Putnam's boys track team improves to 3-0 with a 79-66 victory

MILWAUKIE - Rex Putnam's boys track and field team continued unbeaten in the Three Rivers League, as they took care of business at cross-town rival Milwaukie, winning 79-66 on April 16.

The win put the Kingsmen at 3-0 in the Three Rivers League heading into this afternoon's meet at Oregon City (3-1). They meet Clackamas (4-0) on the road next Wednesday.

'It's nice to be 3-0, but I think we have our toughest teams coming up,' said Putnam coach Brent Eggers. 'We're going against Oregon City next, which will be a really big challenge for us. We haven't beaten them for a while. It's probably our longest drought in league.'

The Kingsmen were dominant on the track in their win at Milwaukie. They got a jump-start when Ricky Garcia anchored Putnam's 400-meter relay team to a 44.7 clocking and a narrow win. And they followed with wins in every individual running event except the intermediate hurdles.

Eggers said that the 400-meter relay was one of several pivotal events that his Kingsmen pulled out.

'The 400 was a key event, because it was early in the meet,' said Eggers. 'Spencer Forell won it in a PR (53.3)….

'The javelin was another big win for us. That event was really up for grabs and Cody King won it with an eight-foot PR (148-9)….

'Clay Johnson and Neo Smith of Milwaukie both cleared 6-2 in the high jump. But Clay won on fewer misses. That was really big.'

Garcia had a big day in the sprints. Besides anchoring the relay win, the Kingsmen junior outclassed the field to win the 200 in a TRL's best of 22.4. He also set the pace in the 100 in a near PR of 11.0.

Putnam outscored Milwaukie 26-1 in the distances, with sweeps in the 800 and 3,000.

Junior Chris Olsen picked up first place points in both the 800 (2:08.3) and 1,500 (4:26.9).

Sophomore Tony Dardano (10:23.40) led the sweep in the 3,000.

Putnam junior Andrew Gay won the high hurdles, but Gay met his match in the intermediates, where he got nosed out by Milwaukie senior Taylor Wilkins, 41.82 to 41.90. Wilkins passed two Kingsmen down the final straight away for the win.

Wilkins also earned runner-up points in the 400 and javelin and he helped pace the Mustangs' 1,600-meter relay team to first place.

Milwaukie had two double winners in the field events. Mustang throws specialist Jon Opperud won the shot put with a lifetime best heave of 51-10, and the discus with a toss of 159-7.

Milwaukie junior Chad Boyd got the job done in the horizontal jumps, winning the long jump in 19-9 and the triple jump in 40-10-3/4. He also ran in both relays.

'Chad was pretty beat up and sore, but he just keeps getting it done for us,' said Milwaukie coach Chuck Nott.

Milwaukie senior Donovan Nhoung cleared 10-6 to lead a Mustang sweep of the pole vault.

Milwaukie slipped to 1-3 in league with the loss. The Mustangs draw a bye from league action this week. They meet West Linn (0-3) on the road next Wednesday.

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