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Young Wolves carry high hopes

TRACK: The Tualatin girls team looks to keep getting stronger
by: DAN BROOD, IN FLIGHT – Tualatin’s Melanie Schafer, shown here at last year’s Pacific-9 Conference district meet, is a top returnee in the long jump and triple jump.

TUALATIN - Youth.

The Tualatin High School girls track and field team is hoping that's a good thing.

With plenty of young, but talented, competitors on the roster, the Timberwolves are taking some high hopes into the 2007 season.

'We've got a very young team,' Tualatin coach Paul Zitzelsberger said. 'And we have a few holes to fill in a couple of events, but I think we could eventually have a strong team.'

The Tualatin girls certainly look to have plenty of depth in the sprints. That group includes junior returnee Sarah Price, who placed sixth in both the 100-meter dash and the 200 at last year's Pacific-9 Conference district meet.

Also competing in the springs for the Wolves will be junior Kaileigh Cushing, sophomore Melissa Arndorfer, sophomore Jessie Barry, and freshmen Erin Ennos and Rosie Mathews.

Mathews, at the Wolves' season-opening non-scoring meet with Barlow and Lake Oswego held on March 14, won the 200 in a time of 27.5 seconds.

'We had some good surprises last Wednesday,' Zitzelsberger said of last week's meet. 'We covered each event well.'

In the hurdles, Tualatin will have sophomore Ellee Masterson and freshmen Kate Skoglund and Julie Arndorfer. At last week's meet Masterson won both the 100 high hurdles (in 16.8) and the 300 low hurdles (in 51.1).

In the distance running events, Tualatin will have many of the same girls that teamed to win the Pacific Conference district cross country title this past fall.

Among those runners are juniors Erica Brabeck, Devon Frazier and Kelsey Stilson and freshman Emily Wheeler.

Frazier was third in the 800 at the district meet last year. Elizabeth Vogeltanz will also run the 800.

Tualatin's throwing group features senior Tauna Soderquist in the shot put.

She got her season off to a good start with a winning throw of 34 feet, 5¾ inches at last week's meet.

Other top throwers for the Wolves include juniors Amanda Chambers and Lexxy Johnson.

In the high jump Tualatin will have sophomores Alexa Stevens and Haley Fisher.

Senior Melanie Schafer returns in the long jump and triple jump events.

She went to state in the long jump last year after finishing second in that event at the district meet.

Sophomore Lauren Kleven will also be competing in the long and triple jumps.

In the pole vault Tualatin will have junior Emily Teters.

As for the Pacific Conference this season, Zitzelsberger sees Newberg and Canby as being the team favorites.

'By the end, we could also be in the mix,' he said. 'And you can't discount Tigard.'

The Wolves were scheduled to host Centennial in a non-league meet on Wednesday. Results of that meet weren't available when the Times went to press.

Tualatin will be back in action April 4 when it opens its Pacific Conference dual meet slate with a meet at Canby starting at 3:45 p.m.