NHS track preps for Twilight Relays
As Newberg High School track and field enters a key point of its season, the Tigers have a handful of athletes who are beginning to emerge as the team's leaders. That was demonstrated recently at meets at Summit High School in Bend and at Glencoe, where Newberg athletes performed well in a multitude of key areas.
The boys beat Glencoe 84-61 and the girls won 78-63. While coach Brandon Ramey said it's difficult to gauge where a team is at based on dual meet performances, he remains pleased with the results.
Getting victories on both sides, he said, was driven by a group of runners, jumpers and throwers that have been leading the way all season.
"It was kind of the usual suspects," Ramey said. "Everybody ran and threw really well, and it was really kind of the first nice weather day we've had. It was a nice running wind coming off the mountain, too."
Junior Grace Umfleet and senior Anna Secrist shined in the 200, both posting personal records as Umfleet finished first at 26.47 and Secrist with a time of 26.68. Umfleet also won the 400 in 1:00.11 and junior Rilee Carstensen posted a personal record time in the 100 hurdles (16.02) despite finishing second.
In the throwing events for the girls, senior Farleigh Whitehead hurled the shot put a personal record 31 feet, 10 inches to win the event; senior Lala Frketich came just short of a victory in the javelin at 121-10. Getting over 120 feet consistently is a positive sign for Frketich, however, Ramey said.
On the boys' side, Jake Thompson had quality marks in the triple jump and long jump, posting results of 42-00.75 and 21-0.5 in winning the respective events. His consistency is part of a trend for the Tigers as the season progresses.
Ramey pointed to the performance of the male sprinters as a positive development as well. Junior Riley Beecroft and senior Matthew Larson finished 1-2 in the 100 and 200, posting times of 11.4 and 11.44 in the 100 and 23.02 and 23.27 in the 200. They carried their success over to the 4 x 100 relay, where Newberg won in 44.27 seconds.
Junior Jared LaPointe tossed the shot put 131-11.0 – a personal record – to pick up the victory in his signature event. Freshman phenom Gavin Korkeakoski threw the javelin 157-10.0 – also a personal record – to showcase his continued development for the Tigers and win the event.
Many of Newberg's PR performances came as a result of the weather, Ramey said. A sunny day with a light breeze was a welcome sight after so many rainy, wet and cold events in the recent past.
"I can't tell you how many times we've had bad winds for the runners, the pole vault and even for the throwers it's tough," he said. "All three shot-putters had personal records against Glencoe."
The meet at Summit High School in Bend was among the rainiest, windiest and wettest of the season, and while Newberg placed well in many events, Ramey said the team wasn't satisfied with its marks. He and his athletes understand that the conditions played a big factor in their individual performances, though.
"The marks weren't as good as I'd hoped, but the places were good, so it's all kind of relative," he said. "Nobody is going to run or throw as well in the wind and rain, but the team rallied and had some solid marks throughout the day."
Newberg's performance at Summit bodes well for its chances in the district meet later this month. For now, though, the team is focused on the Jesuit/Twilight relays this Friday in Portland, preceded by a dual meet at Forest Grove on Wednesday afternoon.
The Twilight meet draws in teams from Washington, Idaho, California and all over Oregon for one of the largest gatherings in the state. Ramey said there won't be much gleaned from the results of that event for Newberg, but he looks forward to what should be a fun afternoon.
"The Twilight is a tough meet to gauge how well we're going to do because a lot of the events are relays," Ramey said. "There's teams from all over the west coast and the kids love it. They put on a good show up there."
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