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Throwing at some big-time goals

Track and field: Tualatin's Dennis Ranck and Amanda Chambers both have high hopes
by: DAN BROOD, THE WIND-UP — Tualatin High School senior Dennis Ranck gets ready to let the discus fly during last week’s Pacific Conference dual meet with Canby.

TUALATIN - Dennis Ranck and Amanda Chambers both have some lofty goals.

They both say their goals are within reach.

More specifically, those goals are within a throw - a big throw.

Ranck and Chambers, both seniors on the Tualatin High School track and field team, are taking aim at some impressive goals in the throwing events, specifically the shot put, this season.

Chambers wants to claim the school record in the shot put for her own. Ranck, meanwhile, wants to win the state championship in the event this year.

'I want to win it all - hopefully,' Ranck said with a smile during the Wolves' Pacific Conference dual meet with Canby, held April 9 at Tualatin High School. 'In the discus, I want to throw my best and see where it puts me.'

Well, if Ranck does throw his best, there looks to be a pretty good possibility that he'll be standing high on the award stand in both the shot put and discus events at the Class 6A state championships.

As of Tuesday, Ranck had the fourth-best shot put mark in the state among Class 6A competitors with his season-best mark of 54 feet, 4 inches. He also has the fifth-best mark in the discus among Class 6A throwers with his season-best throw of 150-0 in that event.

Those marks already better Ranck's state-meet marks from a year ago. Last year, as a junior, he placed fourth at state in the shot put at 52-8½ and, in the discus, where he entered the competition as the lowest seed, he finished eighth with a toss of 144-1.

'I think it's mainly been a year of growth,' Ranck said of his improvement in the events from a year ago.

And there's also been plenty of hard work and determination.

'I'm really happy with my throws so far this season,' Ranck said. 'And I want to progress every week.'

In the meet with Canby, Ranck triumphed in the shot put with a throw of 51-1 and he had a winning toss of 143-0 in the discus.

'It's not really what I'm looking for,' Ranck said of his winning marks at last week's meet. 'But that's OK. We've had a lot of meets in the past two weeks. I'll be glad to get back to practice. In the shot put, I want 57 feet, and maybe more. In the discus, I'm hoping for 160 feet.'

If Ranck even comes close to his goals for the track season, it will cap off an accomplish-filled senior year. During the fall, Ranck helped the Timberwolf football team reach the Class 6A state championship game while earning first-team All-State honors on defense.

'It's definitely been a good senior year. It's all you could ask for,' he said. 'The shot put and discus are completely different from football. I like it - it's fun. You have to contstantly challenge yourself. It's just me, but this is still a team thing.'

For Chambers, she's had the Tualatin school record for the girls shot put event - a mark of 36-5¾ - in her sights for more than a year.

Last year as a junior, she had a personal-best throw of 36-5 in the shot put, leaving her less than an inch away from the record.

'I've been twinkle-toeing around it,' Chambers said of the school record. 'I'm going to go get it this year.'

At last week's meet with Canby, she came close again. Chambers placed first at the meet in the shot put with a season-best throw of 36-4½.

'I think this brought me out of a slump,' she said. 'I'll get it next time. I want to go out big.''

She not only wants to get the school record in the shot put, but she wants to convincingly get it.

'I'm looking to get 37-3 by the end of the year,' she said. 'If I get 40 feet, I'll cry.'

In addition to the school record, Chambers is also hoping to earn a trip to the Class 6A state meet this year. Last year, she just missed out on earning a trip to state as she finished third in both the shot put and discus (top two advance to state) at the Pacific Conference district meet.

'Getting to state is a big goal,' she said. 'I'm excited. I'm really looking forward to district.'

Chambers was also victorious in the discus at last week's dual meet with a throw of 88-0.

Despite the double wins by Chambers and Ranck, the Tualatin teams were swept by the Cougars at last week's meet.

In girls competition, Canby scored a 100-45 win over the Wolves to improve to 2-0 in league dual meets. The Tualatin girls fell to 1-1.

Tualatin sophomore Emily Wheeler raced to victory in the 1,500-meter run in a time of 4 minutes, 58.9 seconds. Also for the Wolves, freshman Stephanie Galluzzo had a winning time of 11:20.8 in the 3,000.

The Tualatin boys lost 87-58 to the Cougars, who improved to 2-0 in league meets with the win. The Timberwolf boys dropped to 0-2 in league duals with the loss.

Senior Andrew Patton had a pair of victories for the Wolves. He won the 300 intermediate hurdles in 40.2 and he sprinted to victory in the 100 in 11.7.

Junior Bubba Plunkett had a winning time of 9:23.4 in the 3,000. Sophomore Terrence Lowery won the 110 high hurdles in 16.2.

Senior Ben Andrews made it a first-place sweep for Tualatin in the throwing events as he triumphed in the javelin with a mark of 155-6.

The Tualatin teams were slated to host Newberg in a league meet on Wednesday. Results of that meet weren't available when the Times went to press.