Centennial builds a sizable lead halfway through only to see Clackamas respond in the track finals

OUTLOOK PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Gresham's Fechi Nmereole held off Reynolds Peace Igbonaguam to win the 200-meter final.

MHC district meet

Team (top 3) Score
1. Clackamas
2. Centennial
3. Central Catholic

The Centennial girls track team could smell the Mount Hood Conference championship trophy Wednesday afternoon only to have Clackamas speed by late in the district meet to swipe it away.

The Eagles put themselves in solid position through the end of Day 1, highlighted by Christina Rodriguez, Jaquiah Campbell and Angel Aluesi picking up a rare 1-2-3 sweep in the javelin.

Rodriguez led most of the way only to be topped in the fifth round of throws before regaining first place with a heave of 122 feet on her final attempt.

Aluesi moved over to the shot put ring where she turned in four of the top six throws, winning the event at 42-1.5.

Centennial continued to pour on the points in the field events when the meet resumed Wednesday with Savannah and Sierra Schultz going 1-2 in the pole vault — each clearing a school record of 11-8.

Centennial had built a 23.5-point lead over Clackamas in the team chase before a spike had touched the track for the night's racing finals.

That is where the Cavaliers would make their move.

It would take only two races to erase the lead.

Clackamas started with a convincing win in the 400-meter relay (48.60 seconds), then took over the lead when Alexa Hayes and Natalie Pihulak went 1-2 in the 1,500 (4:56.25).

The Cavaliers never looked back, pushing the team score out of reach two races later when Brooklyn James and Taberah Schmidt went 1-2 in the 400 (57.81).

Clackamas would win six of the 10 racing finals and finish almost 40 points ahead of Centennial by the end of the meet. The Eagles held off Central Catholic for second place.

Centennial's Madison McHone turned back Clackamas foes to win the high hurdles (14.88) and 300 hurdles (45.19).

• Gresham junior Fechi Nmereole swept the sprints decisively winning the 100 (11.92) and 200 (24.90).

Reynolds senior Peace Igbonaguam finished as the meet's top scorer with 36 points. She turned in the top three marks in the long jump (18-1) and had the five best in the triple jump (38-8). Igbonaguam was second in the 100 and 200.

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Look for expanded coverage ahead in our Friday, May 11, print edition.

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