Track program partners with George Fox University to host first-ever home event

GARY ALLEN - Freshman Jamie Gooding heaves the shot put Friday at the C.S. Lewis Academy Invitational. Gooding placed fourth with a throw of 23-11.

Considering it was the first time the track program had ever hosted a meet, the C.S. Lewis Invitational Friday was quite a debut.

That's in large part due to the fact that the school partnered with George Fox University to run the event at its facilities, which helped it attract 10 other 1A Christian schools to participate.

"We had tons of PRs and the kids really seemed to enjoy it," first-year CSLA coach Jacob Graham said. "They got to have their family come, like grandma and grandpa that can't drive two hours to Toledo to watch us compete. It was really cool and I just loved it."

It appears to have been a win-win situation for everyone involved, including GFU.

For example, Watchmen standout Elizabeth Warren and St. Stephen's Academy sprinter Sydney Radigan are both planning to run for George Fox next year and got a little preview of the future.

Leading the way for the Watchmen boys, who placed sixth with 61.5 points, was Trevor Ambrose. The junior won the javelin with a personal-best toss of 127-4, was third in the 100 (12.12), ninth in the 200 (26.32) and ran a leg on the fifth-place 4 x 400 relay team (4:13.38).GARY ALLEN - Junior Trevor Ambrose throws the javelin the C.S. Lewis Academy Invitational Friday at George Fox University. It was the first meet the Watchmen have ever hosted. Ambrose won the javelin with a personal-record throw of 127-4.

On the girls side, Warren won the 400 (1:02.60), was third in the 200 (27.96) and thanks to an influx of freshmen to the team this year, got to run on a relay, helping CSLA place third in the 4 x 100 in 58.78.

As a team, the Watchmen placed sixth with 28 points.

The meet was also a nice opportunity for Veritas, which is fielding a track and field team for the first time this spring, to compete close to home and against its peers.

"It's so nice to be around the other schools both in our district and the other Christian schools, the small ones, because they experience the same challenges of hosting a track that we do, so it's always a learning experience," Veritas coach Ken McChesney said. "Like cross-country, kids make friends across school lines, so that's always a neat thing, too."

Thomas Lattus had the Vanguard's highest finish, taking fourth in the discus (89-8) to help the boys place eighth out of 11 teams with 11 points.

Madison McChesney paced the girls, who were ninth with 20.5 points, with a third-place showing in the 3,000 (13:50.78) and fifth-place finish in the 1,500 (6:14.48).

"The hope is that it becomes and annual thing," Graham said. "Obviously, we have to sit down with George Fox and make sure that's reasonable and that we can pull it off and how to improve."

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