’s Victoria Holton took second at 9-0.)

To see a complete photo gallery from this meet, go to

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