Bowmen, Ruehl start off strong

The senior, after suffer shin splints all last year, soars high to start the season
by: DAN BROOD OVER THE BAR — Sherwood High School senior Griffin Ruehl clears the bar during last week’s season-opening meet. Ruehl won the high-jump event with a mark of 6-0.

SHERWOOD - For Griffin Ruehl, it was a good sign.

Make that a very, very, very good sign.

Last year, as a junior on the Sherwood High School boys track and field team, Ruehl had a season-best mark of 6 feet in the high jump as he battled shin splints throughout the season.

Ruehl, with his shin splints now gone, started his senior season in strong fashion, turning in a winning mark of 6-0 in the high jump - tying the top height he had his entire junior year - in the Bowmen's season-opening meet last Thursday.

'It's definitely a good way to start,' Ruehl said with a smile following his victory. 'It's a good sign.'

With his win in the high jump, Ruehl helped the Sherwood boys post a 73-72 win over Parkrose and a 111-31 victory over Westside Christian in a three-way meet held at Sherwood High School. The one-point win over Parkrose gives the Sherwood boys a 1-0 record in Northwest Oregon Conference competition.

The Sherwood girls also posted a sweep to start the season. The Lady Bowmen scored a 110-33 win over Parkrose to go 1-0 in NWOC meets and they also scored a 120-25 victory over Westside Christian.

Ruehl is hoping that last Thursday's winning performance is the start of a big senior season.

'I want to go back to state,' he said.

Ruehl qualified to compete at the Class 5A state track and field championships as a sophomore, when he turned in a personal-best mark of 6-2 in the high jump.

However, last year, when he was hampered by shin splints, he came up short in an attempt to earn a return trip to state meet - as he placed fifth at the NWOC district championships with a height of 5-8.

But he carried optimism into his senior season.

'The shin splints are gone,' he said. 'I rested over the winter.'

With just a week and a half of practice going into last week's meet, Ruehl took some modest expectations into the competition.

'I was hoping for 5-10,' he said.

He reached that goal rather quickly. Then, with the bar at 6-0, Ruehl cleared that height to win the competition. He then came close on his attempts at 6-2, just barely hitting the bar on his third attempt at the height.

'It went pretty well,' he said.

And he hopes it gets even better.

'My goal since my freshman year was to beat the school record (6-3¾),' he said. 'I hope to do that this year.'

Seniors Michael Smith and Jagger Heckman and sophomore Cristian Morris each had a pair of individual wins to help the Bowmen get their team win.

Smith cleared 11-0 to take first place in the pole vault and he had a winning throw of 155-9 in the javelin.

Heckman ran to victory in the 800-meter run in a time of 2 minutes, 15.34 seconds. He also triumphed in the 1,500 in 4:35.33.

Morris sprinted to victory in the 100 in 11.45 and he won the 200 in 23.17.

Sherwood also got a win in the 3,000, where junior Perrin Hess had a winning mark of 10:20.60.

The Sherwood girls had first-place finishes in 14 of the 17 events at last week's meet.

Sherwood senior McKenzie Griffin, junior Leanne Snyder and sophomores Jessica Imbrie and Emily Hamilton each had a pair of individual victories.

Griffin had a winning mark of 4-8 in the high jump and she had a distance of 14-7 to win in the long jump.

Snyder sprint to a win in the 100 in 13.55 and she had a winning time of 28.64 in the 200. Snyder, like Griffin, picked up her wins less than a week after finishing the Lady Bowmen basketball season.

Imbrie picked up a victory in the 400 with her time of 1:01.56. Later in the meet, she triumphed in the 3,000 in 11:29.7.

Hamilton won the discus with a toss of 100-0 and she had a winning throw of 106-9 in the javelin.

Also for the Lady Bowmen, junior Victoria Kalina won the 800 in 2:32.22, junior Kylie Thalhofer triumphed in the 1,500 in 5:10.92, senior Megan Shields won the shot put with a throw of 29-1 and junior Nicole Hurley had a winning distance of 28-9 in the triple jump.

The Sherwood girls also won both relay races, with the team of freshman Angelica Cisneros, Thalhofer, Kalina and senior Keikoanne Hollins triumphing in the 4 x 400 relay in 4:29.38.

The Sherwood teams will be back in action next Thursday when they travel to Milwaukie for a league dual meet set to start at 4 p.m.