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The Sandy boys track and field squad went 7-0 in the regular season and looks to claim the title at districts this weekend

The Sandy boys’ track and field team wrapped up the district dual meet championship last week, finishing the regular season with an undefeated record of 7-0. Now the Pioneers have their sights set on coming out on top at this week’s Northwest Oregon Conference district championships in preparation for the state championships next week.

“We want to finish strong and win the district meet outright,” Sandy coach Anouxa Vixathep said. “We want to qualify as many individuals as we can to the state meet to see if we can bring home a trophy from Eugene.”

Several Pioneers are in prime position to win individual district titles while contributing to the overall team score. Distance runner Isaac Mitchell finished the regular season with the conference’s best marks in the 1500 meter and 3000 meter. He will be the favorite to win both events at districts. Robert Bierly has the NWOC’s top time in 300 meter hurdles and should win the event this weekend with a clean run.

Ryan Skidmore had a nice season and has turned in solid times in the 200 meter. He has a good shot to get himself to the state meet, just as Ben Ritter does in the 100 meter.

The Sandy 4x400 meter relay team of Skidmore, Carter Knox, Mitchell and Bierly was tops in the league in the duals and is likely to finish first at districts. The 4x100 team of Skidmore, Ritter, Knox and Bierly could be a dark horse and has a chance to finish well enough to qualify for state.

In the field, Chris Salmela posted the season’s best throw in the discus and is the one to beat in that event. Kaden Walker could potentially earn a spot at the state meet in the pole vault if he is at the top of his game.

The Sandy girls lack the numbers to make a serious run at the top spot at the district meet. However, there are a few Pioneer girls who could make a splash in personal events. Dalen Richardson should claim at least a top-three finish in 1500 meter. She placed third in the district cross country meet in the fall.

Rebekah Mather is Sandy’s best shot to get someone to state in the jumps. She should be the mix in the high jump.

The Pioneers’ 4x400 relay team – made up of Madison Kansala, Richardson, Morgan Greenlee and Zayna Salveter – had success in the duals and they hope that carries over to districts.

“The expectation for the girls is that we finish strong,” Vixathep said.

The NWOC district championships began Thursday afternoon at 3:00 at Rex Putnam. Competition is scheduled to wrap up on Friday evening. The state track and field meet opens on May 23 and concludes the following day at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

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