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Will Lawrence 2nd in 400m run

Lawrence breaks school record in 400; 4x400 relay team disqualified
by: John Brewington GREAT EFFORT—St. Helens’ Will Lawrence (right) broke a school record in the 400 but came up just a hair’s breadth short of winning a state championship in the 5A meet on Saturday.

Saturday's 4x400 relay in the 5A state meet didn't end quite the way the St. Helens Lions would have liked, but they had a decent showing for the few athletes they took to state this year.

The Lions were right in the thick of things to medal in the meet-ending relay at Hayward Field in Eugene, but were disqualified for stepping out of their lane too many times.

'We were disqualified for stepping on the inside lane line,' St. Helens coach Gerry Tinkle said. 'You can only step on it two times, and on the third, you are disqualified. Dumitri (Malnasi) got a little too close running the first leg. He thought he was in the lane, but I was standing right by the official and he did indeed step on the line more than twice. He was devastated by the call, but things like that happen.'

The DQ overshadowed some of the finer efforts of the small contingent at the meet.

The Lions Will Lawrence didn't get the title he wanted in the 400-meter run, but it wasn't for lack of trying with a second-place finish, just a tenth of a second behind Ian McNaughton of Hood River Valley.

'Will ran a great race in the 400m. He gave it everything he had but just came up a little short,' Tinkle said. 'He set a new school record of :49.51. The previous record was Ryan Waite in 2006 at 49.76.'

Lawrence, a junior, also had a split of :48.80 in the 4x400 relay.

Tinkle said that Malnasi, also a junior, had a great meet outside of the error in the relay. He finished sixth in the triple jump with a 6-foot, 2-inch leap, and was fourth in the long jump at 21-1.25.

Alex Lull got boxed in during the 1,500 and didn't get out soon enough to place, Tinkle said.

'He was disappointed, but he'll be back again next year,' the coach noted.

Also returning next season will be freshman Kylie Reinholdt, the only Lady Lion to make the trip to state. She broke her own freshman record in the triple jump with a 34-10, giving St. Helens their only point of the meet.

Boys

Team scores: St. Helens T-17, 16

400-2) Will Lawrence, :49.51. 4x400 Relay-DQ) St. Helens (Dumitri Malnasi, Adrian Lujano, Alex Lull, Lawrence), 3:31.63 (prelim time). High Jump-6) Malnasi, 6-2. Long Jump-4) Malnasi, 21-1.25.

Girls

Team scores: 33) St. Helens 1

Triple Jump-8) Kylie Reinholdt, 34-9.75.