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Gonzalez is a double winner at Gladstone


The Mustang senior is tough in the distances

Milwaukie senior distance standout Sasha Gonzalez made a strong showing in her first competition of the season, breezing to first place in both the 1,500 meters (5:24) and 3,000 meters (11:43.8) in a March 20 meet with Banks and defending Class 4A state champion Gladstone, at Gladstone.

Gonzalez’ time in the 3,000 ranks her among the top athletes in the state in Class 5A in that event.

“It’s her senior year and Sasha has really dedicated herself to doing well,” said Milwaukie coach Barrie Malcolm. “She’s been one of the hardest workers on the team.”

Gonzalez was Milwaukie’s only winner, both because of the high level of competition and because the Mustangs were missing one of their top athletes. Senior Alexis Noren, who excels in the high jump, long jump and triple jump, was away on a field trip.

Because of the cool, breezy and showery weather, the marks weren’t that great. But the Mustangs did have some good early-season competitive performances.

Senior Mackenzie West, competing in the high hurdles for the first time ever, placed second, with an effort of 19.5, in that event. And Milwaukie junior Roo Cachero, competing in the low hurdles for the first time, placed third in that event, with a 58.5 clocking.

Junior Kayler Hammond had a good day, earning runner-up honors in the shot put (32-5) and placing third in the discus (96-4).

Senior Kendall Gronvold finished runner-up in two events, the 800 (2:55) and 3,000 (13:37).

Competing in a strong field, senior Cordaja Ware placed third in the 100 (13.4), and junior Becky Ponnay placed third in the 400 (1:07.0).

Coach Malcolm says he’s got a good turnout this spring, with 43 girls signed up to compete in track. He says his Mustangs are hopeful that they can finish with a winning record in Northwest Oregon Conference dual meets.

Malcolm added, “We have a handful of girls who could place high [at district], and we have the potential to be a better big-meet team than a dual-meet team.”

The Mustangs begin NWOC competition next Wednesday, when they travel to St. Helens to take on the Lions.

Malcolm this spring replaces Mike Petersen as Milwaukie girls coach. He’s been a coach in Milwaukie’s track program for 34 years and was the girls head coach 20 years ago.

Malcolm says he sees Wilsonville and Liberty as the favorites in the NWOC in girls track and field this spring.