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NHS round-up: Although not recognized by the OSAA, teams from around the state competed for supremacy.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Newberg Tiger Gavin Korkeakoski finished ninth at the Class 6A state track and fiield championships last week.

In order to give young athletes the full experience of a track season, which they've been denied due to COVID-19 and its impact on the OSAA's approach to high school sports, Oregon's high school track and field teams gathered in Oregon City May 21-22 for a statewide showcase. The meet acted as a de facto state championship and the Newberg Tigers were among the participants.

Newberg won a pair of state championships in the boys triple jump and long jump, their strongest events throughout much of the season and an opportunity for the Tigers to show off on a statewide stage.

Junior Blake Smith won the triple jump title with a leap of 43-07.75, a personal record. Placing second in the event was senior Owen Hawley, who posted 43-06.50. Newberg senior Dylan Stroup had a strong showing in the event as well, placing fourth at 42-09.25.

Hawley won a state title of his own in the long jump, with a 21-11.50 leap that narrowly edged out Smith at 21-11.00.

Other notable finishers for the Tiger boys at state included junior Gavin Korkeakoski in the javelin, who put up a distance of 163-02 to finish ninth, and senior Abraham Gomez-Huerta, who finished seventh in the discus with a toss of 138-03.

The Newberg girls had just two participants in the state meet and their best finisher was senior Sidney Grabow in the pole vault. She placed ninth at 9-06.00.

As far as team scores go, the boys finished fourth in state with a total of 43 points, trailing Central Catholic (52), Ida B. Wells (formerly Wilson High School) with 60 points and state champion Sherwood (73).

Basketball squads in early stages of season

The Newberg boys basketball team is off to a strong start at 3-1, pulling off a thrilling victory over Forest Grove on May 25. The Tigers beat the Vikings 59-58 on a game-winning layup by Corban Muthiah with two seconds remaining, then forcing a turnover on the game's final possession to seal the victory.

Prior to that, the Tigers lost 72-68 to Sherwood on May 22, beat Glencoe 63-47 on May 20 and won 57-50 over Liberty in their opener May 18.

The Newberg girls team's record is even at 2-2, with the most recent game featuring a 42-34 victory over Forest Grove. The Tigers have also beaten Glencoe (45-33 on May 19) and have a pair of 16-point losses on the road to Liberty and Sherwood.

Swimming, wrestling under way

Also among the typical winter sports competing in the early part of their COVID-19-shortened schedules are the defending state champion Newberg wrestling team and both of the Tigers' swim teams.

The wrestling squad opened up its season with a tournament in Sweet Home on May 20, facing off against some quality competition in the early going. The Tigers' next time on the mat was Wednesday, May 26, in a dual meet against Century. Scores weren't available by press time.

New coach Erin Fincher's swim teams participated in their first meet of the season on May 20 taking on Forest Grove at Chehalem Aquatic Center. The boys picked up a victory in team points by a margin of 86-55, and the girls won by an even greater margin at 105-71.

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