Jesuit boys' track rolls to Metro title

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton's Anthony Albright and Jesuit's Joey Alfieri were dead even at the tape of the 4x100 relay at Metro League District Championship on Friday. The Beavers and Crusaders tied for first place. Jesuit won the district meet overall.

Jesuit’s perpetual parade to the pinnacle of the podium stretched long into the balmy evening on Friday as the Crusaders hoarded a dozen of first place medals, cementing their boys’ program as the runaway best in Metro.

Winners in 12 of the 17 events at the Metro League Championship at Aloha High, including 10 of the 12 competitions on Friday, the defending state champions looked strong as ever, dominating not only with blue-chip talent, but a plethora of quality athletes.

“It’s a testament to our guys and how we work,” said Crusader sophomore 100-meter and 200-meter champ Tanner Tropio. “We’ve gone out from day one and just worked our butts off. Every single week we just go out there and do what we do best: run and score points. We want to win at all costs and score as many points as we can.”

Senior star multi-event athlete Max Dordevic won the 400 (48.98), 300-meter hurdles (37.70) and anchored the Crusaders’ winning 4x400 relay. Sophomore Kasin Pendergrass Anderson took first in the triple jump (44-06). Julian Body took gold in the 110-meter hurdles (14.90).

“Jesuit has a big track tradition,” said Crusader discus and shot put champ Henry Mondeaux. “We have a lot of guys who come out every year, and it’s fun to get after it and win titles.”

“You can never take anything for granted, so we always come out here and give it our best,” said Jesuit 1,500-meter and 3,000-meter winner Michael Godbout. “We wanted to get as many points as we could early on so we could win a team title.”

Ranked second both in the shot put and discus in the Metro standings, Jesuit’s Mondeaux peaked in each event on Friday and beat Lincoln’s Karl Sanft for a pair of first places. During the week, the future University of Oregon football player didn’t hit the weight room as hard, which in turn led to fresh legs and a reaffirmed emphasis on the precision of each throw.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit senior thrower Henry Mondeaux took first in the shot put and discus at the Metro League District Championship on Friday at Aloha High School.

“I focused on the footwork and not getting caught up with what everyone else was throwing,” said Mondeaux. “I just focused on me. I was throwing too much with my arms and back. I focused on using my legs more. That helped me get across the ring fast.”

Godbout said he was happy to be under the four-minute mark (3:57), and continue to hold the fastest 1,500 time in 6A. The senior tries to make every competition a practice race for the state meet and likes to attempt different race tactics, whether it’s staying with the pack or getting ahead of the field.

Wanting to push the pace and gauge where his body is physically going into next week, Godbout gained the early lead at the gun by design and beat Sunset’s Maneet Khaira for his second district title.

“I’ve never won a district title, so to win two in one year is really great,” said Godbout. “I knew I was physically capable of it, but you never know with the competition. It was good to come out here, win both and score some points for my team.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit's Max Dordevic and Carlos Coleman finished first and second in the 400-meter dash at the Metro League District Championship on Friday.

Tropio said he didn’t get out of the starting blocks fast in the 100, but his drive down the track and recovery speed helped make up what little gap was between himself and the field for the 11-second win.

The 200 is the sophomore’s best race, Tropio believes, because of top-rate turnover speed. His ability to pull away with speed that continually builds helped notch a 22.23 win over Aloha’s DJ Pope, giving Tropio the unofficial title of “Metro’s fastest man.”

“I can get away from guys pretty well,” said Tropio. “I’m good at running the bend, so that’s what I focus on in practice, really perfecting those skills. I’ve really focused on getting better and stronger in my legs. It’s just a great feeling, knowing I can come out here and perform well for my team.”

Hyped as one of the more anticipated head-to-head matchups of the day, the boys’ 4x100 showdown between Beaverton and Jesuit lived up to the billing, and then some. Trailing Jesuit’s Joey Alfieri by a stride or so on the anchor leg, Beaverton freshman Anthony Albright put the heat on the former Crusader running back, pulling even with Alfieri with 25 meters remaining.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit sophomore hurdler Julian Body won the 110-meter hurdles at Metro League District Championship on Friday.

“I was just screaming,” said Beaverton senior Ross Hoffman. “I was like, ‘Is this actually going to happen?’ “We knew it was going to be between us and them so we just had to execute and do everything right. We all just killed our legs (of the race) and got the handoffs off as well as we could.”

“I was shocked,” said Beaver Chidubem Nnoli. “(Alfieri) has some speed and I didn’t think (Albright) was going to catch him, but it was good to see.”

From there, it was an old-fashioned, fearless foot race, two fast, competitive football players refusing to give an inch and let a district title get away. At first, it appeared the 6-foot-3 Alfieri leaned over the tape by a toe, but Albright’s power at the finish pressed the Beaver freshman across at the exact instance.

After a bit of debate and some jostling atop the medal stand between the two teams, it was announced the two archrivals had tied for first place with a 42.74 finish.

“It’s just what I do, honestly,” said Albright of his last leg. “I see (the finish line) and I want to get first. I want to take it. It was a job that had to be done. It’s great being able to go to state with my friends. It’s the best.”

Beaverton’s first handoff from Nnoli to Hoffman was botched a bit, the senior said, because Nnoli ran the initial leg faster than ever, beating Jesuit’s Carlos Coleman by a half step. Nnoli’s head start was needed, as Jesuit’s Chase Morrison took the lead on the third leg before Albright barreled home.

“I was just trying to keep my head down and pop out of the blocks,” said Nnoli. “We were strong the whole way through. This means a lot to us because we didn’t think we’d be here from the start. We worked hard every day in practice and now we’re Metro champs.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset's Maneet Khaira took second in the 1,500 at the Metro League District Championship on Friday to punch a ticket to the state meet.

Beaverton’s Jadden Lake-King’s priority going into the district meet — more than breaking his 6-09 personal record — was to clear 6-02 in the high jump and punch his ticket to the state meet.

The springy Beaver not only accomplished his ultimate goal, taking first in the high jump by sailing 6-04 , but Lake-King also leaped 21-07 in the long jump, giving the junior two state berths at Hayward Field.

Throughout the year, Lake-King said he experienced trouble with his run-up — the sprinting, momentum-gaining approach just before takeoff. However, after a couple of fruitful practice sessions, Lake-King’s confidence in his form skyrocketed, as did his high jump mark, which is tops in 6A.

“I’ve definitely just been working hard,” said Lake-King. “My coaches have definitely pushed me, and my team’s always supported me. For me to come out and let everybody know I can still jump big and get up to 6-09 and get that top spot in 6A is a big thing for me.”

Lake-King said he didn’t expect to make the long jump finals, being that the junior’s first couple of jumps in the preliminary rounds weren’t up to his standards. But, Lake-King noted once he was slated for finals he wanted “to push it and take first.”

“I’m a competitive person” said Lake-King. “When I found out I had the opportunity, I was going for the win. I had a couple of buddies out there with me like (Aloha’s Jake Gould) and we were battling and pushing each other. We were talking a lot of mess, cheering each other on. It was a great atmosphere.”

Westview’s Ian Meyers won the javelin with a personal best 180-10.

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