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Ready for takeoff

The Tigard track and field squads look to soar to great heights
by: DAN BROOD, WINNER – Tigard sophomore Ian McGetrick won both hurdles races and the long jump during the Tigers' dual meet win over Newberg.

TIGARD - Over the bar.

Over the hurdles.

It doesn't matter what it is - the Tigard High School boys track team is ready to soar high.

The Tigers gave an indication of how high they just might soar this season as they roared to a 92-53 win over Newberg in a Pacific Conference opening dual meet held last Thursday at Tigard High School.

'We're looking pretty good,' Tigard sophomore Ian McGetrick said after running to victory in the 110-meter high hurdles race. 'We really want to win district. And it would be nice for me if I could get to state.'

The Tigard girls made it a sweep for the home team at last week's league-opener as they scored an 80-65 victory over Newberg.

For the Tigard boys, a pair of athletes - McGetrick and senior Spencer Patterson - taking part in their first competition of the season, made sparkling debuts.

Patterson made an early run at the school high jump record of 6 feet, 8 inches, set last year by 2007 Tigard graduate Chase Dalton, who set the mark at a postseason decathlon event.

Patterson, after outdueling Newberg's Taylor Brown to win the event with a height of 6-6, Patterson had the bar moved to 6-8¼. He barely missed clearing the bar in all three of his attempts at the school-record height.

'I wanted that one,' Patterson said following the event. 'But I'm still happy - it was a good way to start. I told Chase that I'm going to beat his record by a ways. He's still pushing me. I talk to him every month.'

McGetrick, making his season debut, picked up three individual wins at the meet. The first of those wins came in the 110 high hurdles, where he had a victorious time of 16.68 seconds.

'It was my first race of the season, so I was pretty nervous,' McGetrick said. 'But I got off to a good start and I think my form was good.'

McGetrick might have found the key to getting good starts all season.

'Yesterday in practice we were working on pre-race stuff,' he said. 'I did some pushups before the start and it worked, so I did that again today.'

In addition to his victory in the 110 high hurdles, McGetrick also won the 300 intermediate hurdles in 41.90 and he had a winning distance of 20-7 in the long jump.

Sophomore Jordan Latt also had a big day for the Tigard boys. He sprinted to victory in the 200 in 23.31, he won the 400 with a mark of 52.14 and he ran the anchor leg for Tigard's winning 4 x 100 relay team.

Also for the Tigard boys, junior Tim Beckman triumphed in the discus with a throw of 144-5 and senior Neil Cronkrite cleared 12-0 to win the pole vault event.

For the Tigard girls, sophomore Kaleigh Morrison led the way with three field event victories. She cleared 5-4 to win the high jump, she was victorious in the triple jump with a mark of 35-0 and she had a winning height of 10-0 in the pole vault.

Sophomore Kristin Taylor sprinted to a pair of victories. She won the 100 in a time of 13.19 and she had a winning mark of 28.27 in the 200.

Also for the Tigard girls, senior Cassie Carroll picked up a win in the 3,000 with her time of 10:58.47.

In the throws, Tigard freshman Amanda Carlson triumphed in the shot put with a distance of 30-0¼. Senior Alysha Brannon had a winning toss of 94-5 in the discus.

The Tigers also got a victory from their 4 x 400 relay team.

Tigard freshman Kelsi Shaer turned in an impressive time of 2:22.49 while running to second place in the 800.

The Tigard teams were scheduled to host Forest Grove in a league dual meet on Wednesday. Results of that meet weren't available when the Times went to press.

The Tigers will be back in action Saturday when they compete in the Mike Kostrba Invitational, which starts at 10 a.m. at Sandy High School. On Wednesday, Tigard takes on McMinnville in a league dual meet starting at 3:45 p.m. at McMinnville High School.

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Both Tiger teams are taking high hopes into the 2008 season.

'It's looking pretty good,' first-year Tigard head coach Erik Smith said. 'For the boys, I think we'll be one of the top three teams in the league and we could be going for the district crown.'

It's a deep group of Tigard boys that will be vying for a top spot in league.

The group of Tiger sprinters include Latt, freshman James Kennedy, junior Kyle Gustafson, junior Dong Min Kang, junior Travis Howe and senior David Herlan.

In the hurdles, Tigard will have McGetrick, junior Steven Coburn and sophomore Josh Gensler.

Tigard's distance corps include junior Zane Rogers, junior Dominic Ferraris, sophomore Ian Walch, junior Ryan Humphrey and senior Jake Harbolt.

Cronkrite and senior Jonathan George will pole vault. Sophomore Keith Kostol and freshman Joseph Hart join Patterson and McGetrick in the jumps.

In the throws Tigard will have Beckman, sophomore Curtis Middleton, junior Leif Erickson and sophomore Austin Haag.

The Tigard girls also have high aspirations for league this year.

'For the first time, I can honestly feel that the girls have a shot at district,' Smith said.

Morrison, in the high jump, pole vault and triple jump, should score plenty of points for the Tigers.

In the sprints, Tigard has Taylor and sophomore Hannah Greenburg. Freshman Amanda Craig will run the 400.

Shear and fellow freshmen Katie Humphrey and Hannah Bryant will run the 800.

The Tigers boast a strong group of distance runners in seniors Sarah Walch, Carroll and Ali Davis.

In the hurdles Tigard has freshman Diana Merchant, sophomore Chelsea Terry, Becky Robinson and Kaila Bittinger.

Bittinger will also compete in the pole vault, as will junior Sam Murphy. Sophomore Krista Anderson and freshman Elyse Fleck will compete in the long jump. Junior Heather Loyd and Terry will do the triple jump.

In the throws Tigard has Carlson in the shot put, senior Sarah Rehm in the javelin and Brannon in the discus.