Oregon City sets the tone in the relay
by: file photo, Brycen Driver leads a pack of Oregon City runners.

OREGON CITY - Oregon City's boys track and field team survived a scare from West Linn on April 16, winning 74-71 in a Three Rivers League meet in Oregon City.

'It was a little closer than I thought it would be,' said Oregon City coach Adam Thygeson. 'We had five guys out with injuries, and it nearly cost us.'

The 400-meter relay, sprints and pole vault proved the difference.

The team of Mitch Wagner, Preston Christensen, Noah Babcock and Matt Conrad raced to a 45.5 clocking for a narrow win in the 400-meter relay.

'The 4-by-100 relay set the tone,' said Thygeson. 'If we had lost that I don't know if we'd been able to recover.'

The Pioneers out-scored the Lions 22-5 in the sprints, going one-two in the 100 and 400.

Conrad was big, winning the 100 in 11.8 and the 200 in 24.1.

'Matt had the meet of his life,' said Thygeson. 'His times in he 100 and 200 were both PR's, and he ran an outstanding anchor leg in the 4-by-100.'

Conrad was filling in for an injured teammate in the 200.

'Matt has not run the 200 on a regular bases since his sophomore year,' said Thygeson.

Oregon City sophomore Brycen Driver (52.7) headed the effort in the 400. It was only the second time Driver had competed in the race and it was a two-second PR.

'Brycen is still figuring out how to run it,' said Thygeson. 'He's going to be something special for us before he graduates.'

The Pioneers continued the class of the league in the pole vault, where Jared Hippler (14-7), Jack Hippler (14-1) and Derek Hinkle (13-0-1/4) placed first, second and third respectively.

Oregon City junior Alex Seigal (2:00.7) got the best of West Linn senior Taylor Kolasinski (2:01.3) in the 800 meters and Oregon City senior Jacob Goertz (4:08.5) had no competition in the 1,500.

The Pioneers were also tough in the jumps, with freshman Kody Kozak clearing 6-2 for first place in the high jump and leaping 19-4 to win by seven inches in the long jump, and Hinkle recording a mark of 40-0 to head the field in the triple jump.

The Pioneers were tough in the discus, with freshman Greg Skipper (122-0) leading three Pioneers who were close to 120. It was an 8-foot PR for Skipper, who placed second in the event.

'Greg's going to be something else as he grows into his body,' said Thygeson. 'He's the No. 2 freshman in the state [in the discus] right now.'

The Pioneers (3-1) could face another stiff challenge this afternoon, when they entertain Putnam (3-0).

'It scores out quite close,' said Thygeson. 'It could be a coin flip. Hopefully we'll have our injured kids back.'

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