Culver track and field battles bigger schools at Crook County Icebreaker
For a few Culver track and field athletes in particular, their 2018 season began squarely where the last one left off.
Competing at the Crook County Icebreaker on March 15, junior Irma Retano won the girls 800 meters — the same race she placed second in last year at the 2A state meet — and also claimed a runner-up finish in the 400 meters with a time of 1 minute, 5.71 seconds.
Similarly, senior Catylynn Duff won the girls discus event, landing a distance of 119 feet, 8 inches, after she won a state championship in the event last season and set a new 2A girls record (138-7) in the process.
She also posted a second-place mark in the shot put, with a mark of 34-7, trailing only Grant Union's Jozie Rude (36-7).
Those top two finishes from Retano and Duff helped the Lady Bulldogs score 58.5 points, which put them in fifth behind Crook County (178), Ridgeview (125), Burns (101) and Grant Union (80.5).
The boys team also finished fifth with a tally of 43 points. The Crook County boys finished first with 242 points, followed by Ridgeview (108), Burns (104.5) and Baker (88.5).
Sophomore Kash Michael was the highest placer among the boys, as he took second place in the high jump, and set a new personal best mark of 5-10. His teammate, sophomore Johan Jaimes, who qualified for state in the same event last season, took fourth in the season-opener, clearing the bar set at 5-8.
Junior Victor Torres, a Columbia Basin Conference all-league football player last fall, and most recently, a 2A state champion wrestler, competed in his first-ever high school track meet, in a variety of throw, jump and sprint events.
His best finish came in the shot put, where he landed a throw of 37-5.5, putting him in fourth place. Ridgeview's Luke Hannay placed first with a distance of 45-9.
Other top finishes among the Bulldog boys included sophomores Jordan VanAlstyne and Hunter Keiski both clearing the 9-0 mark in the pole vault to finish in a tie for fourth place.
In the 400 meters, sophomore Jordan VanAlstyne finished sixth (58.19) and senior Edwin Gutierrez took eighth place (58.53).
In the 110-meter high hurdles, Jaimes placed sixth (21.23) and junior Jesus Hernandez placed seventh (21.56). Those same two placed eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles.
Michael and VanAlstyne joined sophomores Caden Engel and Justyce Loredo in the 4x400 relay and placed fourth with a time of 3:58.89.
Though Culver only had eight girls entered in Thursday's meet, the team was well-represented across multiple events.
Sophomore Talyn Barry set a PR in the javelin (76-0), which put her in sixth place, and she also took seventh in the shot put (24-6).
Sophomore Kiana Webb earned a fourth-place finish in the girls pole vault, clearing the bar set at 6-6. Junior Mikayla Haessler landed a 13-3 to place fifth in the long jump.
In the 1,500 meters, seniors and returning state qualifiers Emma Knepp and Hannah Orey placed sixth and 10th, respectively. Knepp clocked a time of 5:56.93 and Orey finished in 6:12.76. Ridgeview's Ruby Gates ran away with the win, finishing in 5:30.38, nearly 10 seconds ahead of second place.
Knepp also competed in the 300 intermediate hurdles for the first time since her 2016 sophomore season. She placed seventh with a time of 58.24.
The girls' 4x400 relay team, consisting of Knepp, Orey, Retano and Webb, took sixth place with a time of 5:01.44, which narrowly edged out Ridgeview's time of 5:02.93.
Next up for the Bulldogs is the Ridgeview Invitational on Wednesday, set to begin at 3 p.m.
Following spring break, Culver will resume competition April 4 with a three-way meet at Madras High School between the Bulldogs, White Buffalos and Crook County.