Sandy encounters some gifted opponents at the Saturday, April 14, meet
by: Michael Cade, Sandy freshman Katie Pelchar en route to her finish in the triple jump.

All sorts of premier track and field talent was on display when Sandy hosted the Mike Kostrba Invitational on Saturday, April 14.

A number of impressive marks were set on the day, including two new state bests in the javelin, as hurls by Chase Dalton of Tigard (209-feet-4-inches) and Michael Thompson of Southridge (201-6) dazzled onlookers.

Another eye-catching event took place in the girls 400-meter sprint, where Summit freshman Kellie Schueler ran a time of 56.34 seconds, which was only four hundredths of a second off the all-time invitational record set in 1984.

Sandy star Brenna Hoffman finished second to Schueler in the 400, but Hoffman definitely wasn't down after the race.

In fact, Hoffman commented later in the day that Sandy's reshuffled 1,600 lineup might make some noise.

'Yeah, we'll do well,' she said. 'We're going to do what we can. We still haven't ran with our (regular) relay team since preseason.'

That regular foursome - comprised of Hoffman, Siara Leininger, Malia Ingrao and Sarah Kathrein - didn't get a chance to run on Saturday either, but Kathrein's fill-in, Tressa Hoffman, the younger sister of Brenna, helped the Pioneers nab a third-place finish as the unit produced a time of 4 minutes and 12 seconds.

Back on the boys' side of the equation, a productive meet on Wednesday, April 11 at Barlow might have left some of Sandy's best runners spent on Saturday.

Devin Connell, who won the 3,000 at Barlow with a time of 9:52.98, admitted he felt a little gassed during the Kostrba get-together at Pop Rannow Stadium.

'The 1,500 went OK,' Connell said, 'but I just didn't have anything left for the 800.'

Connell finished 12th out of 22 runners in the 1,500 and 17th out of 19 runners in the 800.

An electrifying runner for Glencoe drew some attention to himself in both the 100 dash and 200 sprint.

Gabriel Aguilar, a senior, looked like famed DC Comics super hero The Flash in both events, finishing well ahead of the competition in each race. He clocked in at 10.80 seconds in the 100 and 21.90 in the 200.

Sandy senior and track rookie Garrett Cartner finished fourth in the 200, and that put him in pretty good company, only three spots behind the lightning-fast Aguilar.

In fact, Sandy athletic director Courtney Murphy noted that it was tempting to speculate how good Cartner might be had he run track his entire high school career.

'Imagine if he had been doing it since he was a sophomore,' she said.

In the field events, Sandy's girls made sure the Pioneers were well represented on the day.

Pioneer senior Kayla Hendershot launched a 130-foot-5-inch discus throw that claimed top honors in that event, and frosh sensation Katie Pelchar produced a 5-foot high jump that earned her the No. 1 spot there.

For the boys, sophomore Jordan Gray did well in the long jump, as his mark of 20-feet-4.75-inches was topped by only three other individuals, Wilsonville's Jordan Leibbrandt (21-5), Battle Ground's Manny Melo (20-10.5) and Summit's Antwan Johnson (20-8.25).

Team scores: Combined - Southridge 233, Summit 157, Tigard 129, Hillsboro 115.50, Sandy 105, Battle Ground 101.50, Glencoe 95, Newberg 88.5, Wilsonville 84.5, Putnam 78, Wilson 70, Milwaukie 38, Horizon Christian 10.

Girls - Southridge 125, Summit 93, Sandy 82, Hillsboro 71.5, Newberg 67.5, Battle Ground 53.5, Wilsonville 45.5, Tigard 41, Glencoe 40, Putnam 18, Wilson 14, Milwaukie 10.

Boys - Southridge 108, Tigard 88, Summit 64, Putnam 60, Wilson 56, Glencoe 55, Battle Ground 48, Hillsboro 44, Wilsonville 39, Milwaukie 28, Sandy 23, Newberg 21, Horizon Christian 10.

April 11

In a three-way dual meet with David Douglas and Barlow, Sandy's stars shined brightly.

And nobody's star shined brighter than Brenna Hoffman's.

Hoffman claimed top honors in the 200-meter sprint (25.00 seconds), the 400 (58.39), the 400 relay split (61.2) and she was a contributing member on the top girls 1,600 relay team, which, due to injuries and other factors, hasn't raced back-to-back meets as a complete unit all season.

The Pioneer girls also completed a 1-2 sweep in the 1,500 run as Tressa Hoffman and Lynsey Bender took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in that event, respectively.

In field events, freshman Katie Pelchar continued her dynamic ways at the Barlow meet, turning in the best high jump mark by far with a 5-foot-4-inch leap. And Kayla Hendershot out-threw David Douglas' amazing Martha Hale in the discus with a mark of 127 feet.

On the boys' side, Devin Connell bested David Douglas' Taylor Adrian by a solid five seconds to take top honors in the 3,000, and senior Ryan Ball had yet another productive meet, winning the 400 sprint (52.26 seconds) and the 400 relay split (51.8). Ball also teamed with Jake Seidel, Christopher Wagner and Brennon Nelson to produce the top time in the 1,600 relay (3 minutes, 33.45 seconds).

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