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Lady Bowmen hope to have the right combination

Track: Paulson, Smurdon to lead the way for Sherwood High School girls track team
by: DAN BROOD, BACK AND RUNNING STRONG — Ilsa Paulson, after missing her junior track season, is back this year.

SHERWOOD - Going into the 2007 season, the Sherwood High School girls track and field team knows its has some proven competitors it can count on.

The Lady Bowmen also boast some talented younger athletes.

With that combination, they're hoping to make plenty of noise in their first season at the Class 5A level, and in the Northwest Oregon Conference.

'We know that (junior) Courtney (Smurdon) and (senior) Ilsa (Paulson) will make some waves,' Sherwood coach Terrel Smith said. 'We also have a lot of young talent. We just need to develop our throwers. That's the unknown factor.'

Paulson, who won the Class 5A girls cross country individual championship this past fall, is looking to have a strong senior track and field season after missing her junior track campaign due to illness.

'She's been working hard all winter,' Smith said. 'She wanted to make a statement early in the season.'

Paulson did that at last Thursday's season-opening Sherwood Relays. At that meet, she bettered her own school record in the 3,000-meter run with her time of 10 minutes, 21.7 seconds. Paulson will be running the 1,500 and the 3,000 in her senior season.

Smurdon is coming off a strong sophomore season that saw her place second in the 100-meter high hurdles and fourth in the 300 intermediate hurdles at the Class 3A state meet. She also ran for the Bowmen 4 x 100 relay team that finished sixth at state.

This year, Smurdon will continue the sprints and hurdles and she'll also be competing in the shot put.

'Courtney is a very good talent,' Smith said.

The other members of the Sherwood 4 x 100 relay team that competed at state - senior Emily Schulte, junior Erica Chamberlain and sophomore Michaela Loewer - also return, giving Sherwood strength in the sprints.

Loewer could possibly be the team's top returnee in that area.s

Junior Amanda Dutra, an all-state soccer player, is out for track for the first time and she'll give the Lady Bowmen even more depth and strength in the sprints.

Sherwood also looks to be strong in the high jump. Sophomore Kristen Oenning, who placed fourth in the event at state last year, is back. The Lady Bowmen also have sophomore Alina Schmeltzer and freshman Frances Pavao, who cleared 5 feet, 4 inches as an eighth-grader, in the high jump.

'Our jumpers will be strong again this year,' Smith said.

Oenning, in addition to high jumping, will also be running the 1,500 again this year. She was 13th in that race at state last year.

In the pole vault, Sherwood will be led by senior Kristina Cauthorn. She got her season off to a strong start as she went over the bar at 9-6 in last Thursday's meet. Freshman Katie Mariman cleared 8-6 in the pole vault last week.

In the throws, the Lady Bowmen will feature senior Katrina Krempley, who will compete in the javelin and the discus.

As for the new Northwest Oregon Conference this year, Smith isn't sure what to expect.

'It's totally unknown,' he said. 'Realistically, I think we can finish somewhere in the middle.'