Wolves set to make a run for the gold
TUALATIN — There's still a lot of work to be done.
And, of course, the Timberwolves insist that they're going to take it step by step.
But, make no mistake about it, the Tualatin High School boys track and field team has set some big goals for the rest of the season — championship goals.
The Wolves, shining bright in many elements, aren't shy about saying it — they're looking not only for a Three Rivers League title, but also a Class 6A state championship.
"It's definitely in our view," Tualatin senior sprinter Dominique Loggins said when the Wolves were hosting Oregon City and West Linn in a Three Rivers League double dual meet. "Right now, we're just worrying about districts. That's our main concern right now, but, after that, you can believe it. We're heading toward No. 1. We've been working, and we're going to continue to work."
"Yeah, we're looking for a state title," Tualatin senior thrower Nano Kis said with a smile. "Right now, we're ranked No. 1 in the state in five events, so we're thinking we can get enough points."
"Yeah, hopefully we can do that," Tualatin senior sprinter Kwabena Lynn said of a possible state championship. "That's the goal."
The Tualatin boys have shown their strength and depth this year, both in dual meet competition and in big-meet events. In last week's league double dual meet, held April 24 at Tualatin High School, the Timberwolves defeated Oregon City 79.33-65.66 and they got an 85-60 win over West Linn, giving Tualatin a league-leading 4-0 dual meet record (Oregon City is second at 4-1).
The Tualatin boys have also taken first place in the team standings at the Chehalem Track and Field Classic, the Willamette Falls Invitational and the Wilsonville Invitational.
"We're doing some things this year, a lot better than I would have ever seen us doing," Loggins said. "We've won a lot of these invitationals. We've got a lot of good state competitors this year."
Kis is definitely one of those. He's the defending Class 6A state champion in the discus event. This year, he's looking to take the next step.
"I want to get first in state in both," he said, referring to the discus and shot put. "My goal is 60 feet in the shot and 185 in the discus."
As of Monday, Kis held the No. 1 spot in the Class 6A ranks in the discus, with a personal-best throw of 178 feet, 10 inches. He also is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A in the shot put with a mark of 56-11.
"In the shot put, I've been picking it up a lot," Kis said. "In the discus, I had couple of rough first meets, but I'm (setting personal records) most every meet now."
In last week's dual meet, Kis, dealing with an elbow injury, took second place in the shot put with a mark of 50-9, but he triumphed in the discus with a toss of 174-4.
Also at last week's meet, Tualatin's 4 x 100 relay team of Lynn, Loggins, junior Luke Marion and junior Andrew McDade sprinted to victory in a time of 42.95 seconds.
"It went well," Lynn said. "We want to do pretty well at state. Winning it is the goal. We need consistent handoffs and, I think we're doing a pretty good job."
"Oh yeah, we're heading for No. 1 this year," Loggins said of the 4 x 100 relay team. "It's the expectation, honestly. It's going to take a lot of commitment. We need guys showing up for every practice. We've got great coaches, and I don't see how we couldn't get first."
Loggins also won the 100 with a hand-held time of 10.41.
"It's not bad, at all. It felt like a (personal record), around 10.8," Loggins said. "I'd really like to place at state in the 100. I've only been doing it for two years, so even to get on the podium would be amazing."
Lynn has also shined in the sprints this season, holding the No. 2 spot in Class 6A ranks for the 200 and the No. 3 spot in the 100 as of Monday.
"Mostly, it's going how I wanted it to, so far," Lynn said of his season. "It's been the training we've been doing, and the hard work."
Also for the Tualatin boys at last week's double dual meet, Marion won the 110 high hurdles in a hand-held time of 14.21, junior Sam Smith ran to victory in the 1,500 in 4:20.10, junior Ethan Klein took first place in the 3,000 in 9:14.24 and junior Sam Katsuda cleared 13-0 to take first place in the pole vault.
On Friday, some members of the Tualatin boys team competed at the Stayton Twilight meet, held at Stayton High School.
At that event, Marion took first place in the 110 high hurdles in 14.85. Tualatin junior Malcolm Tatum Jr., was third in that race in 15.56.
Timberwolf junior John Miller took second place in the long jump with a mark of 19-11, and he was sixth in the shot put at 45-2.5. Sophomore Jack Porter was fourth in the long jump at 19-11. Smith ran to fifth in the 1,500 in 4:26.31.
The Tualatin boys will be back in action on Tuesday, when they face Tigard and Canby in a Three Rivers League double dual meet to be held at Tigard High School. Field events start at 4 p.m. and running events begin at 4:30 p.m.