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White burns up track at Hermiston Invite

Some nasty weather greeted many of the top Portland-area track teams that decided to compete in the Centennial Invitational last Saturday. But the weather didn't bother Lakeridge's athletes much, mainly because they skipped the Centennial meet and made their annual trek to Hermiston instead.

With much better weather in Hermiston, some of Lakeridge's athletes were able to post some impressive marks. The most notable showing of the day turned in by Mandy White.

The Lakeridge senior was the meet's top point earner after she won three events against some stiff competition. Her day included victories in the 100, 200 and the long jump.

'She's just absolutely burning up the track,' Lakeridge coach Ken James said of his top sprinter.

White won the 100-meter race by a 12.28 to 12.78 margin over Hermiston's Alma Aguilar. White then won the 200 in even more impressive fashion, beating Andrea Bailey of The Dalles by a 25.15 to 26.42 margin.

With her winning time in the 200, White now has the best time in the state in that event. She already had the state's best time in the 100 and she was just shy of reaching that mark (which is 12.14) at the Hermiston meet.

'She was running against some high-quality kids (on Saturday),' James said, and White still managed to pull away from the competition.

'It was just awesome,' James said of White's efforts.

White also won the long jump with a season-best leap of 16-10, which moved her into the No. 9 ranking in the state.

Samantha Berryman, who is still rebounding from last fall's ACL surgery, finished third in the high hurdles with a time of 16.34 and she was seventh in the 300 hurdles with a time of 48.68. Freshman Stacy Sawin had an even better day in the low hurdles. She took fifth with a time of 48.27.

Lakeridge also got some great performances in the boys meet. Leading the way was Dave Marks, who won the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:57.56. That gave him the fourth-best time in the state so far this season.

Zach Young also had a strong meet with a second-place finish in the 100 and a fifth in the 200. Both of his times - 11.49 in the 100 and 23.56 in the 200 - represented season-best times.

Another impressive performance was turned in by Travis Dunn, who took third in the triple jump with a leap of 42-0¾. Dunn and Young also were part of Lakeridge's winning 4x100 relay team. That squad, which turned in a time of 43.63, also included Billy Mitchell and Rob Kool.

Three days before, the Lakeridge girls team scored its biggest dual-meet victory so far this season when it beat West Linn 74-67.

A number of Pacers contributed to the victory but maybe the most timely effort belonged to freshman Kimmy Weston. She took second in the day's final field event, the triple jump, but she was in third until her final leap of the competition. Weston went 32-4 on that jump, besting her previous career best by nearly four feet.

That effort, coupled with Lakeridge's winning run in the 4x400 relay, wound up being the difference between the Pacers winning and losing the meet.

West Linn was favored to win that long relay, which was the last race of the day, but Lakeridge wound up winning by three seconds (4:18 to 4:21). The Lakeridge team included Sawin, Caitlin Hoddevik, Kathryn Collins and Jenna Horton.

Earlier in the meet, Collins was part of a photo finish in the 800-meter race. Collins wound up third in that race, with a time of 2:30.9, but she was just barely nosed out by the West Linn tandem of Taylor Nowlin and Diana Crane.

'Kathryn is really running well now,' James said. 'She's come a long ways.'

The top point earner of the meet was Berryman, who won the 100 high hurdles, the pole vault, the long jump and the triple jump. It was the first time this season she had won four events.

Berryman's winning time in the hurdles, which was 16.3, represented a season-best effort. She also recorded PRs in the pole vault (9-0) and the triple jump (33-7½).

James is hoping Berryman will be peaking by the time the district meet rolls around in two weeks.

'We're hoping so,' he said.

But it's uncertain what events she'll compete in.

'Right now, she's just showing her versatility. She's doing whatever it takes for our team to win,' the coach said.

As expected, White won both the 100 and 200 in last Wednesday's dual meet. But she was never really pressured, so she cruised to victory in each race.

'She ran just fast enough to win,' James said.

In addition, Lakeridge went 1-2 in the girls javelin with Andrea Hopkins finishing first and Kai Schmidt taking second. But West Linn's Ali Super, the state's top thrower, skipped that meet in order to save her energy for the Centennial meet, which she won for the second year in a row.

The boys team, meanwhile, lost to West Linn 86-59. But it would be hard to overlook the effort turned in by Dunn, who won the 100 with a time that was initially set at 11.09. That time was later converted to 11.34, which ties him with Mitchell for the league's second-best 100 time.

Dunn also the 300 hurdles and the long jump. Plus Ryan Grady won the 400, Marks claimed the 3,000, Taylor Young won the shot put and Zach Karr was first in the discus.