Lady Greyhounds clinch league title
Gaston's softball team took care of business last week, beating Neah-Kah-Nie three times to clinch the regular season Northwest League championship.
Gaston won last week's games by a combined score of 61-1, asserting its dominance in the team's final three league contests. The Lady Greyhounds will close out the regular season with five tough non-league games in an effort to sharpen their skills before the start of the 2A/1A state playoffs on May 23.
'Win or lose, these games will help our RPI,' said Gaston head coach Wally Lira, whose squad has been handicapped in the state power rankings because of its relatively easy league schedule.
Gaston (15-1, 14-1) will play Gervais and Clatskanie this week before facing Dayton, Western Mennonite and Perrydale next week.
'My only concern is that now we'll have to play some pretty good teams,' Lira said. 'We're going to face some really good pitchers. The girls told me that they like faster pitching, so I said, 'Now you'll get your wish.'
'We'll see how we respond, but defensively I think we're as good as anybody. Honestly, I think we should be able to compete with all of these teams.'
Banks track team keeps improving
Banks came up two points shy of sweeping a Cowapa League track and field dual meet against Yamhill-Carlton last Wednesday, with the girls picking up an 89-55 victory and the boys falling by the narrowest of margins, 73-72.
The Lady Braves had a number of two-time winners on Wednesday, including Ariana Daskalakis in the 400 (1:05.68) and 800 meters (2:50.41), Amanda Reaser in the 1,500 (5:24.00) and 3,000 (11:27.00), Annie Victor in the discus (113-10) and shot put (32-2¼), and Amy Hilger in the high jump (5-0) and long jump (15-3½).
On the boy side, Matthew Borchers swept the distance events with victories in the 1,500 (4:26.00) and 3,000 meters (10:04.22), while Dallin Shurts won the 400 meters (55.86) and 300-meter hurdles (44.29).
Those performances came on the heels of a strong showing by a select group of Banks athletes at the Meet of Champions, an invitational held at Willamette University on April 28.
Hilger jumped 15-7 to set a personal best in the long jump, and Reaser set a season-best in the 1,500 meters (5:07.42) and a 21-second PR in the 3,000 (11:27.18). Borchers set a new personal best with a 4:18.54 in the 1,500 and Shurts set a new PR of 54.33 in the 400.
'We had an all around good day,' said Banks track coach Tony Cicoria.
Sunset opener delayed again
Sunset Speedway finds itself off to a late start this season due to poor weather. Last Saturday was supposed to be the track's official opening, but conditions at the Banks facility forced officials to call off the race and instead host a practice event for the second consecutive week.
Sunset officials hope to get the season started on Saturday with the USAC Ford Focus Midgets in action as well as the newly created Northwest Extreme Sprint Car Series, USRA Modifieds, Street Stocks, and 4-Bees.
Front Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with racing scheduled to start at 6. Admission prices are $14 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for children (ages 6-12) and free for children under the age of 5.
For more information, please visit www.sunset-speedwaypark.com or call 541-598-6643.