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VC girls win L and C district

The Valiants believe they are ready to make a run at the 3A state meet
by: Miles Vance HEADED HOME — Valley Catholic’s Makenzee Cleveland (left) and teammate Erin Gibbs run to 1-2 in the 400 meters at the Lewis & Clark League district meet at Catlin Gabel on Saturday.

CEDAR HILLS - The Valley Catholic girls track team just flat put the hammer down.

The Valiants, in their first year of competition in the Lewis and Clark League, stepped up big-time and knocked down the rest of the league in the L and C district meet, held Friday and Saturday at Catlin Gabel School.

Valley Catholic's girls won five of six events between 100 and 3000 meters on the track at district, and used that advantage to rack up 195 points while Catlin Gabel finished far back at 119 points and third-place Clatskanie scored 91.

'We're doing really good. Everyone has been having really good performances,' said Valley Catholic senior Erin Gibbs, who took second in the 400 meters on Saturday. 'We've had some really solid runs and some good throws.'

'We've been doing really well. We came in really ready,' added freshman Gabby Rosenthal, winner of the 100 and 200 meters for Valley Catholic.

Rosenthal raced to victory in the 100 with a winning time of 12.87 seconds, then came back later in the day to win the 200 at 27.01. After her 200, she said that the challenge of Corbett's Halsie Peek (she was second at 27.08) pushed her to that mark, her best of the season.

'When I got to the end of the curve, I felt like I needed to lengthen my stride a little bit,' she said. 'That just made me want to go faster because I saw her right there. I knew I had to keep going because I knew she was right behind me.'

VC also got two wins from senior Austin Lundin, who topped the 1500 field with a winning time of 4:59.71 (with teammate Sara Seiwald second at 5:19.06 and Hannah Moraes third at 5:33.14), and also won the 3000 at 10:52.56 (with Moraes third at 12:03.59).

The team's other victories came from freshman Makenzee Cleveland in the 400 at 1:01.73 (with Gibbs second at 1:02.91 and also qualifying for state), and senior Colleen Johnson in the pole vault at 8-6.

'As a freshman, it's a really big accomplishment for me,' Cleveland said. 'That was my goal - to get a shot at state, to compete, and have a chance at making it onto the podium.'

'I am so happy. I am so excited to be going to state,' Gibbs added. 'I was just hoping to run a good race, get a good start, finish hard and make it to state.'

Other top performances came from: Seiwald, second in the 800 at 2:29.86; Madelyn Bernard, third in the high hurdles at 17.17; Colleen Johnson, third in the in the intermediate hurdles at 50.88; Sam Kemper, second in the javelin at 114 feet, 8 inches; and Samantha Murphy, third in the high jump at 4-8.

Boys Meet

The VC boys, meanwhile, battled to fourth place at district with 107.5 points, trailing only Warrenton's 129.5, Clatskanie's 125, and Rainier's 113.

Junior Andy Holstrom was VC's only winner, but he managed it twice, taking the 1500 at 4:12.83 and the 3000 with a winning time of 9:14.0.

The 3000 'was hard. I was trying to run the qualifying time to make sure I made it to state, but I got first anyway,' Holstrom said, adding that the 1500 'was really fast. I wanted to run the qualifying time and maybe get the school record too.'

The Valiants also got a handful of third-place finishes in the meet, among them Josh Cole in the 400 at 53.53, Aidan McLeod in the 800 at 2:05.71, Connor Garcia in the 3000 at 9:28.0, and Zach Holden in the long jump at 17-11.50.

The Class 3A/2A/1A state track meet is set for Friday and Saturday at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, with competition opening at 11:20 a.m. Friday and 11:15 a.m. Saturday.