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Crimson Tide tune up for the Pacific Conference season with a strong showing at the Aloha Preview

by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Glencoe junior Leah McClain sails over a hurdle last Saturday at the Aloha Preview. McClain finished third in the 300-meter low hurdles with a time of 49.43 seconds.ALOHA — Big meet, big-time experience.

In recent years, the Glencoe track and field team has typically spent the first Saturday after spring break competing in the Sandy Invitational. But last Saturday, the Crimson Tide mixed it up a bit and headed just down the road to the Aloha Preview at Aloha High School, where they certainly made their presence felt by picking up a total of 12 top-three finishes.

The Preview served as just the second competition for Glencoe this spring, and given that it offers both varsity and freshman/sophomore divisions, it gave coach Dennis Rice the chance to scope out a considerable portion of his team.

“We’ve been at Sandy the last several years, and we love it there, but it was nice to be able to stay a little closer to home,” Rice said. “All in all, we had some great performances top to bottom, and I really feel like we had some underclassmen learn some invaluable experience by being at this type of meet. Moving forward, they’re going to be better for it, too.”by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Glencoe junior Chloe Harris goes airborne en route to a fourth-place finish in the triple jump competition at last Saturday's Aloha Preview.

With victories in three events, the Tide boys certainly held their own in damp, chilly, breezy conditions. In the varsity division, Mason Rouches led teammate Abe Teklu to an impressive 1-3 finish in the 3,000 meters, and Justin worthy used a sizeable personal best to win the shot put competition.

In the 3,000 Rouches and Teklu posted two of the three best times in the league heading into Wednesday’s meets. Rouches crossed the line in 9 minutes, 1.27 seconds, slicing an impressive 17 seconds off his personal best. Jesuit’s Sahil Doshi was second in 9:09.45, and Teklu was not far behind in 9:11.75, good for a 10-second PR.

Worthy stamped himself as a thrower on the rise and one to watch this season by setting his second personal record in four days. In the Tide’s season-opening meet at Tigard last Wednesday, the junior opened up with a winning mark of 47 feet, 2½ inches.by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Glencoe sophomore Sabrina McGowen leads Summit's Claire Parton to the finish line in the freshman/sophomore 800 meters last Saturday.

On Saturday, he was even better, launching a winning throw of 48-11¾ to best the field by more than six feet. That mark was the 10th-best among Class 6A boys heading into this week.

“I felt pretty well,” Worthy said. “I’ve just had some good training. It’s all coming together today.”

Worthy, a state qualifier last spring as a sophomore, has already added more than three feet to his PR this season, and there could be more to come. On his fourth and final throw on Saturday, he fouled on a 50-foot-plus throw.

“The confidence is improving while the marks improve too, and the young man is learning what it takes to be a good thrower — the mental toughness, the physical toughness,” said Rice, who, as a former javelin thrower at USC, knows all about that. “The kid’s been working his butt off for the past whole entire year, and we love seeing his continued success.”

Glencoe’s other winner was its boys 4x200-meter freshman/sophomore relay team. The quartet of Shad Mont, Kirk Anderson, Joel Biamont and Kyle Brown finished in 1:42.28 to edge Central Catholic by four tenths of a second.

Other top varsity finishes for Glencoe included Chaz Chavez, who was sixth in the high jump (5-7), and the seventh-place distance medley relay of Cadell Chand, Miles Trinidad, Scott Ackerman and Taylor England (12:48.02).

In the freshman/sophomore division, Lucas Fort took third place in the discus (102-4), as did Kaleb Havlik in the javelin (131-11).by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Glencoe junior Justin Worthy uncorks a throw of 48 feet, 11 and 3/4 inches on his way to a first-place finish in the boys shot put last Saturday.

On the girls’ side, Courtney Vacek led Glencoe with a second-place result in the triple jump. A junior out for the team for the first time this spring, Vacek backed her season-opening 36-0 jump — a new school record — with a 35-0 effort in less-than-ideal conditions at Aloha. Jesuit’s Hadley Wilhoite won the event in 35-8½, while the Tide’s Chloe Harris took fourth in 32-1½.

Vacek and Harris make up two-thirds of a promising triple jump trio for the Tide. Alexandria Tessner added a fourth-place result in the freshman/sophomore triple jump in 30-5½ after going 31-9 against Tigard. Tessner also finished fourth in the youngsters’ 300 hurdles (52.28) on Saturday.

Sabrina McGowen was another young Tide competitor who showed a great deal of promise with a third-place result in the freshman/sophomore 800 (2:31.53). McGowen ran the sprints last year as a freshman and tried the two-lap race for just the second time on Saturday, chopping off nearly two seconds from her first outing.

“It feels good for this meet,” McGowen said about her finish. “I was nervous, and there’s a lot of good people out here.”

One of the team’s returning veterans, Leah McClain, continued her strong start to the season with a third-place finish in the varsity 300 hurdles (49.43) despite not executing technically to her own high standards.

“I started out a little bit too fast, I think,” said McClain, who finished third in the Pacific Conference in the low hurdles in 2013. “And I’m not very happy with how I went over the last hurdle. It’s OK. I’m going to stay positive and just kill it next week.”

In the varsity portion of the meet, other top finishers for Glencoe were Cally Kennedy, fourth in the shot put (30-4); Jessica DeBord, fourth in the pole vault (8-4); Grace Diller, fifth in 100 hurdles (17.96); Madeline Buss, sixth in the javelin (99-4); and the fifth-place 4x100 relay of McClain, Dominique Mossman, Rosie Hunker and Caitlin Herring (52.75).

In the freshman/sophomore division, third-place finishers included Herring in the high jump (4-10), Hanna Pecorilla in the pole vault (7-0), Hunker in the 100 hurdles (18.35) and the 4x400 relay of Ruth Teklu, McGowen, Emily Swehosky and LiAna Curtis (4:40.72).

Glencoe is now off until next Wednesday, when the Tide host Newberg in their first home meet of the season.

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