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Tigard boys step up strong at the state meet again

Track: The Tigers, using their depth, place seventh in the team standings
by: DAN BROOD TAKING OFF — Tigard High School senior Joseph Hart soars during Friday’s triple jump competition at the state meet. Hart finished second in the event.

EUGENE - OK, the Tigard High School boys track and field team wasn't able to repeat its dramatic state-title winning performance of a year ago.

But the Tigers certainly still seemed to have plenty to smile about at this year's Class 6A state track and field championships, held Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field.

Those smiles started Friday when Tigard senior Joseph Hart placed second in the triple jump competition and they continued all the way through the final race of the event, the 4 x 400-meter relay, where the Tigers placed fourth.

'This has been a really fun season,' said Tigard junior Sean McGetrick, who teamed with seniors Shane Fekete, Beau Hansen and Hart in the 4 x 400 relay.

That fun season ended up with the Tigers taking seventh place in the team standings at the state meet with 31 points. That left Tigard just three points behind Aloha and Crater, who tied for fourth place, and eight points back of third-place Sheldon.

Hart provided some early fireworks for Tigard as he placed second in Friday's triple jump event with a distance of 46 feet, 5½ inches, which was a personal best for Hart by nearly three inches.

'It feels good,' Hart said after receiving his second-place medal. 'I'm happy. I can't complain. Last year, I was seventh, so I'm happy.'

Hart started off strong in the triple jump event, hitting his 46-5½ on his first attempt of the competition to take the early lead.

'That was good,' he said. 'It was like 'yes, I'm in first.''

But Hart's lead was short-lived, as Roseburg's Kenneth Newcome took over first place with a jump of 46-9½ during the preliminaries.

Hart had two other jumps over 45 feet during the competition, but he couldn't take the lead back from Newcome.

'After the first jump, I knew I had a little left,' Hart said. 'But I couldn't put it together.'

Hart and his teammates on the Tigard 4 x 400 relay squad seemed to put things together as they finished in fourth place in a time of 3 minutes, 23.34 seconds, besting the team's previous season-best time by three seconds.

'That felt good - it was a good P.R.,' Fekete said.

'We went out with a bang,' Hansen said.

The Tigers felt especially good about the fourth-place finish because the team was seeded eighth going into Saturday's finals.

'We went with the adrenaline,' Hansen said.

Tigard also found success in the 4 x 100 relay, where the team of Hart, Hansen, senior Austin Sledz and junior Benny Wick finished in fifth place with a mark of 42.87.

'We'll take it,' Sledz said after that race. 'It's not what we wanted, but we're happy.'

'We exceeded our expectations over and over this season,' Hart said. 'I didn't think we'd ever get under 43.'

'It's a little sad it's over,' Hansen said. 'I enjoy running with these guys.'

In addition to his leg on the 4 x 400 relay, McGetrick ran to fourth place in the finals of the 110-meter high hurdles in a personal-best time of 14.77

'That means a lot to me,' McGetrick said of his fourth-place finish. 'I felt good out there. It felt good the whole way. I felt more focused today.'

Other Tigers also found success at state.

Tigard senior Nick Roche ran to sixth place in the 3,000 on Friday in a time of 8:44.85. On Saturday, Roche placed eighth in the 1,500 in 4:05.41.

He had teammates running with him in each of those races. In the 1,500, Tigard senior Aaron Kirch placed ninth with a mark of 4:06.53. Tigard senior Mark Medgin was 12th in the 3,000 in a time of 9:23.25.

Tigard also made its mark in the throwing events.

In the javelin, senior Scott Brennan placed sixth with a throw of 178-6.

Fekete was 11th in that event with a mark of 172-4.

Tigard junior Jeremy Moore was eighth in the discus with a toss of 148-11 and he was eighth in the shot put with a mark of 51-6½. Tiger junior Jarrad Schulte was 13th in the shot put with a throw of 45-4.

The Sunset boys claimed the Class 6A team state title.