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Pioneers pull off a huge upset

Misley leads the way, with career records and wins in four events, as Oregon City's boys track and field team stuns Clackamas 74-71
by: Craig Mitchelldyer, Oregon City senior Cory Misley comes in for a landing in the long jump during last Thursday's upset of Clackamas in boys track and field.

OREGON CITY - The upstart Oregon City Pioneers stunned Clackamas 74-71 in Three Rivers League boys track and field last Thursday, dealing the favored Cavaliers their first league dual loss of the season.

'These kids were very excited!' said Oregon City coach Adam Thygeson. 'A number of our guys were on our football and soccer teams and I don't know if they had ever beaten Clackamas in anything.'

The meet went down to the final individual event, the 3,000-meter run. Oregon City junior Jacob Goertz knew he had to win the 3,000 in order for the Pioneers to win the meet.

Goertz and Cavaliers Jeff Hopkins and John Paden ran close together for the first 6-1/2 laps. As the runners circled the track, their teammates cheered them on with hysteric screams each time around.

Goertz and Hopkins broke from Paden with 1-1/2 laps to go; Goertz pulled away from Hopkins in the final 500 meters, and his teammates went crazy as he widened the gap to over 100 meters by the time he crossed the finish line.

The Pioneers had a number of outstanding competitive performances, but they got extra motivation early on when Clackamas' favored 400-meter relay team dropped the baton and was disqualified.

'Without the dropped baton, they win the meet,' said Thygeson. 'It gave my kids a spark.'

Oregon City dominated in the field events, earning 49 of the 63 points available, with sweeps in the triple jump and pole vault, and placing at least two athletes in every field event but the discus.

Cory Misley had a huge day for the Pioneers, scoring 20 points with wins in the 100 (11.56), 200 (23.29), long jump (20-9) and triple jump (44-8). All four marks were career bests.

Misley set the stage for the upset, when he nosed out Clackamas sprint standout Gabe Garza in the 200-meter dash.

Misley became the TRL leader with his effort in the triple jump, and he joined West Linn senior Shawn Miller as the league leader with his mark in the long jump.

Misley's mark in the triple jump moved him ahead of former Oregon City coach Rich Ferguson, to the No. 4 spot on Oregon City's list of all-time best triple jumpers.

But Misley wasn't the only hero for the Pioneers.

Oregon City earned an unanticipated sweep in the pole vault, where juniors Jack Hippler (14-0) and Derek Hinkle (12-6) and sophomore Jared Hippler (12-6) placed first, second and third respectively. Two Cavalier vaulters who had cleared 13 feet earlier in the season failed to place.

Hinkle was also at the top of his game in the high jump, where he cleared 6-0 for the first time, upsetting Clackamas junior Greg Inahara, the league leader in the event.

Oregon City's Ferguson twins - freshmen Tyler and Trevor - were no less impressive.

They placed two-three respectively in the triple jump, with lifetime bests of 42-1 and 42-0-1/2; Tyler beat out a Cavalier upperclassmen with personal record marks of 20-5 and 161-2, good for runner-up points in the long jump and javelin.

Both Ferguson's broke Oregon City's freshmen class record for the triple jump; Tyler also bettered his freshman class records by two inches in the long jump and by nearly 10 feet in the javelin.

Oregon City senior Kasey Ahsing came through with one of the more impressive marks of the day, outclassing the field with a lifetime and TRL best of 196-6-1/2 in the javelin. The effort, an eight-foot PR, ranks Ahsing fourth in the state in the event. It was his freshmen class record that Tyler shattered in the javelin.

Other Oregon City winners included senior Eric Skipper in the shot put (44-4), junior Jacob Goertz in the 3,000 meters (9:21.1) and the Pioneer sprint relay team of Casey Clarke, Bryan Witt, Mitch Wagner and Preston Christensen.

Clackamas swept both hurdles races, with Eric Serres (15.68) heading the effort in the highs and Greg Inahara (42.52) setting the pace in the intermediates. Justin Inahara had the best mark of the day in the discus (132-1).

Ryan Keene was a double winner for Clackamas, setting the pace in the 800 (2:02.13) and 1,500 (4:09.97). Garza won the 400 (52.33).

Heading into this week's dual meets, Putnam (3-1) and West Linn (3-1) were atop the TRL boys dual standings, but they were followed closely by Clackamas (2-1) and Oregon City (2-1).

Oregon City had meets remaining today at Lake Oswego (0-3) and next Wednesday with Milwaukie (1-3), at Oregon City.

Clackamas hosts Lakeridge (1-2) today and Lake Oswego (0-3) next Wednesday.