The dominant effort put forth by the members of the La Grande Tigers boys track and field team didn’t surprise their coach.
“They’re just that high quality of a team,” Head Coach Julie Bodfish said after the LHS boys recorded 11 victories and 25 top-three finishes to rout the competition at the La Grande Invitational Saturday.
The Tigers finished with 243.5 points, more than double the points of runner-up Baker (93 points).
“When you look at the quality of performance of the guys overall, they are right where we want them (to be),” Bodfish said.
The performances included a 1-2-3-4 effort in the boys 100 from Sajun White (11.57 seconds), Nick Tsiatsos (11.58), Josh Zollman (11.62) and Luke Bloodgood (11.79) and a 1-2-3 performance in the long jump by Tsiatsos (21-feet-6), Hunter Youngblood (20-feet-8-3/4) and Zach Wiggins (20-feet-6). And, in three events, the Tigers took the top two spots: the 4x400 relay (Callum Ebel, T.J. Clay, Owen Kreutz and Josh Zollman in 3:42.04 and Bennett Welch, Westin Blake, Eli McLean and Crisitan Mendoza in 3:43.17), White (23.55) and Zollman (24.00) in the 200, and Welch (4:17.39) and Mendoza (4:20.94) in the 1,500.
Welch also headed a 1-3-4 finish for La Grande in the 800, winning in 2:05.10 with Blake (2:07.11) following in third and Mendoza (2:07.66) in fourth. Ebel (16.57) and Clay (16.72) took first and third in the 110 hurdles, as did Tsiatsos (40-feet-11-1/2) and Youngblood (38-feet-6) in the triple jump. White, Tsiatsos, Zollman and Youngblood won the 4x100 relay (44.02), Wiggins took the high jump (6-feet-0) and Jacob Huntsman claimed the pole vault (13-feet-0).
White said the team is getting into a rhythm after having to deal with the inclement weather that has hampered the northeast portion of the state much of the spring.
“This meet shows we’re coming back. We’re coming for that state title again,” he said. “We kind of dominated today, which is good.”
Keith Oswald added a second-place finish in the javelin (137-feet-3-1/2) and third in the discus (109-feet-5-3/4), and Kreutz was second in the 400 (55.53). Ebel and Clay went 3-4 in the 300 hurdles, both in 44.11.
The Elgin Huskies, who placed third with 57 points, collected wins from Tristan Simpson in the javelin (151-feet-6) and Geoy Greenlee (54.85) as part of a 1-3-4 finish with Clay Wilhelm (55.67) and Simpson (55.99). The 4x400 relay team of Wyatt Hallgarth, Ian Smith, Wilhelm and Simpson was third in 3:44.01, and the 4x100 team of Hallgarth, Andres Schmittle, Jordon Palmer and Simpson was fourth in 46.37. Hallgarth was also fourth in the 200 (25.10).
The Joseph Eagles, in fourth with 54 points, turned in second-place finishes from Tyler Homan in the 300 hurdles (43.59) and Henry Coughlan in the 3,000 (9:39.29). Coughlan was also third in the 1,500 (4:23.06), and T.J. Grote was third in the pole vault (11-feet-6).
Jaxon Blackburn (12-feet-0) and Carter Blackburn (10-feet-6) went 2-4 in the pole vault to pace the Union Bobcats, who were seventh with 28 points. Israel O’Reilly added a third-place finish (9:43.72) in the 3,000, and Griffin Nash was fourth in the shot put (39-feet-3).
The Enterprise Outlaws took third in the 4x100 relay with Shane Lund, Foster Hobbs, Jericho Peters and Garrett Thorne finishing in 46.12, while Colby Harris took third in the triple jump (38-feet-6), and Zac Knapp was fourth in the 1,500 (4:25.58). The efforts helped boost the Outlaws to eighth with 23.5 points.
Dominick Grende was second in the high jump (5-feet-10) to lead the Powder Valley Badgers, which scored 19 points for 10th, and Calvin Martin was third in the javelin (136-feet-0-1/2) to lead the Imbler Panthers, who had nine points for 13th.
The Cove Leopards’ top finish was a 12th-place effort by Blake Witten, Quinn Dobbs, Grady Fite and Jack Deem in the 4x100 relay (51.11).
The girls team title was a much closer race, with La Grande taking second with 129.5 points, just 0.5 points behind rival Baker. The team title came down to the 4x400 relay, the final, with Katie Brown, Alexyss Chamberlain, Cecelia Aguilera and Jacki Martini finishing in 4:29.85, just 0.18 seconds behind Baker.
The close finish Saturday could be indicative of how the Greater Oregon League district meet could go in a month.
“I think Baker is going to give us a run at district, as is Ontario,” Bodfish said. “It’s anybody’s guess who is going to win the district in the women’s (side).”
Even with missing the team title, the Tigers still had a strong effort with six victories. Brown had the top spot in both the girls 100 (13.13) and 200 (28.06), while Martini won the 400 (1:02.24). Rachael Keniry meanwhile, won the 1,500, pulling ahead in the final 300 meters to finish in 5:11.97. Chamberlain won the 300 hurdles (52.04), and Anna Green was first in the javelin (106-feet-1-1/2). Keniry was also second in the 3,000 (11:42.21), Martini was third in the 800 (2:35.93), and Uma Gnadinger was third in the triple jump (26-feet-10-1/4).
Enterprise, which was third with 71 points, won the 4x100 relay with Hero Peters, Savannah Vaughn, Charlotte McDonald and Shelby Moncrief finishing in 53.51. The Outlaws also earned a win from Karli Bedard in the high jump (5-feet-0). Moncrief and Peters went 2-3 in the 100 (13.57 and 13.63) and Kyla Hood was second in the 1,500 (5:12.97). Placing third were Peters in the 200 (29.17) and Gianna Espinoza in the discus (87-feet-1-1/2). In fourth were McDonald in the long jump (14-feet-4) and Ashley Wilson in the 800 (2:39.51).
Austin Kendall led Cove, which was fifth with 41.5 points, by winning the 100 hurdles (18.05) and taking second in the high jump (4-feet-10). Mykiah Overton (100-feet-10) and Allie Best (97-feet-8) went 3-4 in the javelin, and Rylie Overton (86-feet-4-1/2) was fourth in the discus.
Joseph picked up dominant wins from Ellyse Tingelstad in the 3,000 (11:07.44, winning by 35 seconds) and Ella Coughlan in the 800 (2:27.75, winning by five seconds) on its way to 10th place and 24 points.
Powder Valley scored 17 points for 12th and was strongest in the relays. Brook Allen, Keanna Bingham, Sonora Blair and Belle Blair were third in the 4x400 (4:32.96), and Keanna and Megan Bingham ran with the Blairs to take fourth in the 4x100 (54.89).
Maddison Harvey took fourth in the 100 hurdles (18.66) to lead Elgin, which came in 13th with 14.5 points. Imbler, which was 14th with 4, was led by seventh-place finishes from Gracey Smith in the shot put (28-feet-1-1/2) and Hedda Anderson in the triple jump (25-feet-2-1/2).
Two Leopards run in Pasco
Two Cove Leopards — Tim Stevens and Jack Silveira — ran at the more than 100-team Pasco Invitational Saturday in Pasco, Washington.
Stevens took second in the boys 800 in 1:58.58 and was seventh in the 1,600 in 4:19.72.
Silveira was 33rd in the 3,200 in 10:27.44.
Badgers compete in Umatilla
The Powder Valley Badgers girls track team took third with 53 points at the River’s Edge Invitational Friday in Umatilla, while the boys tied for fourth with 43 points.
The girls were led by three second-place finishes from Belle Blair in the 200 (27.66), Brooke Allen in the javelin (99-feet-4-1/2) and Keanna Bingham in the long jump (15-feet-6-3/4). Coming in third were Bailey Cole in the shot put (31-feet-0) and Megan Bingham in the triple jump (30-feet-7), and taking fourth was Keanna Bingham in the 400 (1:05.91).
On the boys side, Dominick Grende won the 300 hurdles (45.87), and in third were Kaden Krieger in the 400 (54.90), Ethan Stephens in the high jump (5-feet-8) and Sam Carlile in the triple jump (36-feet-10-1/2).
Union hosts Twilight meet
The Joseph Eagles swept both the boys and girls sides of the docket at the Union Twilight Invitational Friday night.
Joseph coasted on the boys side, winning seven events and scoring 177.5 points. Both Juston Rodgers and Tyler Homan posted a pair of victories, with Rodgers taking the 200 (24.5 seconds) and the 400 (55.24), and Homan winning the 110 hurdles (18.38) and the long jump (18-feet-6). Jonah Staigle added a win in the discus (98-feet-11), Bayden Menton took the 1,500 (4:35.93), and Kade Kilgore and T.J. Grote shared top honors in the pole vault (10-feet-6).
Elgin, which was second with 120 points, recorded three victories, two from Tristan Simpson in the 100 (12.04) and the javelin (153-feet-5). The Huskies also claimed the top time in the 300 hurdles with Andres Wintersteen winning in 49.09.
The Union Bobcats, in third with 84.5 points, saw Griffin Nash win the shot put (40-feet-2) and Jace Phillips take the triple jump (33-feet-4). The Cove Leopards, in fourth with 62 points, picked up a win from Blake Witten in the high jump (5-feet-8) and in the 4x800 relay from Jack Deem, Tim Stevens, Jack Silveira and Witten (8:55.66).
The battle for the top mark on the girls side was much closer, with Joseph scoring 119.5 points to edge Cove by 0.5 points.
The Eagles won four events, with Kylee Braden taking the 100 (14.64), Haley Miller the 400 (1:08.39), Ellyse Tingelstad the 1,500 (5:05.80) and Sabrina Albee the long jump (13-feet-9).
Cove, meanwhile, posted the top mark in six events, with Rylie Overton leading the way by taking both the shot put (27-feet-1) and the discus (81-feet-11). Rachel Baird took first in the 200 (29.91), Austin Kendall won the 100 hurdles (18.49), Mykiah Overton claimed the javelin (110-feet-7), and Allie Best took the high jump (5-feet-0).
Third-place Union, which scored 70.5 points, won the 4x800 relay with Jaimee Baxter, Kaitlin Martens, Abriel O’Reilly and Audrey Wells finishing in a time of 10:36.36. Elgin, which had 55 points, saw Maddison Harvey win the 300 hurdles in 58.82.