The Enterprise Outlaws track and field team turned in the top combined effort of the local schools at the Pepsi Invitational Saturday in Union, scoring 99 points to take second on the girls side and 66.5 points for third on the boys side.
“They competed really well, I thought,” Enterprise Head Coach Dan Moody said, noting his team did so despite, like many in Eastern Oregon, being hampered by the rough weather this spring. “We’re so far behind right now where I would like to be, just like all the other coaches would say. This season has been a work in progress. I’ve been pushing them really hard (at practice), and I backed off (late in the week). They responded extremely well.”
The Outlaw girls just missed out on a team title, with Grant Union edging Enterprise by only three points.
“I was surprised. I usually don’t look at the (team) scores,” Moody said.
The Outlaws weren’t lacking in strong individual performances. Senior Karli Bedard took the top spot in the high jump (5-feet-0), second in the 300 hurdles (50.62 seconds) and ran a leg on the winning 4x400 relay team with Charlotte McDonald, Kyla Hook and Shelby Moncrief (4:22.21).
“The girls in that mile relay — that was a fantastic race,” Moody said.
Moncrief was another Outlaw who had a strong day, as she was second in the 200 (27.79) and ran a blistering anchor leg in the 4x100 relay to lift Enterprise to second (52.60). Hero Peters, Savannah Vaughn and Ashlyn Gray joined Moncrief on the relay.
Hook was also second in the 1,500, finishing in a time of 5:16.83.
The EHS boys also had a pair of victories on their way to third, with Garrett Thorne winning the 100 (11.61) and Foster Hobbs taking the 200 (23.56). Zac Knapp turned on the jets late to sneak into second in the 1,500 (4:22.30), while Dylan Marr was third in the high jump (5-feet-8), and the 4x400 team of Jericho Peters, Hobbs, Josef Ramirez and Cole Gomes took third (3:44.93).
The Elgin Huskies boys also had two victories as they finished in second overall with 71 points. Brandon Caldwell claimed the top spot in the 110 hurdles in 17.92, and the Huskies held on to win the 4x400 relay with Wyatt Hallgarth, Clay Wilhelm, Geoy Greenlee and Tristan Simpson winning in 3:39.92.
Simpson was also second in the javelin (140-feet-11) and third in the 100 (11.74), and Wilhelm took second in the 400 (55.28).
The Elgin girls, who took sixth with 37 points, had a strong day from Aaliyah Burton, who rebounded from a crash in the 100 hurdles to later win the 300 hurdles in 49.88. She was also second in the 100 in 13.21, while Jocelyn Palmer was second in the 3,000 (12:23.71).
The meet record in the 3,000, in fact, was broken in both the boys and girls races Saturday. Tim Stevens of Cove blasted the mark in the boys 3,000 with a time of 8:44.43 — nearly four seconds faster than his state-winning time in the event a year ago. The time also was 35 seconds ahead of runner-up Henry Coughlan of Joseph (9:19.22).
“That was my third 3,000 this season,” Stevens said. “I just wanted to get a good time, for confidence (more) than anything else, and I think it was my first PR in any event all season. That was pretty good for confidence.”
Cove, which finished in a tie for 14th with 18 points on the boys side, also had a third-place finish by Jack Silveira in the 800 (2:11.20).
Joseph’s Ellyse Tingelstad, meanwhile, ran away with the top time and meet record in the girls 3,000 of 11:06.99, one of two races dominated by the junior.
“Under 11 (minutes) was my goal today, but went out there, worked hard, and I got what I got,” she said. “It was a plus (getting the meet record). I didn’t even have that in mind. It was a bonus to get that.”
Tingelstad also coasted to victory in the 1,500 in a time of 5:02.86.
“It was fun to see some records go down,” Union Head Coach Jay Blackburn said, noting both previous records were held by Union athletes. “That was fun to watch those two sets records. The records (at the Pepsi Invitational) are getting tough to break.”
The Joseph girls, who finished in a tie for seventh with 35 points, picked up a victory from Ella Coughlan in the 800 (2:27.92).
The Joseph boys, who finished fourth with 57 points, did score a victory by Juston Rodgers in the 800 (2:06.88). Henry Coughlan, in addition to taking second in the 3,000, was third in the 1,500 (4:22.63), and Guylen Snyder was third in the long jump (18-feet-6-1/2).
Joseph also had two high-placing relay teams as Tyler Homan, Rodgers, Carsen Littlepage and Trey Wandschneider were third in the 4x100 (47.78) and Bayden Menton, Wandschneider, Rodgers and Homan took second in the 4x400 (3:43.34).
The Union boys took sixth with 40.5 points, with a 1-2 finish by the Blackburn brothers in the pole vault — Jaxon (11-feet-0) and Carter (10-feet-0) — leading the way. The Bobcats also got a second-place finish by Griffin Nash in the shot put (45-feet-1-1/2).
“Griffin didn’t win the shot put, but his throw was a five-foot PR. You don’t do that. He just popped a nice one. He’s a kid that works so hard,” Jay Blackburn said.
Jaimee Baxter led the Bobcat girls, who also tied for seventh with 35 points, by winning the 400 (1:01.22) and taking third in the high jump (4-feet-10). Abriel O’Reilly was second in the 800 (2:31.70), and Baxter and O’Reilly ran with Audrey Wells and Kaitlin Martens to take second in the 4x400 relay (4:25.38).
The Cove girls scored 25 points to tie for 10th, led by Allie Best (108-feet-4) and Mykiah Overton (101-feet-2) going 2-3 in the javelin.
The La Grande boys tied for ninth with 26 points, getting a win from Bennett Welch in the 1,500 (4:21.83) and third-place finish by Cristian Mendoza in the 3,000 (9:26.74), while the LHS girls, who were 14th with 15 points, had two fourth-place finishes from Corbyn Sexton in the 3,000 (12:49.02) and Alexyss Chamberlain in the 300 hurdles (53.30).
Calvin Smith and Nathan Bingaman led the Imbler boys, who were 18th with 11.5 points, by taking fifth in the javelin (128-feet-2) and the triple jump (37-feet-1), respectively, and the Imbler girls, who were 18th with six points, picked up sixth-place finishes by Gracey Smith in the shot put (30-feet-4-1/2) and Erin Coston in the pole vault (6-feet-6).