Sports heat up in August
When it comes to local sports, things start to pick up in August.
College teams are training and will start playing. In football, Portland State opens Aug. 26 at BYU. On the same day, Oregon State kicks off its season at Colorado State.
High school squads can practice in all fall sports, officially, as of Aug. 14.
The Portland Pickles will be in the Great West League playoffs, and the Hillsboro Hops will play 19 home games in ideal baseball weather.
The biggest golf events of the year return, with the Web.com Tour's WinCo Foods Portland Open at Pumpkin Ridge Aug. 23-27, and the LPGA Tour's Cambia Portland Classic at Columbia-Edgewater Aug. 31-Sept. 3.
The Hood to Coast Relay is Aug. 25-26.
Several local athletes competed last week in the AAU Junior Olympics national championships at Rock Chalk Park on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence.
Micah Williams, who will be a sophomore at Benson High, finished fourth in the 100 meters and fifth in the 200 in the 15-16 age division for boys. He ran 10.90 and 21.63 seconds in the finals, after clocking 10.65 and 21.36 in the semifinals and 10.77 and 22.47 in the prelims.
Oregon School Activities Association Class 6A 2017 boys javelin champion Sawyer Christopher (Lincoln High) and 6A runner-up Roth Morgan (Cleveland) placed sixth and eighth, respectively. Christopher threw 198 feet, 10 inches, Morgan 190-10.
They and other Portland athletes fared well in the Spokane regional earlier in July. Christopher took first with a PR of 216-2, whle Morgan had a PR of 194-3 for third place.
Among the highlights from the regional:
Lukas Weinbach (Lincoln) was second in the 17-18 regional pole vault, clearing a PR 14-11.
Jade Newton (St. Mary's Academy), competing in the 15-16 100 and 400 hurdles, took fourth in PRs of 15.23 and 1:07.55. She also was on the second-place 4x100 relay team with Reagan Reed, Ruth Grant-Williams and Alysah Hickey.
Grant-Williams was second in the 15-16 heptathon (3,811 points). She then took ninth at nationals (3,924).
Reed was fifth (3,054) in the regional heptathlon.
Judith Baxter Game (Grant) placed third in the 17-18 long jump (18-3 3/4) and third in the triple jump with a PR of 39-3 1/4. She went on to place ninth at nationals in the triple, going 39-0 1/4.
Jewyl Newton, with the Inner City Steppers track club, won the 13-14 regional discus and was fourth and sixth in the javelin.
Kyeese Hollands of the Albina Roadrunners won the 13-14 javelin and was fifth in the discus and shot put.
It took 11 matches, but the Timbers' United Soccer League team (2-15-3) finally won a home match. Thanks to goals from Omar Mohamed and Villyan Bijev and two penalty kick saves from goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh, Timbers 2 beat Rio Grande Valley of Edinburg, Texas, 2-1, last Saturday at Providence Park.
McIntosh was on the USL Team of the Week last week and leads the league in saves.
"He's still growing and getting better, but he's outstanding," Gregor says. "He did something really special for us (Saturday). We see it all the time in training."
Ryan Crouser, the Olympic shot put champion from Gresham, goes up against a loaded field that includes fellow American Jon Kovacs (silver at the Rio de Janeiro Games), New Zealand's Tim Walsh (2016 Olympic bronze) and fast-climbing Tomas Stanek of the Czech Republic. Qualifying in the event is 2 p.m. PT Saturday, with the finals at 12:35 p.m. Sunday.
Other local athletes to watch include Evan Jager of Portland in the men's steeplechase, 110-meter hurdler and ex-Oregon Duck Devon Allen in his continued comeback from injury, former UO star and 2016 Olympic king Matthew Centrowitz battling a year of injuries in the 1,500 meters, and sprinters Deajah Stevens, Ariana Washington and Phillis Francis from the U of O program.