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Crook County, Mitchell show off early-season track talent

Coach Brooks pleased with field events as Crook County dominates. Coach Misener witnesses full squad; Neeko Rachor paces Mitchell squad.

by: ANDREW MATHESON/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Scott Elliot, above, took second place in the triple jump on Tuesday night at the Crook County Icebreaker at Ward Rhoden Stadium. Elliot jumped 36-7.

The Crook County Icebreaker lived up to its title on Tuesday as cold winds swept through Prineville, but they weren't enough to stifle local individuals in the field events.
   "After looking at the results, our field events are really strong," Coach Ernie Brooks said. "I liked what I saw in the first meet, and I'm glad it's over, because we get rid of those nerves of the first meet."
   On the men's side in the field events, Cowboys Freeman York (37-6), Scott Elliot (36-7) and Shane Lusk (36-6) finished in first, second and third place respectively in the triple jump. In a similar stat line, Crook County's David Reeher (128-10), Mark Blomquist (125-4) and Kash Burwell (113-7) finished in first, second and fourth place in the discus.
   In fact, in the seven field events, the Cowboys took five first-place finishes, five second-place finishes, two third-place finishes, and three fourth-place finishes.
   "We nearly swept," Brooks added.
   In the running events, John Gillem had the strongest performance with a second-place finish in the 3,000-meters. The harrier completed the race in 10:24.68.
   Trevor Mottl (2:13.29) took third in the 800-meters, while Mark Flegel and York finished in third and fourth place respectively in the high hurdles.
   Brooks pointed out, however, that Josh Gautney, David Parks and Mike Gruber, some of his top sprinters, were out with injuries and for other reasons.
   On the women's side, they too fared well in the field events. Elizabeth Viles finished first in the discus with a throw of 100-4, while she took second in the shot put with a throw of 29 feet.
   In the javelin, the Cowgirls went 1-2 when Jessica Lea (101-7) and Kady Stafford (100-8) finished in the top two spots.
   In track, Michelly Foley took first in the 1,500-meters when she clocked a 5:09.59, while Lea and Foley went 2-3 when they ran in the 800-meters. Lea finished in 2:42.58 and Foley completed the race in 2:43.55
   "We're not quite ready yet conditioning-wise and form-wise," Brooks said, "but we're getting there and that's the main point."
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   While the Crook County Icebreaker marked the second track and field meet of the early season for the Mitchell Loggers, it was the first in which Coach John Misener was able to see his full team compete.
   Last weekend, at the Umatilla Icebreaker, Misener was only able to bring six of his 19 athletes, as the majority of his team was involved in other school activities.
   On Tuesday in Prineville, the Loggers had a full squad, and Neeko Rachor, who placed in five different events at Umatilla, led the way for Mitchell once again.
   Rachor took first place in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, edging out the nearest competitor by six inches.
   Rachor also took second place in the 100 meters with a time of 11.66 seconds, and was just one-tenth of a second behind the leader.
   But Misener said that Rachor was bothered with pain in his right calf. While he expects Rachor to be at the next meet, he would like him to consider running in the 200- and 400-meters as well.
   "I want him to get another time in for the 200- and 400- (meters)," Misener said, "because he's got the speed."
   Rachor also took fourth place in the high jump with a jump of 5-8.
   Despite mild temperatures of late, the weather at the Icebreaker was cold and windy, and Misener said he would like to see better preparation among his team in their warmups. Along with the pain in Rachor's right calf, Mayuko Kubo also had tightness in her calf muscle as well while running the 1,500-meters, a race she did not place in.
   "I was pleased with the effort that they showed," Misener said of his team. "I felt like the effort was there for most of them, and I think they all improved (from Umatilla)."
   For the boys, Bud Carter also placed third in the long jump after he landed a jump of 19-3. Carter also ran in the 800-meters, but did not place.
   Another trackster, John Dean, did not place in the 1,500-meters, but Misener noted that the Logger took 20 seconds off his time from 1,500 at Umatilla.
   On the girls side, Angy Usca was the lone Lady Logger to place, as she took two fourth-place finishes in the shot put and discus.
   In shot, Usca threw 28-2 1/2, while her throw in the discus measured 81-5.
   "I don't think she's ever thrown the shot," Misener said. "It's just a matter of form, because she's strong enough. And that's the same with discus, it's just a lot of technique. I think she's strong enough to throw it over 100 feet."
   As Misener prepares his team for the Dick Horyna Invitational in Stanfield on Friday (he'll only bring 10 athletes), Marlen Madland and Klara Vojtiskova will look to compete, as both are trying to return from ankle injuries that they suffered during basketball season.
   "As the kids heal up, we'll get into conditioning them, and they should improve," Misener said.