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Distance ace Nichols, sprint star Moore win their specialties for St. Helens team

PMG PHOTO: STEVE BRANDON - Mattie Miller, a St. Helens sophomore, is on her way to a PR and fourth place in the girls 1,500 during Wednesday's home meet.The name of the game in track and field is to get steadily better.

And that seemed to unfold for the St. Helens Lions up and down their lineup in a three-way home meet on Wednesday.

The Lions had 10 personal bests on the boys side and 12 by the girls team.

Some of those personal records came high up, like with the PRs of first-place Lions Logan Page (22.56-second boys 200 meters) and Savannah Moore (26.64 in the girls 200).

Several of the PRs came from athletes who finished out of the top three but are showing improvement.

"It was a great day for all the events," St. Helens coach Megan Cox said.

Moore, a sophomore, also won the girls 100 in 12.96.

"I'm proud that I'm first in our league in all of our events, but I'd like to be running a lot faster," she said.

She joined Hannah Hayduk, Isabella Nelson and Isabelle Wallace on a 4x100 relay team that won. Freshman Hayduk placed second in the 100 and 200, setting her PR in the shorter race with a 13.42 clocking. Wallace won the 400, edging two challengers from Hillsboro.

"The girls are kicking along pretty well," Cox said of the short relay. "We hope to do well at district and state."

"We haven't really figured everything out yet, but we're getting better," Moore said.

St. Helens junior Savannah Hoffman claimed first place in the high jump, clearing 5 feet.

Because Hillsboro and St. Helens competed against each other earlier in the season, the team scores Wednesday were kept only for the Lions versus Milwaukie. The St. Helens girls won that dual 75-52, while the boys topped the Mustangs 97-46.

The boys had two double individual winners — junior Waylon Nichols was first in the 1, 500 and 3,000, and junior Tanner McTeigue placed at the top in the triple jump (PR 40-2.5) and high jump (5-8).

Nichols pushed himself in the final event of the day, coming from behind to give the Lions first place in the 4x400 relay, not an easy feat considering he had run that race only once before and didn't have much time to recover from the 3,000.

"It was fun, and very painful at the same time," he said. "It was quite the experience."

He gave himself a bit of a talking to before taking the baton for the anchor leg.

"To be honest, in the beginning I didn't really feel very good because I'd just run the 3,000, but it's all mental," he said. "I just thought, I've already run like 12 laps, so why not just one more, right? I feel like nothing's too hard for me if I put my mind to it."

Page sat out the 100 but contributed to wins in both relays, as did senior Anthony Navarro, who came through with sprint PRs of 11.82 and 23.56 to finish second in the 100 and third in the 200.

Senior Ryan Hastings was St. Helens' other individual winner. He threw the javelin 137-10.

McTeigue also was runner-up in the 110 hurdles with a PR of 16.54.

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