Holloway, McFall ready to come roaring back
TIGARD — Sure, many of the competitors on the Tigard High School track and field teams are likely highly motivated.
But it might be hard to find anyone more motivated this season than Tiger seniors Skylar Holloway and Lauren McFall.
Both are back in action following injuries that marred their junior seasons, and they're ready to make the most of it.
"I'm definitely motivated," Holloway said during the Tigers' Three Rivers League-opening double dual meet with Canby and Tualatin, held April 4 at Tigard High School. "I'm putting in a lot of work, getting myself back to where I was."
"Yeah, I'm very much motivated, after not being able to finish my season last year," McFall said. "This will be a great year for redemption and a great way to finish off my high school career."
Holloway suffered a left Achilles injury during the finals of the 400-meter dash at last year's Three Rivers League district championships. His season ended with that injury. But, this year, he was out for the first varsity race of the season, running the anchor leg for Tigard's 4 x 100 relay team at last week's meet.
He went full speed after getting the baton, nearly giving the Tiger team, which also included senior Antonio Angel, junior Alex Huynh and sophomore Josh Burns, a come-from-behind win. Still, the Tigard team was a close second with an impressive early-season time of 42.90 seconds (Tualatin won the race in 42.83).
"That felt great. It was the first time I've been full speed since I hurt myself," Holloway said. "I felt really strong, felt good coming out. The race was amazing. It felt good."
That good start, in his first competitive race since returning to action, had Holloway optimistic for his senior season.
"I'm looking forward to breaking 50 (seconds) in the 400," he said. "I want to (set a personal record), hopefully a 22.4, in the 200. The 400 has always been my favorite. I'm looking forward to that, and competing with Braden (Lenzy) and Cole (Green) and Antonio. Looking forward to the 4 x 4 especially, because I feel we can strive there a lot this year."
The Tigard boys came away with a split at last week's meet. The Tigers beat Canby 98-47 and they fell 84-61 to Tualatin.
Lenzy, a two-time defending Class 6A state champion in the 400, sprinted to victory in the 200 in 21.74. That was the only race he competed in during the meet.
Also for the Tiger boys, senior Gustavo Sanchez won the 800 in 2:05.07, Angel triumphed in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 40.24, freshman Spencer Kuffel had a winning height of 5 feet, 10 inches in the high jump and senior Alex Silver cleared 12-0 to win the high jump.
McFall, a standout javelin thrower for the Tigard girls, carries plenty of optimism into her senior year, after suffering an injury at the Oregon Relays in April of 2017.
"I want to be in the 140s to 150s," she said. "I'm really hoping to break the school record (144 feet). Honestly, I'm working on a lot right now. Changing a lot in my run-up and my form and everything, and once those start to click, I think the javelin is really going to fly."
McFall took first place in the javelin competition at last week's meet with a throw of 115-2.
"Not great, but it's the beginning of the season," McFall said. "We've got a long way to go. It's a starting point."
The Tigard girls, like the boys, had a split at last week's meet. The Tigers bested Canby 79-62 and they were edged 70-66 by Tualatin.
Tiger senior Gabby McGaughey was a three-time winner at the meet. McGaughey won the 100 high hurdles in 16.92 and she had a winning mark of 49.02 in the 300 low hurdles. She also teamed with senior Gabrielle Dormier, freshman Zoe Floyd and sophomore Gabby Brown to win the 4 x 100 relay in 51.69.
Tigard senior Lauren Paven sprinted to victory in the 100 in 12.39 and she won the 200 in 25.44. Tiger sophomore Elizabeth Brands won the 400 in 1:03.29.
Holloway and McFall both see good things ahead for the Tigard squads for the rest of the season.
"Honestly, I'm excited," Holloway said. "I think we can place really high at state this year, with a possibility of even winning it, if everyone stays healthy."
"We have so many new up-and-comers, and they're all doing so well," McFall said. "Our returners are looking really strong. It's awesome. Our team is strong."
The Tigard teams will be back in action on Wednesday, when they face Lake Oswego and Sherwood in a league double dual meet starting at 4 p.m. at Sherwood High School.