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Viking runners fare well at Lower Columbia Invitational

TRACK and FIELD: Forest Grove athletes log several top finishes despite wintry weather conditions
by: Kathy Storm, Nick Mulick sprints to the front of the pack during the 100 meters on Saturday.

Forest Grove's track and field team had a strong showing at the Lower Columbia Invitational over the weekend despite terrible weather conditions.

The Vikings had 17 Top 5 finishes on Saturday at the 12-team invitational, which was held at St. Helens High School in constantly changing weather that shifted from rain to sun to snow.

'We're running really well right now,' said Forest Grove head coach Scott McCahon. 'We're looking forward to hopefully getting some better weather so we can start to get our times down.'

Steven Boone, Orion Collins and Anthony Huffman all came home victorious from the meet, while a number of other athletes turned in strong performances. Boone won the long jump (20 feet, 1.25 inches), Collins took first in the 400 meters (53.24 seconds) and Huffman was victorious in the pole vault (11'6").

Elsewhere, junior Nick Mulick took second in the 100 meters (11.49), third in the 200 (23.70) and third in the triple jump (39'8.5"). Sophomore Nick Robbins finished second in the 1,500 (4:18.70) and senior Eric Weinbender was second in the 3,000 (9:25.40). The Vikings also took second place in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relay events.

On the girls' side, sophomore Taylor McCahon cleared 9 feet to finish second in the pole vault and freshman Eredi Pintor took second in the 3,000 meters (11:35.50).

Other strong performances for the Lady Vikings included Laura Matzke's third-place finish in the 1,500 (5:14.70) and Jessica Hayes' fifth-place effort in the 400 (1:05.58).

In addition to her second-place showing in the girls pole vault, McCahon added a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter high hurdles (18.88).

'The girls are doing well. We're getting contributions from a lot of kids and they're really working hard,' said coach McCahon.

Forest Grove also traveled to Canby last Wednesday for a Pacific Conference dual meet. The Viking boys fared well on the track but struggled in the field events, picking up just six of a possible 27 points. Canby won the meet 91-54.

The highlight of the meet for Forest Grove was senior Dusty Klein's school record-breaking performance in the 800. Klein's time of 1:56.90 broke a 28-year-old record held by Jim Buehner.

The girls also had a strong showing against Canby but ultimately lost 86-59.

Individual event winners included Mulick, Boone, Klein, Trevor Robbins and Nick Wallace for the boys, and Pintor, Elena Acosta, Chrissy Marshall, Brandi Dawson and Molly Shields for the girls.