Also: Milwaukie gives the Lakeridge Pacers a run for their money in a 75-70 loss
Clackamas, Lakeridge and Putnam boys teams came out winners in last week's Three Rivers League track and field openers.
In the featured meet of the week, Clackamas edged TRL preseason favorite Putnam 73-72 to get a leg up in the league dual-meet title chase.
Milwaukie boys dropped a 75-70 heartbreaker to Lakeridge, while West Linn took care of business at Lake Oswego, winning 88-56.
'Clackamas' beating Putnam puts them in the lead for the league dual-meet championship,' said longtime Milwaukie coach Chuck Nott. 'But I think it will be a toss-up between Clackamas and Putnam at district; and Lakeridge, with a couple of transfers, will be a darkhorse.'
'Going in, I was fairly confident our kids could compete with them,' said Clackamas coach Ford Morishita. 'But I couldn't run Gabe Garza in the sprints, because he's got a nagging muscle pull, so I wasn't sure.'
'They won most of the close calls,' said Putnam coach Brent Eggers. 'And their sweeping us in the pole vault and 3,000 really hurt. We were missing both of our pole vaulters [because of injury].'
'We don't have the quality guys that Putnam has,' said Morishita. 'But I think this puts us in the hunt for the district title. We don't have the big-point kids, so we're going to have to do it with numbers.'
Clackamas needed the sweep in the last individual event, the 3,000 meters, in order to tally 73 points and clinch the dual win over the Kingsmen.
Zachary Marx (9:24.31), Jeff Hopkins (9:45.9) and Matt Hutchinson (10:03.14) earned the sweep. All three finished well ahead of Putnam's top competitor.
Seniors Josh Stromberg and Kevin Scheiber, and junior Kyle Salgado all cleared 11-6 to earn the sweep in the pole vault.
Morishita said that junior Eric Serres played a pivotal role in the dual win, with first-place finishes in both hurdles races.
'Eric had career bests in both the highs and the intermediates,' said Morishita. 'And he hadn't touched a hurdle since he was a freshman. His hard work is paying off.'
Serres (15.3) beat Putnam sophomore Andrew Gay (15.5) by two tenths of a second for first place in the 110-meter high hurdles; and he beat Gay by six tenths of a second with an effort of 41.1 in the 300-meter intermediates.
Morishita also praised freshman Spencer Bankofier for finishing runner-up to Garza in the 400 meters. Garza, who ran the event despite his injury, was clocked in 52.7. Bankofier finished the race in 53.7, crossing the finish line three tenths of a second in front of Putnam senior Logan Fjelstad.
The Cavaliers had winners in 10 of the 15 individual events, including the 400 (Garza), 800 (Ryan Keene, 2:02.2), 1,500 (Grant Eldridge, 4:13.7), 3,000 (Zachary Marx (9:24.4), high and intermediate hurdles (Serres), javelin (Josh Faletoi, 150-11), pole vault (Stromberg), triple jump (Jerod Owens (40-0-1/2) and high jump (Kyle Shea, 5-10).
Mayes ties school record
Putnam senior Joevonte Mayes had a big day, recording state's bests with winning times of 10.6 and 21.9 in the 100- and 200-meter sprints. Both times are state's best marks and the time in the 100 tied a school record set by Wayne Harris in 1987. Harris is now the head coach at Portland's Cleveland High School.
Putnam's other winners were Gay in the shot put (47-7) and discus (142-2), Mayes in the long jump (20-2), and the Kingsmen 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams (44.3 and 3:36.2).
Putnam meets Lake Oswego on the road next Wednesday; Clackamas entertains Milwaukie on Thursday, April 5.
Transfer makes the difference
MILWAUKIE - Milwaukie's boys meet with Lakeridge came down to the final event, the 1,600-meter relay. The score was tied at 70-70 heading into the event.
The Pacers won the relay race by 2.7 seconds, finishing in 3:39.2.
'Billy Mitchell, their sophomore transfer from Florida, was really the difference in the meet,' said Milwaukie coach Chuck Nott. 'He won the 100 and 200 and he was on both [winning] relays.'
Mitchell edged Milwaukie junior Nick Crommie, 11.1 to 11.3 in the 100, and he topped Crommie 23.3 to 23.9 in the 200.
The Mustangs scored in every individual event, and Milwaukie swept the high jump and pole vault.
Senior Tim Gonzales (5-10), freshman Layne Iffert and sophomore Neo Smith placed first, second and third respectively in the high jump.
Junior Donovan Nhoung (10-6), Smith and senior Trevor Melum placed first, second and third respectively in the pole vault.
'Donovan's come a long way in a short time,' said Nott. 'He's a first-year pole vaulter and he's come close to 12 feet in practice.'
Milwaukie senior Jimmy Haman (46-7-3/4) won a heated contest with Lakeridge senior Taylor Young in the shot put; Haman (119-10) finished a close second to Pacer senior Zack Karr in the discus.
Milwaukie senior Ryan McLaughlin had quite a duel with Lakeridge junior Dave Marks in the distance races.
Marks got the best of McLaughlin, winning 4:17.0 to 4:17.3 in the 1,500 meters. But McLaughlin got even in the 800 meters, completing the race in 2:05.0 to finish three tenths of a second in front of Marks in that race.
Gonzales outclassed the field with a personal record heave of 179-11 in the javelin.
Milwaukie junior Andy Davis set the pace in the 400 (55.0).
Girls meets blowouts
All three of last week's TRL girls meets were blowouts.
Clackamas clobbered Putnam 116-26, Lakeridge hammered Milwaukie 102-41, and West Linn upended Lake Oswego 103-38.
Clackamas coeds won at least a share of first place in every individual event except the javelin and the Cavaliers dominated on the track, sweeping every individual event except the 400 meters.
Twelve different athletes won individual events for Clackamas. Seniors Stephanie Persaud and Whitney Jackson were Clackamas' only double winners.
Persaud was a runaway winner in both the 200- (26.2) and 400-meter (62.6) sprints.
Jackson won the triple jump (32-3) and led the sweep in the high hurdles (17.9).
Clackamas had two freshmen winners, Megan Sachet in the 100 meters (13.2) and Kate Jette in the 3,000 (11:43.2).
Cavalier distance standout Claire Michel cruised to a 4:57.7 clocking and first place in the 1,500.
Clackamas junior Lilly Schoenheit and Putnam seniors Janelle and Rochelle Dobson all cleared 5-0 to tie for first place in the high jump.
Putnam's only other win came in the javelin, where junior Crystal Spring (96-8) and senior Ashley Fullerton (83-10) went one-two.
Milwaukie coeds had five winners in their 102-41 loss to Lakeridge. Freshman Erin McLaughlin turned in an impressive distance double, winning the 1,500 in 5:15.2 and the 3,000 in 11:31.7.
Milwaukie sophomore Kaley Edwards (62.9) finished nearly a second in front of Lakeridge sophomore Jenna Horton in the 400 meters.
Milwaukie freshman Kaylyn Bobbitt (84-3) won the discus and Mustang sophomore Bianca Monea won the pole vault.
Lakeridge freshman Lexi Ross turned a few heads, clearing 5-3 in the high jump.
Pacer senior talent Mandy White proved she still has her stuff, winning the 100 in 12.4, the 200 in 26.6, and the long jump (16-5).
Pacer hurdles star Samantha Berryman set the pace in the high hurdles (16.9).