Four Braves athletes pick up wins at the prestigious Meet of Champions in Salem

Champions, indeed.

At Saturday’s Meet of Champions, an annual small-school invitational that draws dozens of programs from across the state, the Banks track and field team made its presence felt by crowning four event-winners.

The Braves also collectively recorded 15 top-five finishes at the competition, staged at McCulloch Stadium on the Willamette University campus.

For the Banks boys, Devin King led the way by winning the 400 meters and adding a fourth place in the 200 meters. Dallin Shurts and Lucas Hidalgo added victories in the discus and pole vault, respectively, and Annie Victor made it a Banks sweep in the discus by winning the girls’ event.

King posted a sizzling time of 50.27 seconds in the 400, a personal best by more than a second and a half. That mark ranked fifth in the state across all classifications and topped Class 4A heading into this week. A bit later in the meet, King’s time of 23.34 in the 200 also was a personal best.

Like King, Shurts set a PR that stood as the best mark in Class 4A heading into this week. Shurts’ winning effort of 160 feet, 1 inch in the discus bested the 157-6 he threw at last year’s Class 4A state meet, topped the rest of the field by nearly 15 feet and was the third-longest throw overall in the state this spring.

Hidalgo matched his outdoor personal best with a 13-6 clearance, beating Culver’s Corey Sledge and Lowell’s Austin McNicols on misses. Victor threw 119-1 in the girls discus, a mark just over two feet off of her season best. The senior also recorded a 34-2 effort in the shot put for fifth place.

Other top finishers for the boys team included Stephen Huang, third in the triple jump (39-10); Garrett Markham, fifth in the javelin (154-2); and the 4x100 relay team of Nolan Hill, Mykah Rosa, Huang and King, fifth in 45.84.

The Banks girls showed plenty of firepower, putting up six top-four finishes in addition to Victor’s win.

Amy Hilger took second in her specialty, the high jump. Her 5-2 clearance was just an inch short that of by Loghan Sprauer of Kennedy. Hilger also took seventh place in the long jump (15-3¾) and eighth in the triple jump (31-2¼).

Maddison King continued a standout sophomore season by finishing third in the 100 (12.82) and fourth in the 200 (26.95), setting season-best times in both races. She also ran on the Braves’ fourth-place 4x100 squad (52.64), which included Kayla Schnaubelt, Emily Vandehey and Morgan Nelson.

In the throws, Kindel Bailey took fourth place in the javelin with a season best of 120-9, and Ellie Monroe matched that result in the discus, throwing 108-2 for a five-foot personal best.

Banks was back in action Tuesday in a three-way meet against Gladstone and North Marion in Aurora. Results were not available at press deadline. The Braves host the Banks Invitational on Saturday. Field events start at 10 a.m. Races begin at noon.

Vikings fare well at Lower Columbia invite in St. Helens

Led by Alyssa Villalobos, the Vikings track and field squad posted a number of standout results at the Lower Columbia Invitational.

Villalobos posted four top-two finishes, including a win in the 300 hurdles. In that event, the sophomore’s time of 49.08 was just a tenth of a second faster than Scappoose’s Eleanor Jones. She also took second place in the 100 hurdles (17.41), long jump (14-10) and triple jump (34-10), the final mark being a personal best by nearly two feet and the fourth-best mark in the Pacific Conference this season.

Murimi Nyamu and Rubi Vergara-Grindell also posted outstanding marks in victorious performances, cracking the 9- and 11-minute marks in the 3,000, respectively, for the first time. Nyamu finished in 8:58.81, trimming three seconds off of his personal record, while Vergara-Grindell’s 10:58.80 was a PR by almost eight seconds.

Other top-five performers on the boys’ side were Duncan Stewart (53.55), Ricky Torres (53.68) and Ryan Gochenour (53.86), who went 3-4-5 in the 400; the 4x400 relay of Christian Guerra, Garrett Stewart, Torres and Gochenour, third in 3:35.14; Tate de Sully, third in the shot put (45-2) and fourth in the discus (131-8); Bobby Taylor, fifth in the discus (130-4); and Dylan Richmond, fifth in the long jump (19-6).

In addition to Vergara-Grindell and Villalobos, top Vikings girls included Ilene Franco, second in the 200 (28.44); Emilia Anderson (11:39.58), fourth in the 3,000; Zoe Crain, fifth in the 300 hurdles (53.52); the 4x400 relay quartet of Jessica Bickford, Franco, Crain and Ashlie Collins, fifth in 4:38.94; and Shannon Hammond, who took third in the high jump (4-10), fifth in the triple jump (31-3) and sixth in the long jump (14-4).

Forest Grove stages its final home dual meet of the season today against Hillsboro. On Saturday, the Vikings head to the Wilsonville Invitational.

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