Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Vikings turn in some top performances

Forest Grove athletes looking strong as they hit the homestretch this season

The tuning up continues.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD
 - Forest Grove senior Alyssa Villalobos crosses the finish line during last Thursday's Greater Valley Conference dual meet against West Salem.

The Forest Grove track and field squads continued to prep for their late-season push with two meets last week, including their final invitational of the spring.

That means all that stands between the Vikings and next week’s Greater Valley Conference district meet is a dual against South Salem today.

Last week, Forest Grove hosted West Salem in a GVC dual and then some team members headed west for the Jesuit Twilight Relays on Friday in Portland. The latter meet draws top prep track and field athletes from across Oregon and even from out of state in some cases.

As they have all season long for the Vikings, distance runners Max Norman, Murimi Nyamu and Matt Stanich shined at the Twilight meet. All three recorded personal best times in their races.

Nyamu contested the prestigious boys elite invitational mile, where some history was made. Race winner Michael Slagowski, of Rocky Mountain in Meridian, Idaho, became the ninth high school boy in U.S. history to run under four minutes. He was timed in 3 minutes, 59.53 seconds. Nyamu finished 11th in a fine 4:15.28.

The Forest Grove senior standout also set a PR at 1,500 meters, as a timing camera was set up to record runners’ splits en route at that distance, which is more commonly run in Oregon. Nyamu hit the 1,500-meter mark in 3:57.73, a PR by nearly two seconds and the sixth-fastest time in the state entering this week.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Forest Grove sophomore Hannah Berdahl runs to second place in the 400 meters during last Wednesday's GVC dual meet against West Salem.

As for Norman, he crushed his former 3,000 personal best by about 15 seconds in a 10th-place effort. The sophomore ran a time of 8:47.60, which made him the second-fastest performer all-time in school history.

Stanich added a 10th-place result in the 1,500, chopping a couple of seconds off his PR with a 4:07.50 clocking.

Other Viking boys participants at the meet were Ben Pearson (12th, 110 hurdles, 15.57), Joel Fletcher (14th, pole vault, 12 feet), Bobby Taylor (21st, discus, 125-5) the 6,400 relay team of Hyrum Hansen, Garrett Stewart, Riley Stewart and Gavin Vance (14th, 8:25.60), and the distance medley of Fidel Bucio Gallardo, Natan Lizier-Zmudzinski, Isaac Lopez Hass and David Thacker (28th, 11:40.64). The distance medley relay consisted of legs of 1,200, 400, 800 and 1,600 meters.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD
 - Forest Grove senior Ben Pearson clears a hurdle during his victory in the 110-meter hurdles last Wednesday at a dual meet against West Salem.

Alyssa Villalobos led a small contingent of Forest Grove girls. She finished 10th in the long jump, just missing finals with a leap of 16-5½. She also took 20th in the 100 hurdles in 16.82, just .12 seconds off of her PR.

The distance medley relay of Hannah Aguirre, Hannah Berdahl, Ellie Khoury and Ellie Schnorr finished 12th in 13:16.67. Elissa Anderson, Raychel Hinkey, Lucia Mendoza and Brittany Pitarresi teamed up for 16th in the 6,400 relay in 10:25.58.

Last Wednesday, the Forest Grove boys dropped their home dual against West Salem, 99.66 to 45.33, while the girls fell, 92-53, to the Titans.

Pearson was one of the top performers in the meet, sweeping the hurdles and setting or matching his personal bests in all three of his events. His time of 14.95 in the highs was a PR by .05 seconds and the seventh-fastest time in the state entering this week. A 40.84 clocking in the 300 hurdles bumped him up to eighth in the Class 6A ranks. He also won the high jump with a 6-0 clearance, equaling his best.

Taylor won the shot put (41-8) and Fletcher the pole vault (12-0) for Forest Grove.

For the Viking girls, Ilean Franco ran a season best in the 200 to edge West Salem’s Cari McCrae, 27.10 to 27.15. Other Forest Grove winners were Aguirre (3,000, 11:10.49), Mila Lumae (pole vault, 8-6), Abigail Aguirre (1,500, 5:56.01) and the 1,600 relay team of Dominque Duncan, Britney Perdew, Franco and Villalobos (4:25.94).

Today’s home meet against the Saxons starts at 3:45 p.m. The GVC district meet is scheduled for May 12-13 at Wortman Stadium in McMinnville.