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Ladies battle at Sandy High School

The Buzz on Sports
by: Darrell Jackson, Dalton Meade, here chipping onto the green at The Resort at the Mountain during a recent match, is one of many impressive female athletes at Sandy High School

Very few of you may know this, but history was made for women's sports this past weekend when Danica Patrick became the first woman to win a major league Indy-car event in Japan on Sunday.

Now, she is not the first woman to win a major event in sports. In the past there has been Shirley Muldowney, who won 18 events in the National Hot Rod Association drag racing championships in 1977, 80 and 82.

This is a big step for women's sports as Patrick is the highest profile woman to gain a victory in a major sport. The WNBA has flourished (okay, not flourished but getting better) since 1997, the first season the league played.

Now I know you are saying, what does this have to do with Sandy athletics?

Well, I am glad you asked.

Sandy has numerous female athletes who are excelling and actually getting better each week.

Sandy athletics has seen lean times this year, with losses mounting and coaches resignning (and not being re-tenured), so it has been a nice change of pace for the spring sports to finally get rolling.

This season has seen a lot of losses and disagreements within the community, but for once it seems everyone is on the same page as the spring sports are thriving and battling early in this season.

Sandy softball, while struggling to get to the top of the standings, has been battling each game and have been competitive in each game.

The softball team has battled and fought through a 3-5 record. All the while, the team has fought through rain outs and cancellations but continue to play strong ball.

Six straight games decided by two or less runs has hopes high that Sandy is close to breaking through and making a run for the playoffs.

Courtney Brown has been strong on the mound and at the plate leading the Pioneers. Rebekah Degner had been battling lead-off and has improved at the plate each week. Jaime Paul, after not playing softball last season to consentrate on water polo, has returned and is getting stronger and stronger both on the mound and at the plate.

Samantha Beem controls the pitchers behind the plate calling the game very well and keeping pitchers calm and in control when things go the wrong way.

The girls track team continues to battle at each meet and has lept to vicotries in numerous events and won some major meets.

Seniors Hillary Ahern, Leslie Davis, Teressa Hoffman and Ashley Moss lead a team that is strong and is battling towards districts with each athlete improving weekly.

Ahern has dropped between a second and two second in the 100 and 200 meter, respectfully and Hoffman has knocked nine seconds off her 800 meter time.

Davis has added almost four feet to her shot put throws and 11 feet in the discuss. Moss has has added 1 ½ feet to her shot put and four feet to the javelin.

If you think the seniors are all they have, you would be mistaken. The underclassmen have probably been even better.

Juniors Sarah Kathrein, Aslee Neal, sophomores Kathleen Pelchar, Courtney Tripp and junior Siara and freshman Savanna Leininger have dominated their respective events.

Kathrein has been strong in her running events, knocking off a quarter second off, finishing the 100 in 12.55 and 25.61 in the 200 meter. Neal has added almost two feet to her pole vault, currently sitting at nine feet, and continues to get stronger and stronger. Pelchar is one of the better high jumpers in the area, hitting 5'4 in the high jump with thoughts of getting it even higher.

The Leininger sisters, excelling on the team as freshmen, have been getting some excellent experience this season but are improving rapidly. Savanna has finished the 100-meter high hurdles in 19.25 and 13'4 in the long jump. She has also made 27' 7.5 in the triple jump. Siara has knocked almost half a second off her times in both the 100 and 200-meter.

While the tennis team has struggled, there are bright signs on the team.

Sisters Mercedes and Monique Krause have been battling as a doubles team, recently losing a 5-7, 4-6 match to Centennial and continue to improve each week. Kyela MacAuley and Kelsie Schaeffer, also against Centennial, have won matches 6-2, 6-4 while leading the young Pioneers. Melena White continues to battle each week, recently winning a 3-set match against Centennial.

All teams continue to work around the rain and cancellations, they continue to work hard and try to get a streak going to turn the corner.

So, while Patrick makes history nationally, Sandy as the female athletes that are working towards dominating the Mount Hood Conference for the next couple of year.