Sandy boys surge in second place
The Sandy boys track and field team piled up 108 points to hold off Clackamas for second place at last week's Mount Hood Conference district meet.
Sandy got rolling early in Wednesday's final session with Jackson Staples picking up a win in the high jump. He rode a series of first-attempt clearances to make it a two-person showdown with Barlow's Isaac Pederson with the bar at 6-feet-2-inches. Staples got over on his second try, while Pederson dropped out of the competition with three misses.
Staples would go on to clear 6-4.
He would also make it to state with a second-place finish in the high hurdles later that night, surging past three competitors over the last few hurdles.
"I didn't get off to a great start, and I just kept telling myself to stay low over the hurdles and I could move up," Staples said. "I didn't see anyone over the last two, and that's when I knew I had the state spot."
Also picking up a win was Cole Hoecker who led start-to-finish in the 400, breaking the 50-second barrier for the first time with a clocking of 49.88.
"Coming down the homestretch is usually where I kick it in, and I could feel that no one was hanging with me that last 100," Hoecker said.
He also ran anchor lap on Sandy's 1,600 relay, which came in second in a photo finish with Central Catholic. Tayler Kellim, Tyler Callaway and Dallin Thomas ran earlier laps in the tag-team race.
Sandy's biggest event came as the stadium lights were coming on, as Nick Olsen and Tanner Brewster finished 1-2 in the shot put, while teammate Elias Martinez came up with a personal best of 45-9.5 coming up two inches short of a rare district sweep.
Olsen led start-to-finish in the competition with an opening effort of 47-3.25, which he improved by nearly two feet on his next trip into the ring with a heave of 49-2.25.
The 23-point effort brought Sandy within six of Central Catholic in the team chase with three events remaining.
Central Catholic responded with three finalists in the 200, won by Xavier Simpson in 22.40, to secure the team trophy.
Brewster picked up a first-day win for the Pioneers in the discus, spinning the metal sphere 25 feet farther than anyone else in the field in the first round of throws. His mark of 149-8 held up for first place.
Also on Day 1, Sandy's Glynne McGaughey finished second in the long jump — a thumb print behind the winning mark of Barlow's Conrad Greeley. McGaughey topped the leader board after the first round of prelims before giving way to Greeley heading into the finals. McGaughey surpassed 20 feet twice more in the event, but was unable to regain the lead.
Sandy's Tayler Kellim was involved in the most dramatic finish of the day in the 800 when he dived across the finish line, splitting Gresham's Joel Yasin and Cole O'Donnell. The three racers came through less than a-tenth-of-a-second apart with Kellim finishing third. Yasin led the entire race and won in 1:56.81.
Sandy's Tyler Callaway finished fourth in the 1,500.
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This story is slated for our May 22, print edition.