Track and field: Centennial girls edge short-handed Clackamas, 69-62
The Centennial girls' track and field team rode the one-two punch of Angel Aluesi and Madison McHone to a 69-62 victory over previously-unbeaten Clackamas in Wednesday's Mt. Hood Conference double-dual with Clackamas and Reynolds at Clackamas High School.
Aluesi swept all three throwing events and McHone won the 100-meter hurdles, the 300 hurdles, and the high jump. McHone also anchored the Eagles' 4x400 relay team to a winning time of 4 minutes, 21.44 seconds, finishing more than seven seconds ahead of the Cavaliers in the race that ultimately decided the dual.
Clackamas' Brooklyn James finished first in the 1,500 and the 200, Natalie Pihulak won the 800, and Carlie Bateman anchored the short relay to a win, but those were the biggest highlights on a cold, rainy day when the Cavaliers held out a number of their top athletes because of the less-than-ideal conditions.
The Cavaliers still put up enough points to defeat Reynolds 76-47, but walked away from the dual with the Eagles feeling as if they'd let one get away.
"Honestly, I was hoping that we would get the win," Clackamas coach Emma Vaughn said. "That's just the competitor in me and knowing how dominant I think we can be. I think it would have been cool to try to undefeated in league, but this isn't going to determine how we finish."
It didn't help that the Cavaliers got skunked in the pole vault when all three of their entries got no height (blame that one on the conditions), but there also were some obvious holes in the lineup with Jaycee Iranshad missing from the 100 hurdles, and Ujunwa Nwokoma and Kailee Yoshishige both taking a break from the long jump and triple jump.
Vaughn also said Clackamas also didn't run her best long relay team, wanting some of her top runners to preserve some energy so they would be ready to make a serious run at the 4x200 relay school record at Friday's Viking Relays at North Salem High School.
"We're not trying to peak right now," Vaughn said. "We're trying to peak at the end of the year when we want as many kids to go to state as possible. We want to see what we can do in Eugene because it's going to be really special, I think.
"I don't know where we're going to place people quite yet. We're still toying with that and we're dealing with a couple injuries, so making sure that we're staying on pace is what's really going to help us going forward."
On the boys' side, Centennial placed first in seven of 10 running events and five of seven field events as the Eagles defeated Clackamas 82-54 and downed Reynolds 100-35. The Cavaliers beat Reynolds 89-41 for their first dual win of the season.
Clackamas' Aaron Ruth, Owen Brusco, and Nick Ball finished 2-3-4, respectively, in the javelin, while the Cavaliers also scored second-place finishes with Jacob Freeman in the 200, Isaac Schomas in the 400, Donovan DeWhitt in the 800, Nico Leonetti in the 3,000, Jake Bushman in the shot put, Caleb Jordan in the high jump, Daniel Whitely in the long jump, and James Millspaugh in the triple jump.
"We have really good senior leadership on the boys' side and I'm really pleased with their development and growth," Vaughn said. "I'm excited to see where they'll be at the end of the season."