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The Sherwood junior clears 6-8 to win the high jump

by: DAN BROOD - BIG BEN -- Sherwood junior Ben Milligan takes off in high jump competition in last week's meet at Parkrose. PARKROSE — It was a nice, relaxing day.

The sun shown brightly and a warm breeze flew across the field.

It seemed to be a perfect day to take things easy. And, according to Sherwood High School track and field coach Terrel Smith, that was the plan. Smith said that Bowmen junior Ben Milligan would probably not go full out, and be pulled from high jump competition after clearing 6 feet, 4 inches.

But things didn’t go according to plan.

They went better. Much better.

Milligan, with no competition to push him, soared to a personal-best height of 6-8, providing one of the major highlights for the Sherwood teams when they faced Parkrose in a Northwest Oregon Conference dual meet held April 30 at Parkrose High School.

“It’s a great day,” Milligan said after the competition. “I just thought that I’m going to go out and jump the highest that I can.”

With his win, Milligan helped the Bowmen boys score a 111-34 win over Parkrose. With that victory, Sherwood improved to 4-1 in conference meets, putting the Bowmen in a tie with Wilsonville for second place in the standings, trailing just 5-0 Sandy.

In the boys high jump event, Milligan entered the competition after all of the other jumpers had been eliminated.

He cleared 6-0 on his first attempt at that height. He did the same thing at 6-4. He then had the bar moved to 6-8 and, again, he was successful on his first try — popping up with a fist-pump after landing on the mat.

“Yeah, I was a little happy,” Milligan said with a smile.

The mark of 6-8 bettered his previous personal best of 6-7, which Milligan set at the Bowmen’s first meet of the season. Due to the long basketball season, where Milligan helped Sherwood claim the fourth-place trophy at the Class 5A state tournament, he had just one track practice prior to that first meet.

“That was pretty good,” he said.

So was his performance last week.

After clearing 6-8, he barely missed on his three attempts at 6-10.

“I came close to getting my goal,” he said. “I just felt it today. They have a great curve here, and I let the hops do the rest.”

As of Tuesday, Milligan’s mark of 6-8 puts him in a tie for second in the Class 5A ranks behind just Wilson’s Tristan Anastas, who has cleared 6-10.

“It helps to have someone ahead of me,” Milligan said. “That’s something to push me.”

Last year, Milligan’s motivation came from competing with his older brother, Zach Milligan, who was a 2013 Sherwood High School graduate. In 2013, Ben Milligan edged his older brother for the NWOC district crown with a height of 6-4. At the Class 5A state meet, Ben Milligan finished in third place, one spot below Zach, with a mark of 6-5.by: DAN BROOD - LET IT FLY -- Sherwood senior Elyse Cuthbertson picked up a victory in the shot put at last week's meet.

“This year, I’m just trying to beat my best mark,” Ben Milligan said. “I’m hoping to do the best I can. I’d like to win district and, hopefully, win state. I’d love to get 6-10, and it would be great if that happened at state.”

Junior Mason Rivers sprinted to a pair of victories for the Sherwood boys at last week’s meet. He won the 100 in a time of 11.84 seconds and he had a winning time of 24.19 in the 200.

Also for the Bowmen on the track, senior Cole Nixon was victorious in the 400 in 52.13, senior Hunter Pfefferkorn triumphed in the 800 in 2:03.01, junior Joshua Moats won the 1,500 in 4:33.89, senior Ryan Pierce won the 3,000 in 10:08.15 and senior Tyler Thayer had a winning mark of 44.58 in the 300 intermediate hurdles.

In the field events, junior Saul Urzua won the shot put with a mark of 38-2.5, senior Austin Goldstein had winning throw of 161-1 in the javelin, sophomore Kyle Homer triumphed in the pole vault with a mark of 10-6 and senior Bailey States had a winning distance of 40-3 in the triple jump.

The Sherwood girls scored a 129-16 win over Parkrose at last week’s meet to complete a sweep for the Bowmen. With the victory, Sherwood improved to 4-1 in league meets.

Lady Bowmen senior Elyse Cuthbertson came away with a sweep in the throwing events. Cuthbertson triumphed in the shot put with a mark of 36-8.5, she had a winning toss of 122-7 in the discus and she won the javelin at 115-3.

Also in the field events for Sherwood, junior Maddy McSmith cleared 4-6 to take first place in the high jump, sophomore Kamry Milne had a winning height of 7-0 in the pole vault and Mikala Otto was victorious in the triple jump at 35-2.

On the track for the Lady Bowmen, junior Emily Johansen sprinted to victory in the 100 in 13.05, junior Caitlin Clifford won the 400 in 1:08.26, junior Lindy Voss took first in the 800 at 2:47.10, junior Madison Budge had a winning time of 5:19.28 in the 1,500, junior Sam Mckibbon won the 3,000 at 11:54.60, junior Rebekah Quaglio won the 100 high hurdles in 17.92 and sophomore Savannah Case had a winning mark of 53.27 in the 300 low hurdles.

The Sherwood teams were slated to finish their regular-season schedule Wednesday in a four-team meet at Liberty. Results of that meet weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The Bowmen will next be in action at the NWOC district championships, which will be held May 15-16 at Sandy High School.

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