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Culver likes its position, for now

Angelica MetteerCiting that his team is as ready as it will ever be, Culver track coach Mike Dove is expecting some big things this weekend.

The Bulldogs head to Waldport Friday for the Class 2A Tri-River Conference Championships. On the line are berths into the May 22-23 state meet in Eugene.

And the Bulldogs have plenty of high expectations after the girls team placed fourth last year at state and most of that team is still on campus this year. The boys, not as deep as their counterparts, have some high expectations of their own.

"I do like where we are at, but I'm nervous," Dove said. "Kennedy and Regis are really tough. The kids are going to have to step up and perform."

The toughest part about track is the district meet, where everything an athlete has done all season means little. It's all or nothing from here on as the top two placers in each event advance to Eugene.

And Culver expects to battle Regis and Kennedy for the majority of those spots.

Topping that list will be the Bulldogs' 400-meter relay team, the defending state champs minus one girl, and the 1,600 relay team. But there is the team's overall depth in the distance events with Hannah Lewis, Andrea Retano and Angelica Metteer.

Culver is also strong at shot pu,t with Lynze Schonneker, javelin with Gabrielle Alley and the high jump with Retano.

And state berths are just waiting for them.

Lewis has the classification's fourth best time this season in the 800 and has also posted the fifth fastest 400. Retano has turned in top 10 performances in both the 800 and pole vault, while Metteer (1,500) and Ally (javelin) have done the same.

But it will be the two relays that get the most attention.

Dove has tinkered with his 400 relay lineup, but it stands to be Lewis, Ana Badillo, Retano and Alley that get the call this weekend. And it will be a tight contest between Regis, Kennedy and Culver for the lone two spots. All three have posted times that are just hundredths of seconds a part.

"It's all going to come down to handoffs," Dove said. "If we have good handoffs, we stand a chance of winning. If we don't have good handoffs, we might not make it through."

The Bulldogs used their time during practice this week to work on mostly handoffs.

While the 400 relay may get the brunt of attention, it's the 1,600 relay that may walk away with the district title. The Bulldogs have the third best time this season and feel they can improve on it this weekend.

"I think we can do really well," Metteer said. "Hannah will make it for sure in the 800 and probably the 400. I think we can get both relays in."

On the boys' side, Corey Sledge continues his assault on the 14-6 mark in the pole vault. He has hit 14-0 twice in competition this year and was working with a new pole during Monday's workout.

Dove said there are a couple of the guys, Carlos Reyes and Jeremiah Henson, that are right on the bubble as far as times to advance.



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