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OC wins showdown with Putnam

The Pioneers are victorious in most of the hotly contested events

OREGON CITY - The Oregon City Pioneers rallied around their jumpers, distance runners and pole vaulters to drop Putnam 79-66 in a key Three Rivers League boys track and field match-up last week.

The Pioneers improved to 4-1 in league duals with the win, while Putnam slipped to 3-1 with the loss.

'They were the favorites going in and we didn't have any margin for error,' said Putnam coach Brent Eggers. 'You look at all of the close races, and they won them all. We had the opportunity [to beat Oregon City]. We just didn't get it done.'

'It was good to see the kids come out ready to compete and focused the whole time despite the howling winds,' said Oregon City coach Adam Thygeson. 'We'd scored it out as a one to three-point meet, so I was kind of surprised. It's always close with [Putnam].'

Thygeson said the high hurdles and high jump were pivotal.

'We were expecting to get third in the high hurdles,' said Thygeson. 'Putnam has two really good hurdlers. And we thought their guy would win the high jump.'

Oregon City sophomore Trevor Ferguson had a big day, heading the field in the high hurdles (16.5), as well as in the long jump (19-11-1/2) and triple jump (42-10).

Ferguson got the best of Kingsmen Andrew Gay and Barrett Zetterberg in the hurdles, crossing the finish line three tenths of a second in front of both of them.

Ferguson's effort in the long jump was five inches better than Putnam junior Clay Johnson.

The Pioneers outscored the Kingsmen 22-5 in the jumps and 19-8 in the distance races.

Ferguson and Oregon City senior Derek Hinkle (41-3) went one-two in the triple jump.

Hinkle also cleared 6-2 in the high jump to beat Johnson by two inches in that event, and he led a Pioneer sweep with an effort of 154-7 in the javelin.

'The high jump was pretty intense,' said Thygeson. 'Derek and Clay were two-three at district last year.'

Oregon City swept the pole vault. Junior Jared Hippler and senior Todd Laughlin headed the sweep, both clearing the bar at 14-6. It was the first time Laughlin had cleared 14-6 in competition.

Oregon City senior Jacob Goertz led the way in the distances, winning the 1,500 (4:18.5) by six seconds and teaming up with junior Chris Meeker to go one-two in the 3,000 - with respective times of 10:03.4 and 10:03.6.

Oregon City also had winners in the 400 and 800. Oregon City sophomores Brycen Driver (53.1) and Grant Wilson (54.2) went one-two in the 400.

Oregon City junior Alex Seigal won a horserace with Putnam senior Matt Regan in the 800, 2:04.4 to 2:05.0.

It wasn't all bad news for the Kingsmen.

Although Gay lost out in the high hurdles, the Kingsmen junior got it done in the intermediate hurdles (42.8), shot put (51-11-1/2) and discus (147-9), winning all three events.

Senior Cody King (50-4) finished a close second to Gay in the shot put. Both athletes recorded lifetime best marks, despite the inclement weather.

Putnam junior sprint standout Ricky Garcia was the class of the field in the 100 (11.9) and 200 (24.0), despite battling the flu all week.

And the Kingsmen were tough in the relays. They continued unbeaten in league in the 1,600-meter relay with Garcia on the sidelines.

The Kingsmen long relay team of Spencer Forell, Matt Regan, Clay Johnson and Chris Olsen edged the Pioneers 3:34.5 to 3:34.9.

While the Pioneers conclude the league dual season next Tuesday at Lake Oswego (1-3), Putnam has another tough meet scheduled this afternoon, when the Kingsmen battle Clackamas (5-0) at Clackamas.

'Clackamas is pretty powerful this year,' said Eggers. 'Clackamas has a lot of depth and depth is what gets us. It will be a really difficult meet.'

The Cavaliers dropped Oregon City 89-56 earlier in the season.