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Local youths excel at track state

by: Bill Wilson, Katie Pelchar clears 5-1 on her final attempt to win the youth girls high jump title at the JO state meet.

SALEM - A month after the Sandy High School girls' track team won the Class 4A state title, Team Oregon showed that another might be in the near future.

The Sandy-based track club, coached by Doug Bowman, will send a host of athletes to Regionals after a strong showing Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25, in the Oregon Junior Olympic Track and Field State Championships at Willamette University's McCulloch Stadium.

Team Oregon had six members win titles at the meet, which qualified the top-6 finishers for Regionals.

Sisters Krysta and Katie Pelchar of Welches each won state titles. Krysta earned hers Saturday in the young women's pole vault. The recent Sandy High School graduate entered the competition at 10-feet-6-inches and soared up and over on her first attempt. She bounced the bar on her second attempt at 11-0, but it stuck for the clearance.

With two competitors remaining, both missed all three attempts at 11-6, leading to a vault-off. The bar was lowered to 11-3 then 11-0 with Pelchar and Terra Schumacher each missing their one try. Schumacher missed at 10-9 and Pelchar cleared easily to secure the title.

Katie Pelchar also had a close call in Sunday's youth girls high jump competition. The incoming Sandy freshman entered at 4-7 with half of the contestants already eliminated. Pelchar cleared 4-7 and 4-9 1/2 on her first attempt as did five other girls.

Pelchar, who has been drained by a virus the past two months, saved some energy and passed on the next height of 4-11. With four competitors left at 5-1, her heel clipped the bar, bringing it down on her first attempt. She barely caught the bar on her second try. The other three girls missed their third and final attempt before Pelchar flew over the bar to win the state title.

Sandy senior Kayla Hendershot had an impressive series in the hammer throw to win the young women's title. She bettered her personal best of 133-8 on five or her six throws. She launched her best mark of 148-10 on her fifth attempt in the stellar display.

Hendershot also took third in the discus with a throw of 119-8 on her third attempt.

Despite competing against girls two years older, McKenzie Warren earned a pair of runner-up finishes in the youth girls shot put and discus throw. Warren, who is an incoming seventh grader, started her meet Saturday with personal bests on her four non-scratch throws in the discus. She led the competition after the first try before being passed by an incoming freshman. She unleashed her best effort of 83-4 on her third throw.

Warren returned Sunday to add a second in the shot. She took the lead when her second attempt went 33-6 3/4. She was passed shortly later but was secure in her runner-up position. All six of Warren's efforts went at least 30-0.

Team Oregon's Danelle Woodcock won her heat in the bantam girls 100-meter dash on Saturday then backed it by winning the title Sunday in 14.41 seconds. She also was the runner-up in the 200 (30.36) and the long jump with a leap of 12-6.

Sister Rachel Woodcock took second in the midget girls turbo javelin throw at 68-2.

Aimee Teeter earned a pair of runner-up finishes in the midget girls shot put (23-6) and discus throw (51-7). She'll also compete in the combined events regionals after qualifying the previous weekend as did her sister Terra, a sub-bantam. Terra competed in the 100, 800 and long jump.

Estacada's Nick Trubachik earned a pair of titles while competing for Team Oregon. Trubachik won the young men's triple jump (44-6) and javelin throw (193-6) by wide margins and also took second in the high jump (6-2 3/4).

Recent Sandy graduate Jesse Andersen was third in the young men's high jump (5-10 3/4) and fifth in the triple jump (39-1 1/4).

Bantam boy Matt Crouser had a solid showing with a state title in the shot put (23-3 1/4) a second in the javelin throw (97-0) and a third in the 800 (2:41.04). Team Oregon teammate Andrew Funk was third in the bantam boys javelin (89-3) and also competed in the high jump and 100.

Team Oregon's Taylor Guenther took second in the youth girls 400 (1:02.59) and also placed in the 200 and 100, taking fourth.

Other Team Oregon competitors included McKenzie Nolin, Chelsea Nolin, Taylor Robison, Kathryn Nickila, Elke Neuenschwander, Jacob Neuenschwander and Colton Safley.