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Sandy track hosts Invitational, boys win

The Sandy boys track and field team squeaked by Barlow to win the 12-team Invitational while the girls take seventh


by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandys Robert Bierly approaches the finish line with a second-place effort in the high hurdles. The Sandy boys’ track and field team thinks it has the talent to win the Northwest Oregon Conference title this season. The Pioneers passed the first checkpoint on the path to that goal on Saturday as they won the Sandy Invitational. They racked up 150 team points to squeak by Barlow (145) for first place in the 12-team meet at their home venue.

“I really liked how we competed in pretty much everything,” Sandy coach Anouxa Vixathep said. “It was a good win to get against some pretty good schools.”

Sandy had several runners turn in solid early-season times which helped push the team ahead of the other schools in the field. Senior Isaac Mitchell, who won the district cross country championship in the fall, prevailed in the 800- and 1500-meter races on Saturday. He finished the 1500 more than seven seconds ahead of his closest competitor.

Brody White was also in the mix in the longer races as he finished fourth in the 800 and third in the 1500.

Sandy put at least one runner in the top four in each of the shorter sprints. Ben Ritter took fourth in the 100 meter with a time of 11.7. He was in fifth place for most of the race, but a late surge put him in front of Ridgeview’s Seth Whitley by one one-hundreth of a second.

Ryan Skidmore claimed the No. 2 spot in the 200 meter. He was about a half-second behind Wilsonville’s Micco Mills in the prelims, but improved in the finals and came within two one-hundredths of Mills. To the naked eye, it looked like Skidmore overtook Mills at the finish line, but the clocks proved otherwise.

Carter Knox grabbed second-place honors in the 400 meter and teammate James DeBatty came in fourth.

Hurdler Robert Bierly was Sandy’s most impressive athlete of the day, aside from Mitchell. Bierly finished second in the 100-meter hurdles, but dominated the 300-meter hurdles, winning the event by almost two full seconds.

The Pioneers took second to Barlow in the 100-meter relay, but they beat out the Bruins by one second in the 200 relay. Sandy cruised in the 800-meter relay as they beat second-place Barlow by 42 seconds.

“We had some good marks for this early in the season,” Vixathep said. “This reiterates what we have been doing in practice. It is a lot easier to train coming off a positive note like this.”

Over on the field, Christopher Salmela grabbed fifth-place finishes in the shot put and discus. Eli Miller had the fifth-longest javelin toss. Tyler Thom cleanly cleared the bar at 12 feet in the pole vault to place fourth.

Nathan Miller took fifth in the high jump while Skidmore locked up fourth place in the long jump. Sandy’s Kaden Walker out-jumped Barlow’s Nathan Mato by two inches to win the triple jump.

On the girls’ side, Sandy finished in the middle of the pack in seventh place. Dalen Richardson was the Pioneers’ top runner as she ran the third-fastest time in the 1500. In the field, Raquel Pellecer had the fourth-longest throws in the shot put and javelin. Rebekah Mather was third in the high jump.

The Pioneers don’t get much time off as they host Rex Putnam in a dual-meet on Wednesday to open conference competition.