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Depth the key for VC boys in 08 track race

Raulino, Feldman and Larson to lead Valiants in WVL boys track season

BEAVERTON - They may not have a big gun, but the Valley Catholic boys track team combats that with an arsenal of depth.

By filling up the placing spots, the Valiants expect to remain a team to beat in the West Valley League.

'We don't have standouts, but there's two and sometimes three in every event that will be scoring,' VC coach Herb Lommen said. 'We've got some depth. Not for big points, but they'll get points.'

That's not to say the Valiants are without top threats. Senior Nick Raulino (sprints and long jump), Brooks Feldman (1,500 and 3,000 meters) and junior Alex Larson (hurdles and pole vault) have posted some of the WVL's best marks this season.

'Nick and Brooks and Alex are probably our three main keys,' Lommen said. 'They're real solid performers. They have a real good shot of going to state.'

Raulino (100, 200, 400) and junior Max Brady are the team's top sprinters and are also in both relays. Senior Tim Brainerd runs the 800 and 1,500, while Feldman has posted Class 3A's No. 2 time in the 3,000 and No. 3 time in the 1,500 for 2008.

Larson is on the 4x400 team, runs both hurdle races with sophomore Nick Mannen and has the league's top clearance of 11 feet in the pole vault this spring with junior teammate Ian Cogar right behind at 10-6.

Raulino and juniors Mason Dunlop and Nathan Leascu give the Valiants a strong presence in the jumps with each popping top-5 league marks so far.

Lommen said junior Mark Yorke has 'really come on strong' in both the shot put and the javelin. Mannen tosses the javelin while senior Kevin Bretthauer is the team's top discus thrower in his first track year.

'The kids are working hard and starting to reap those rewards,' Lommen said. 'They get excited when they see they're number two or three in the league. They know they have a chance if they put in that extra effort.'

Lommen sees Westside Christian as the team to beat in the West Valley League.

'The boys are pretty even,' Lommen said. 'It will be a tough race, but Westside has the edge on everybody.'