Sherwood girls top Glencoe to stay unbeaten
HILLSBORO — For the Sherwood High School girls track and field team, it really is all about the team.
And, so far, that Lady Bowmen team is absolutely perfect in Pacific Conference competition.
The Sherwood girls remained unbeaten in conference meets by powering their way to a 76-69 win over Glencoe in a meet held April 17 at Glencoe High School.
"We want to make sure we get the win for everyone. The girls' meet is usually closer, so it's more competitive for us," said Sherwood senior Alex Verkamp, who ran to victory in the 400-meter dash at Glencoe. "Everyone is doing a fantastic job. It's been a great senior year."
"Our boys and girls teams are both undefeated in league right now," said Sherwood junior Vanessa Van Winkle, who won the 1,500. "Our team really worked hard in the offseason this year. We really bonded together as a team."
With the victory, the Lady Bowmen improved to 4-0 in Pacific Conference meets. The win was extra important in the battle for the Pacific Conference dual meet title, as the Glencoe girls (now 2-1) were also unbeaten going into the meet.
"Dual meets are really important to our whole team, as we really want to win league this year, both genders," Van Winkle said. "That would be an amazing accomplishment."
"We're definitely hoping to get first in league for both girls and boys," Verkamp said. "That's one of my goals. I'm super excited for this season."
Verkamp, a Sherwood standout in the 800, took on the 400 in the meet at Glencoe, and sprinted to a win in a time of 1 minute, 4.37 seconds.
"The 800 is kind of my main race, but the 400 definitely helps with the 800, so it's a race that I really enjoy," Verkamp said.
Verkamp was pressed throughout the race by her Lady Bowmen teammate, sophomore Anne Sandilands, who finished in second place with a personal-best mark of 1:04.85.
"The track feels a little different than the one at home, but it was good," Verkamp said. "I had Anne right behind me, and she was pushing me a little bit. I always like someone right behind me, or someone I can chase."
And, of course, taking the top two spots in the race helped the Lady Bowmen in the team battle with Glencoe.
"Finishing first and second got us some good points, so that was really good," Verkamp said.
Van Winkle also used the help of her teammates to get her win. She stayed right pace-setting Sherwood junior Madi Ramos throughout the first lap of the 1,500 before taking over the lead.
"I love running with my teammates," Van Winkle said. "They really push me. I knew, with Madi starting, that I just wanted to stay right behind her. Running with my teammates always inspires me to go faster."
Van Winkle ended up winning the race in a time of 5:25.06.
"It went really well. I felt really good," she said. "That was a real good race for me. I just told myself, 'you can do it.' I like to run for someone else, not just yourself, so you can make them proud. I like to run for my coach (Sherwood distance coach John Mantalas), who inspired me. He just ran the Boston Marathon."
The Lady Bowmen claimed the top three spots in the 1,500. Senior Jaqueline Angelel was second at 5:33.55 and Ramos was third at 5:36.07.
Sherwood sophomore Nora Hagan was a three-time winner at the meet. Hagan sprinted to victory in the 100 in 12.89. She had a winning mark of 26.88 and, in the 4 x 400 relay, she teamed with Verkamp, sophomore Joley Sproul and sophomore Kylah Williams to take first place in 4:10.69.
Lady Bowmen sophomore Kari Eddington picked up a pair of victories in the distance events. She won the 800 in 2:29.23 and she triumphed in the 3,000 in 11:30.92.
Sproul had a winning time of 48.13 in the 300 low hurdles.
In the field events, Sproul and Sherwood sophomore Samantha Christensen tied for second place in the high jump with a mark of 4 feet, 8 inches. Senior Korynn Bowers took second place in the shot put with a throw of 31-1.25. Sophomore Taryn Kelley was second in the javelin with a toss of 110-4. Senior Emma Hamilton was second in the long jump with a distance of 14-8.5 and sophomore Haley Blue was second in the triple jump with a mark of 31-3.
The next Pacific Conference meet for the Sherwood girls will be on May 1, when the Lady Bowmen host McMinnville.