NHS track faces stiff competition at state
The Newberg High School track team sent a dozen athletes to state competition, riding high after its solid performance at Pacific Conference districts. But the Tigers struggled to compete at state as the top teams dominated them at every turn.
Newberg failed to score a team point and finished ninth or worse in every event. Junior Riley Beecroft led a group of sprinters that had the best performances of anyone on the Newberg boys squad.
Beecroft finished ninth in the 100 prelims with a time of 11.3 seconds, failing to advance to the finals in that event before finishing 10th in the prelims of the 200 (22.62 seconds).
Senior Mason Darling finished 13th in the 400 at 52.1 seconds. After that, he and Beecroft joined Kyle Hatch and Matthew Larson in the 4 x 100, in which Newberg placed 11th with a time of 43.75.
Rounding out the two days of competition for Newberg was senior Jake Thompson in the long and triple jump. Thompson placed 13th in the long jump at 19 feet 4.75 inches and 16th in the triple jump at 41-01.5.
The girls' team had a similar performance at state, starting with junior Grace Umfleet in the 100. Umfleet finished 11th in 59.65.
Junior Rilee Carstensen – the workhorse for the Tigers at state by competing in four events – finished 14th in the 100 hurdles in 16.43 seconds. She followed that up with a 10th place finish in the 300 hurdles, posting a time of 47.28 seconds.
Carstensen and Umfleet were joined by Anna Secrist and Kalani Aquipel in the 4 x 100 and Newberg finished 14th in 51.18 seconds. Aquipel was switched out for Grace Chlumak on the 4 x 400 team, which finished ninth in 4:02.12.
Senior Lala Frketich was the lone thrower for the Tigers at state, competing in the javelin and placing 12th with a toss of 111-07. Junior Sicily Hampton was Newberg's final competitor with a 16th place finish in the triple jump (31-00.25).
Much of Newberg's team – on both sides – was young this season after many state contenders graduated last year. The experience gained in 2019 for many of those who traveled to state will be invaluable, coach Brandon Ramey said, adding before the state competition ensued that he's proud of how this group developed throughout the year.
A group of freshmen, sophomore and junior contributors to Newberg's regular season success are expected back next season with another year of experience under its belts.