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Gophers beat Rams and raindrops

MHC GIRLS TRACK - Haley Crouser and Ify Onyima combine to win seven events
by: David Ball Gresham’s Haley McDonald heads for the finish line on her way to a win in the 1,500-meter race Wednesday at Fernhill Park.

The rains poured down at the same time as the starter's gun fired for the day's first race, and within half-an-hour large stretches of the inside lane were underwater. But nothing was going to rain on Gresham's parade during its Mount Hood Conference opener, as the Gopher girls ran away with an 82-58 win over Central Catholic.

Gresham set the tone early with Haley Crouser picking up the first of her four wins on the day with a leap of 16-feet-1 1/4-inches - more than a foot better than anyone else in the competition. With victory well in hand, she was able to sneak away to a nearby line of trees to stay dry while waiting for her turn in the 400-meter relay.

The Gophers continued to put up points on the track, starting with a solid tag-team victory when Ify Onyima took the baton and sprinted down the backstretch turning a dead heat into a comfortable Gresham lead in the 400 relay. Crouser took the final hand-off with a two-stride lead only to have Central's Allie Chichoke pull up on her heels halfway home. But the Gresham standout had plenty in the tank, felt the challenge behind her and sprinted away easily. The Gophers clocked in at 49.9 seconds.

Look for the full girls story and a recap of the boys meet in the Saturday, April 14, edition of The Outlook.