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Culver girls track leads the pack

Spring season in review for Bulldogs


It was a big spring for the Culver High School track and field program.

The girls team earned a trophy for its fourth-place finish in the team standings at the Class 2A state championships, held for the first time at Hayward Field in Eugene.

On top of the stellar team finish, senior Cassie Fulton and Culver’s 4x100-meter relay team won state championships.

Fulton was a surprise winner in the javelin, after entering the event as the No. 6 seed with her distance from the Tri-River Conference championships. She saved her best throw for last, launching her state title-clinching throw of 124 feet, 9 inches on her final throw of the competition.

The 400 relay team -- made up of senior Lori Sandy, junior Ana Badillo, sophomore Andrea Retano and freshman Hannah Lewis -- sped to the gold with a time of 51.49 seconds.

Running the anchor leg, Lewis caught the final runners from Weston-McEwen and Portland Christian in the final 80 meters to help earn the state championship for the Bulldogs. Portland Christian ended up finishing second with a time of 51.61.

In addition to Sandy’s contribution in the 400 relay, she placed second in both the 100 meters and the triple jump.

She ran the 100 in 13.05 seconds, just .04 seconds behind Weston-McEwen’s Madison Carlin for the championship. In the triple jump, Sandy placed second with her leap of 35-3 1/2 to Grant Union’s Mary Roy. Roy sailed 35-6 to take the gold medal.

Lewis raced to a bronze medal in the 400, clocking in at 1:00.2, and Retano also scored a bronze medal, but in the 800. She completed two laps in 2:28.4.

The 1,600 relay team placed fourth, with a time of 4:20.3. Sandy, Retano, Lewis and Angelica Metteer ran legs on the squad.

Metteer, a sophomore, also placed seventh in the 1,500 meters, with a time of 5:16.1.

The Bulldogs finished the state meet with 55 points, two clear of Lost River, for fourth place. Portland Christian won the girls track championship with 86 points.

The Culver girls placed third in the Tri-River Conference track meet with 126 1/3 points, behind Kennedy and Regis.

All the placers at state won the conference title in their events, with the exception of Fulton, who finished second in the javelin and Lewis in the 400.

On the boys side, senior Kyle Belanger placed second in the 400 at the state meet. He ran the fastest time of 51.35 seconds in the preliminaries, but his time of 51.69 in the finals was just behind Alex Tyler of Enterprise, who ran a 51.55.

Belanger placed fifth in the 800, with a time of 2:02.8.

Culver’s lone field entry into the state meet, freshman Corey Sledge, got his feet wet on the big stage with a fifth-place finish in the pole vault.

He went into the state meet as the state’s top seed in the event, and cleared 11 feet in his first state meet. He vaulted 12-6 to win the district pole vault championship.

As a team, the Culver boys scored 16 points at the state meet.

At the district level, Culver placed sixth as a team with 60.5 points. Belanger won both the 400 and 800 at districts.

Baseball

The Culver High School baseball team finished the season with more losses than wins, but they still made strides in improving as a program.

The Bulldogs ended the season with an 11-13 record, and a 6-10 mark in Special District 2 play, but coach Shea Little said the year was a successful one, despite having more losses than wins.

Inside league play, the Bulldogs swept Central Linn and St. Paul, and picked up a win each against Waldport and Western Mennonite.

The top three teams in the league – Regis, Kennedy and Country Christian – all advanced past the first round of the playoffs. Country Christian lost in the semifinals after they beat Regis in the quarterfinals. Kennedy lost in the quarterfinals to Umpqua Valley Christian. During the nonconference scheduled, Culver picked up wins against Irrigon, Class 4A La Pine, Sherman County/Arlington and the Burns junior varsity team.

The Bulldogs ended the year No. 28 in the OSAA Class 2A power ratings. For their efforts, four Bulldogs were named to the all-league team.

Sophomore catcher Joe Daugherty and senior infielder Gerson Gonzalez led the way with second-team selections.

Senior pitcher Clay Gibson and sophomore outfielder Denton Schonneker were named as honorable mention players.

Softball

The CHS softball team had a rough go of it this season, finishing with a 3-21 overall record with just a 2-10 mark in Special District 3.

The only nonconference win the Bulldogs picked up was a 9-2 victory against Burns in the first game of a doubleheader March 23.

In SD3, the Bulldogs won their opener against Waldport, 8-3, before losing the back end of the twin bill 9-8 in 10 innings April 2. They also beat Central Linn 6-1 on April 9, then lost eight straight to end the season.



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