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Braves look sharp at invite

Banks athletes turn in stellar performances at their own invitational

The home finale came early this year for Banks track and field.

So the Braves made sure it was a good one.

The program staged its long-running Banks Invitational last Saturday, with the non-scoring 11-team competition being the final of three home meets this spring. The season is still far from over — it’s not quite halfway through yet — but the Braves continued to flash their potential despite their training loads.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES
 - Banks sophomore Kim Jordan runs to victory in the girls 100 meters at last Saturday's Banks Invitational track and field meet. Jordan won the race with a time of 13.69 seconds.

“We had a good day. Some people had a great day,” Braves coach Rob Frank said. “It’s a middle-season meet. You’re working on a lot of form, so some people’s marks go down a little bit because we’re tweaking it here and there, and you go down before you go up. Other people are kind of at the end of that tweak. I think what we did, it was a good meet.”

Two of Banks’ finest helped contribute toward the Braves’ eight victories on the girls’ side. Kim Jordan and Jamie Borchers shared the outstanding girls track athlete of the meet honor after sweeping all of their events. The two teammates formed half of Banks’ victorious 400-meter relay team. Jordan added individual wins in the 100, 200 and long jump, while Borchers won the 400 in a personal-best time and anchored the first-place 1,600 relay team.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES
 - Banks junior Levi Carreon clears a hurdle during the boys 110-meter hurdles at last Saturday's Banks Invitational. Carreon pulled away for a victory in 16.58 seconds.

Jordan’s solo wins on the track were pretty tight ones. She took the 100 in 13.69 seconds, with St. Stephen’s Academy’s Ruth Meeker second in 13.92. The 200 was even closer. Jordan got off to a slow start, perhaps in third or fourth place. But halfway through, she noted that she needed to pick it up, and she did, motoring down the homestretch. She caught everyone and just edged Meeker, 28.56 to 28.64, at the line.

“The 200, I went in a little more confident (than the 100) because I was in lane four, and I had to work for that one,” Jordan said. “I had to find something in me, but I got it.”

Jordan also led off the victorious 400 relay. She teamed with Gracie Nelson, Jaime Evers and Borchers to run a season-best time of 53.20. The sophomore also leapt 14 feet, 11 inches on her first attempt in the long jump, which held up as the winning mark.

Borchers also was perfect on the track. In addition to teaming with Jordan in the short relay, she won the 400 in a personal-best time and anchored the winning long relay. In the 400, she swept past Mikayla Cortez of Scio over the final 100 en route to clocking a time of 1:02.30, a PR by nearly 1½ seconds. Cortez finished in 1:03.20, with Banks’ Evers (1:05.14) and Aspen Slifka (1:06.67) in third and fourth.

Those three Banks girls teamed with Nelson to dominate the 1,600 relay in a season-best time of 4:26.24.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES
 - Banks' Erik Larsen hands off to teammate Blake Markham in the boys 1,600-meter relay last Saturday at the annual Banks Invitational.

Borchers has been running well despite coming out a bit late for track due to basketball. She helped the Braves finish fourth at the recent Class 4A state tournament and she also qualified for state in cross-country last fall.

“Just having a good year and being confident has helped a lot, with just the 400, mostly, and the 4x4,” Borchers noted. “I think our whole team has a lot of confidence in themselves from all our success lately, which is nice.”

The Braves also picked up wins from Slifka and Hannah White. Slifka cleared 4-10 to win the high jump. She also was sixth in the 100 hurdles in 18.86. White won the 3,000 title in 12:51.43 and she added a third place in the 1,500 in 5:41.84.

Banks had a few winners on the boys’ side as well. Michael King matched his season best with an 11-0 clearance in the pole vault. Levi Carreon dominated the 110 hurdles field in 16.58 and finished third in the 300 hurdles in 44.85. And Emmy Carrizales, Mitchell Merritt, Erik Larsen and Blake Markham capped the meet with a 1,600 relay win in 3:49.70.

Other top girls performers were Kylie Wells (pole vault, second, 8-6; 100, sixth, 14.33; 200, sixth, 30.26), Marissa Dotson (800, second, 2:37.25), Ariel Slifka (300 hurdles, second, 51.73; 100 hurdles, third, 18.38; high jump, third, 4-8), Grace Buchanan (javelin, second, 112-5; shot put, sixth, 27-11), Maddy Standley (discus, second, 100-3), Elizabeth Johnson (pole vault, third, 7-0), Josie O’Harrow (3,000, third, 14:07.81), Nelson (high jump, fourth, 4-6; triple jump, fourth, 28-1¼), Aubrey Kimmel (300 hurdles, fourth, 54.77), Kassidy Selfaison (long jump, fifth, 13-9), Courtney Berning (triple jump, fifth, 26-5½), Akaysha Stewart (300 hurdles, sixth, 55.17) and Samantha Pestner (discus, sixth, 80-2).

Top Banks boys included Merritt (110 hurdles, second, 18.40; 300 hurdles, second, 44.67), Carrizales (long jump, second, 19-4¼; triple jump, second, 40-4¾; high jump, tie for third, 5-8), Tyler Kemper (high jump, second, 5-10), Jacob Cason (shot put, second, 43-3), Beck Cameron (pole vault, second, 10-0), (Markham, 400, third, 54.33), Chase Massey (200, third, 24.87; 100, sixth, 12.34; javelin, sixth, 129-1), Jared Sandhagen (shot put, third, 43-0; discus, fourth, 104-1), Elijah Denker (pole vault, third, 9-6), Bennett Turner (100, fourth, 12.22; 200, fifth, 25.18), Nathan Klein (800, fourth, 2:25.91), Jacob Robinson (3,000, sixth, 11:22.51) and the 400 relay of Markham, Massey, Merritt and Carreon (third, 47.09).

The outstanding girls field athlete of the meet was Amity’s Lindsay McShane, who won the shot put (42-5), javelin (124-7) and discus (135-4). Brandt Bergeron of St. Stephen’s Academy won the 400 (52.37) and finished second in the 800 (2:10.54) for the boys track honor, while Faith Bible’s Zack Braem (javelin, first, 141-7; discus, second, 106-8) picked up the boys field award.

The Braves are off until Saturday, when they travel to the Daily Astorian at Seaside High School. That is the first in a series of pretty high-level invitational meets on three consecutive weekends for Banks.

“We’re so young and not immature as people but immature as track athletes at the high school level,” Frank said. “I really think that a number of these kids are just going to really explode one day before the end of the season. That day’s coming.”