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From fun to good marks and times for Madras track

by: Photo By Gary Lindberg - Kelby MIlls had a lead early in the 300-meter hurdles race in Madras' IMC dual against Summit.

The distance runners led the way for Madras at Saturday's Burns Invitational.
   A trio of White Buffalos won titles with several top three finishes. Those finishes helped the Madras boys finish second and girls take fifth at the eight-team meet.
   That was also the finish of a busy week, hosting Summit in an Intermountain Conference dual on Tuesday, April 10, and traveling to Culver for a varsity/junior varsity meet Thursday.
   This week isn't quite as busy. The Buffs were off to Mountain View for an IMC dual on Tuesday, April 17 (contested after press time). A trip to the La Pine Invite is Saturday.
   At Burns: Andrew Flu knew when to make his move in the 1,500 meters -- with 200 to go. The sophomore's surge kept him in front, winning in 4 minutes, 30.39 seconds. Flu was also second in the 800 (in 2:12.59).
   "In the 1,500, that's where we want Andrew to make his move," Madras coach Mike Dove said. "All of our distance runners had tactical races. It was good experience for them."
   Such as Amber Lafayette winning the 3,000, Karlen Yallup the 1,500 or Freddy Hernandez finishing a close second in the 3,000.
   Lafayette let another runner lead most of the race, taking the lead with 800 meters to go. Maria Ramirez of La Pine retook the lead when the final lap started. Then the Buff freshman took over the race with 300 left, winning by eight seconds in 12:31 (a personal best by 15 seconds).
   Yallup had her own comeback in the 1,500, taking control in the final 400 to clock 5:41.16. Lafayette finished third, nine seconds back.
   Freddy Hernandez had his own dual against neighbor Juan Terrazas of Culver. The two stayed with each other the entire race, each taking the lead in the final straightaway before Hernandez finished a half second behind in 10:13.43. Buff teammate Atcitty Begay followed in third.
   Also on the track, the 4x100 finished second with third places by Kelby Mills in the 300 hurdles and Justin Flagg in the 100.
   In the field events, Tyler Bruck won the discus and was third in the shot put. CJ Easterling added a second in the triple jump
   The Madras girls had a pair of top three finishes by Chiharu Noma in the 100 and triple jump. Brittney Devore added a third place in the pole vault.
   IMC Dual: A season ago, the Summit girls were second and boys third at the 4A state meet. Both squads are still strong, based on topping 90 points in the meet at Madras.
   The Storm girls won 96-48 while Summit's boys won 95-50.
   The Buffs had plenty of highlights though.
   For the boys, Madras dominated the distance events. Flu earned a double in the 800 and 1,500. His 800 of 2:09.16 is a career best with teammate Samuel Begay second.
   Earlier, Flu outdueled Hernandez in the 1,500 by two seconds (4:30.12-4:32.52).
   "That double is getting easier, especially the 800," Flu said.
   Hernandez went on to win the 3,000 in 10:09.93, three seconds off his season best. Fellow Buff Atcitty Begay was second.
   Kelby Mills added a hurdles double. The sophomore's times in both the 110 (17.31) and 300 (42.17) were season bests.
   For the girls, Briana Stacona set a personal best in the long jump (16-3) and was second in the high jump (5-0) but a strained quad muscle forced her out of the triple jump.
   Lafayette outdueled teammate Yallup in the 1,500 to win by a fraction of a second (5:48.17-5:48.8).
   Madras 4x100 also won (56.99) as Summit was disqualified for an exchange out of the zone.
   Britney Lindgren added a first in the discus (85-1.5) and a third in the javelin (95-7), both with season bests.
   At Culver: A 255-pound guy high jumping? Distance runners and shot putters long jumping?
   It was all part of Madras' break from the usual.
   "This is really good for the kids. It's raised the enthusiasm level," Dove said. "We let the kids try different events, almost anything they wanted."
   The pole vault was off limits. So was the javelin for complete novices.
   So Will Wienert tested the long and high jumps, two events he'd never tried before. Then, heavyweight wrestlers rarely wander over to those events.
   Wienert did, surprising everyone, including himself, by clearing five heights including 5-0. He also covered 17-4 in the long jump, finishing in the top five in both events.
   A few experiments were worth another look.
   Such as the hurdles where Noma in the 100 clocked a team-best time.
   "I've never done this before, but I like it," Noma said.
   So did plenty of others in their one-day events.