TRL GIRLS TRACK:No one can match the Cavaliers' experience
CLACKAMAS - Clackamas appears the odds on favorite to repeat as district and dual-meet champion in Three Rivers League girls track and field.
The Cavaliers have gone unbeaten in league dual meets the past two seasons and they've got athletes returning who earned 20 placings in 13 of the 15 individual events at last year's district meet.
'I definitely see us as the favorite and I certainly expect us to be in contention,' said Clackamas coach Jeff Kelleher. 'There's a lot of parity in this league this year. Everyone's got good athletes. But we've gone 27-3 in dual meets and we've been in the top three the last five years. We're always in the mix.'
The Cavaliers have the TRL's top two returning middle distance runners in junior Andrea Dittmer and senior Meryl Butcher. They placed first and second respectively in the 800 meters at last year's district meet.
And Clackamas has two of the league's top returning horizontal and vertical jumpers in junior Caitlyn O'Neil and senior Lilly Schoenheit. O'Neill placed second at district in the long jump as a sophomore and she's the top returnee in that event.
Clackamas sophomore Megan Sachet is one of the top returning sprinters in the district. She placed third in the 100 and sixth in the 200 a year ago.
Kate Jette is a top returnee in the distances and senior Aubrie Bass and junior Jessica Bell proved last season that they can hold their own in the throwing events.
Clackamas also returns three legs from their district championship relay team.
The Cavaliers turned in some impressive early-season marks in last week's league dual opener, winning 10 individual events in a 99-46 dual win at Milwaukie.
Bass launched the discus 108-4, an effort that would have earned her third place at last year's district meet. Bell also came through, with a near-PR toss of 103-8.
Jette had a great meet at Milwaukie, winning the high hurdles (17.12), intermediate hurdles (51.15) and high jump (4-10). She was one of three Cavaliers to clear 4-10 in the high jump.
'I expect all three of them to clear 5-0 at our next meet,' said Kelleher.
Kelleher discovered a new weapon at Milwaukie. Shannon Petrina, a freshman, turned a few heads with winning efforts of 15-5 in the long jump and 27.64 in the 200.
'We've got a strong freshman class,' said Kelleher.
The Cavaliers dominated Milwaukie despite the absence of O'Neill, who sat out the Milwaukie meet nursing 'sore quads.'
'We'll have her for Oregon City,' said Kelleher.
The Cavalier cinder boss said he sees the Pioneers and Lake Oswego as his Cavaliers' toughest competition in league.
Clackamas meets Oregon City at Clackamas next Wednesday.
'Oregon City has some top kids back and they've got a lot of kids out,' said Kelleher. 'It should shape up to be a great meet.'
The Pioneers' top returnees from last year are sprinter/jumper/hurdler Emily Dent, throws specialist and jumper Justine Belliveau, sprinter Sarah Doble and distance specialist Hannah Groshong.
Oregon City dropped Lakeridge 86-55 last week, with Doble winning the 100 (13.59) and 200 (28.09), Groshong setting the pace in the 1,500 (5:26.31) and 3,000 (11:50.09), Dent winning the low hurdles (49.64) and long jump (15-4), Belliveau winning the shot put (35-4-1/2) and high jump (5-0), freshman Kylee Cook setting the pace in the 400 (1:05.82), and sophomore Anna Humphreys clearing 8-1 for first place in the pole vault.
Belliveau bettered her mark from last year's district meet with her effort in the shot put.
Lake Oswego has the top returning district place winners in the 400 (sophomore Jacqui Wallis) and 1,500 (sophomore Tate Murray).
Milwaukie junior Kaley Edwards is the top returnee in the 200, Milwaukie junior Rachel Jordan is the top returnee in the pole vault, and Milwaukie sophomore Erin McLaughlin is the top returnee in the 3,000. But the Mustangs lack depth.