Valley Catholic believes it has a shot at a state meet trophy in 2008

BEAVERTON - The Valley Catholic girls track team has its eyes set on the state hardware.

With all five point scorers returning from last year's 10th place showing at the Class 3A state meet, the Valiants intend to make a run at one of the four trophies in 2008.

'The girls are working hard to see if they can not only win districts but also come home with some hardware from state,' VC coach Herb Lommen said. 'Hopefully we're in the hunt again.'

Senior Sarah Imel (4th in the 400 meters), junior Meghan Blood (2nd in the 1,500 and 4th in the 800) and sophomore Elizabeth Emery (8th in the 3,000) are back after placing at the 2007 state meet. With senior Kate Emery, who will return from an ankle injury soon, the quartet combined to form the state runner-up in the 4x400-meter relay.

The addition of freshmen Sara Seiwald, who is close behind Blood in the 1,500 and 3,000, and Erin Gibbs gives VC a formidable crew from the 400 on up.

'Our strength is the middle distances,' Lommen said. 'Meghan, Seiwald and Emery are running away from girls every week.'

The Valiants feature a close pack in the sprints with Imel, senior Nicole Hardisty, junior Michelle Schafman and sophomore Michelle Vinson filling placing spots. They also form a solid 4x100 relay team.

Schafman has already cleared 8-foot-6 in the pole vault this season - the same mark that earned her fifth at the 2007 state meet.

Senior Marybeth Wikander and sophomore Holly Tolan head the hurdles crew, which gets a boost from Kate Emery's return. The pair is also among the league's top jumpers with Tolan No. 2 in the long jump for 2008.

Hardisty is a strong competitor in the javelin, but Lommen said the team is a 'work in progress' in the shot put and discus.

The Valiants more than compensate with depth across the board, making them the favorites for the West Valley League title.

'Westside Christian will be our closest competition,' Lommen said. 'We're scoring two and three and high in quite a few events.'

And running away with league meets in the process, winning the first by 120 points over the runner-up then by 99 over second-place Westside Christian last week.

'The girls are looking very strong,' Lommen said. 'We have some solid depth in the underclassmen backing up the older kids and placing right behind them.'

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