The Gladiators prove themselves a power in Capital Conference boys track and field

GLADSTONE - Gladstone High School thinclads came through with a phenomenal team performance in last week's Capital Conference boys tri-dual track and field meet with Cascade and Stayton.

Heading into the meet, Cascade and Molalla were the boys teams favored to finish on top in the Capital Conference. But the Glad guys blew Cascade away 100-45, and they took care of business with Stayton, winning 113-32.

'On paper, I scored the meet as a toss-up [between Gladstone and Cascade],' said Gladstone coach Ken Stobie. 'There were several events where we were evenly matched, but in every case we just kicked butt. We had 31 season PR's. I was so proud of them.'

The Gladiators took no hostages, recording the top marks of the meet - against both Cascade and Stayton - in 12 of the 15 individual events.

The Gladiators were especially tough in the distances. Senior Matt McCrary (4:20.68), junior James Towne (4:33.08) and senior Jason Hughes (4:40.2) swept the first three places in the 1,500.

McCrary (9:55.55) and Towne (10:04.13) finished one-two in the 3,000; Gladstone senior Casey DePeel (2:10.68) and Gladiator freshman Marco Thompson (2:14.98) went one-two behind Stayton's Chris Luna (2:10.54) in the 800.

It was only the second time DePeel had run the 800 and he made Luna work for his win.

Towne turned in lifetime best times in both the 1,500 and 3,000.

The Glads finished one-two in the 100, discus and pole vault.

Gladstone senior standout Jordan Aldredge (11.23) won the 100, but he was pushed by teammate Darrell Fields (11.54).

Aldredge (166-0) and Gladiator senior Bernie Sound (130-3) went one-two in the discus.

Gladiator seniors Kevin Dunn (11-6) and Jeremy Brenner (11-0) went one-two in the pole vault.

Fields (23.27) finished well in front of Cascade sprint standout R.J. Williams (23.67) in the 200; Aldredge (181-11) won easily in the javelin and in the shot put (54-8).

Justin Lundgren was huge for the Gladiators. The up-and-coming sophomore stunned Cascade's veteran hurdlers Tory Alexander and Kenton Majors, defeating Alexander by a tenth of a second with an effort of 16.86 in the highs, and winning the intermediates by a full second in a lifetime best of 43.7.

Lundgren also won a heated competition in the long jump, beating Cascade senior Martin Martinez by a quarter of an inch with a leap of 19-5-1/4.

De Peel (39-9) was a runaway winner in the triple jump.

'I think that if we stay healthy, we've got a possibility of taking a lot of kids to state,' said Stobie. 'But this is a tough league. Molalla and us are probably the best big-meet teams, but there are other teams who are going to knock people off. So we're going to have to come to compete.'

The Indians were state runners-up a year ago.

The Glads (3-0) were to meet Molalla (3-0) on Tuesday (April 17). They travel to North Marion for a dual meet with the winless Huskies next Tuesday.

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