Isaac Mitchell and Jimmy Frasier come close to wins in pair of long-distance races

by: SANDY POST: DAVID BALL - Sandys Isaac Mitchell comes around the turn with the lead during his runner-up finish in the 1,500-meter final Friday.MILWAUKIE — The Sandy boys track and field team faltered to a sixth-place finish at the Northwest Oregon Conference district meet last week. After finishing the dual season with only one loss, the Pioneers mustered only 69 points at district, allowing Sherwood and Milwaukie to overtake them in the season’s final standings.

The team’s distance crew provided the biggest highlights led by junior Isaac Mitchell with a runner-up finish in the 1,500-meter final. He moved out to the lead off the start and maintained his pace-setter spot throughout most of the nearly four-lap race.

“I knew I was probably going to make it to state, but one of my main goals was to finish in under four minutes, so I wanted to take it out fast,” Mitchell said.

He came through the finish line in 4:06.71.

While Mitchell carried the lead most of the way, Wilsonville’s Ty James stayed on his heels throughout in what quickly became a two-person battle at the front. It appeared Mitchell would keep his position when he came through the final turn with the lead — a common spot for a late surge is with 200 meters to go. But James waited until he could see the finish line before he made his move, overtaking Mitchell with about 80 meters left and crossing the tape several strides in front.

“It’s tough running in the lead that long because you have no idea what the field is doing behind you,” Mitchell said. “I just knew I couldn’t ease up.”

Mitchell ensured a spot to state with his second-place finish — a feat that seemed miles off at the beginning of the school year when a stress fracture sidelined his entire cross country season.

“I’m blessed to just be out here competing,” Mitchell said. “Being out for that long kindled my fire for competition.”

Sandy’s Jimmy Frasier will join his teammate in Eugene after taking second in the 800 final, being edged at the finish line by Sherwood’s Cody Thompson by .03 hundredths. Sandy’s Brody White was fourth and James DeBatty was seventh, as the Pioneers scored a team-high 15 points in the race.

Sandy also put three athletes on the awards stand in the discus with Kevin TenEyck taking fifth, Christopher Salmela taking sixth and Justin Bruner taking seventh.

Josh Visan led the Pioneers in the field, punching a ticket to state after tying for second place in the pole vault (12-6).

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