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Braves turn in dominant performance at Tillamook Invitational

Neither rain nor wind could stop Banks on Saturday.

Despite precipitation and swirling, gusting winds, the Banks boys and girls track and field squads showed themselves to be in fine early season form at the Tillamook Invitational, with the girls winning their fifth consecutive meet title in dominating fashion and the boys narrowly settling for second place.

The Lady Braves rolled up 216 points while no other school in the seven-team meet scored more than 64. The Banks boys recorded 166 points to finish just behind the host Cheesemakers (179).

“For the kids we have and where we thought we’d be, we’re much farther ahead of where I thought we’d be at this point in the season in virtually every event, so this is a good thing,” Banks coach Rob Frank said.

The girls racked up victories in 11 events, including every field event except the long jump. Freshman Maddison King contributed to three of those wins, finishing first in the 100 meters (13.17 seconds) and 200 meters (28.24), and teaming with Amy Hilger, Kiana Shurts and McKenzie Perry to win the 4x400 relay. King was also a part of Banks’ second-place short relay and won female athlete of the meet honors.

Shurts, in the 400 (1:06.14), and Hilger, in the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches) won individual events in addition to the relay result.

Michaela Shurts, Kiana’s sister, added first-place finishes in the 300 hurdles (52.68) and pole vault (8-6), and Annie Victor also was a two-time winner, in the discus (107-½) and shot put (31-10). Kindel Bailey made it a sweep of the throwing events for Banks with a javelin win (104-3). And Johanna Blake (31-4) led Lauren Birr and Hilger to a 1-2-3 finish in the triple jump.

Though the Banks boys could not quite keep pace with their female teammates in terms of victories, they demonstrated considerable depth with four wins and five second-place finishes.

Sophomore Lucas Hidalgo produced arguably one of the most impressive performances of the meet by clearing 13-6 in the pole vault, which was good for a personal record, a tie for the meet record, and the second-best mark of the season among Class 4A boys, as of Tuesday afternoon.

“He had 14 feet, and he came down a little bit short on the bar,” Frank said. “I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he doesn’t go 14-6 before the end of the year.”

And out for his first track season as a junior, Garrett Markham won the javelin with a throw of 150 feet, an improvement of more than 26 feet from his season-opening mark in a meet before spring break. Kieran Thomas took first place in the long jump with a mark of 19-4½ and tied for first with Nathan McRae of Tillamook in the triple jump (40-1).

Graysen Partain played a role in three runner-up finishes for the Braves. Taking a break from his duties with the baseball squad, Partain narrowly missed wins in both the 100 and 200. Timed in 11.33 in the shorter race, he finished just behind Tillamook’s Wesley Stirk (11.28). And Myron Moore barely edged him in the 200 — 23.34 to 23.37. Partain also ran on Banks’ runner-up short relay squad (45.46), along with cousin Holden Partain, Michael King and Mykah Rosa.

Other runners-up were Matthew Borchers in the 800 (2:05.43) and Andrew Lenz in the 300 hurdles (46.57). Thomas Blatner in the shot put (44-7) and Dallin Shurts in the discus (111-10) assisted in the throws with third-place marks.

The Braves have two meets scheduled this week, including a dual at Scappoose tomorrow. Then on Saturday the team will compete in the Meet of Champions at Willamette University in Salem. More than 50 Class 1A through 4A schools are expected to participate in the event, a top competition for Oregon small schools.

“With the weather conditions we’ve had in the first meets and the weather conditions we’ve had for training, we’re real pleased with the team as a whole, both boys and girls,” Frank said. “We can see a lot of progress, and a lot of kids are just on the verge of ... doing some pretty big things in their events. It’s been a lot of fun so far.”




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