TRACK: With a strong group of returnees, the Tigers could challenge for district title
TIGARD - There looks to be more good things ahead for the Tigard High School boys track and field team.
The Tigers, with a number of talented returnees back from last year's team that went unbeaten in Pacific-9 Conference dual meets and finished second at the league's district meet, appears to have the means to make another successful run this year.
Among the top returnees for the Tigard boys is senior Chase Dalton. Last year, Dalton won the district title in the javelin while placing third in the 110-meter high hurdles and fourth in both the long jump and high jump at district.
Dalton went on to place second in the javelin at the Class 4A state meet with a mark of 186 feet, 10 inches, putting him just one inch behind Michael Thompson of Southridge.
Dalton is already off to a roaring start to his senior season with the javelin, turning in a winning toss of 193-0 at the Tigard Ice Breaker non-scoring meet held March 14.
'He should qualify for the state meet in the javelin and high jump, and possibly in all four of his events,' Tigard track coach Gabe Doebler said.
In addition to having Dalton back, Tigard also looks to be strong in all areas.
In the springs, the Tigers return junior Scott Grady and senior Alex Florence. Last year, Grady and Florence were part of the Tigard 4 x 100 relay team that won the district title. Grady also placed third in both the 100 and 200 at district. He's off to a good start this year, sprinting to a 10.96 in the 100 at last week's meet.
Sophomores Kyle Gustafson and Travis Howe give the Tigers more depth in the sprints.
Senior Brian Westlund will run the 200 and 400. He was fourth at district in the 400 last year. Tigard's distance crew includes senior Justin Karr, who will run the 1,500 and the 3,000.
'He should qualify for state in the 3,000,' Doebler said.
Senior Michael Hinds will also run the 1,500 and the 3,000 for the Tigers.
In the hurdles, Tigard will have freshman Ian McGetrick in both events. Sophomore Steven Coburn will also compete in both hurdles and senior Daniel Bettencourt will run the 300 intermediate hurdles.
In the high jump, Tigard has a top competitor in junior Spencer Patterson, who placed third in that event at district last year.
He's also off to a strong start this season as he cleared 6-5 in last week's meet.
Sophomore Dong Min Kang will compete in the long jump. He had a mark of 20-6½ last week. Senior Joseph Pape should be strong in both the long jump and triple jump.
Senior Nick Dolan should do well in the javelin.
As for the Pacific Conference this season, it could be another good year for the Tigard boys.
'They have a legitimate shot at being district champs,' Doebler said. 'But, just like last year, they will need to beat a very strong Canby team.'