By Robert Husseman • Sports Editor • 

Yamhill County schools mix it up

Neighborly or not, the McMinnville track and field team put on a show at its invitational event.

The Mac boys and girls both claimed team titles at the McMinnville Invitational Friday evening at Wortman Stadium, which drew athletes from 10 high schools and five middle schools.

In the boys’ team standings, the Grizzlies placed themselves well ahead of the pack with 202 points. West Albany finished second with 130.75 points, followed by St. Helens (111), Clackamas (104.5), Gladstone (50), Amity (34), Warrenton (17.5), Dayton (17.25), Yamhill-Carlton (10) and Willamina (9).

The Grizzlies scored 171.42 points to edge out Clackamas (121.92) in the girls’ team standings. West Albany (93.84), St. Helens (67.5) and Yamhill-Carlton (60) rounded out the top five; Dayton (58), Gladstone (46.84), Amity (43), Warrenton (23) and Willamina (12.42) also competed.

“I thought the effort by the team was excellent overall,” Mac coach Vic Downs said. “We won both boys and girls and pretty much did it with depth. Some events we didn’t do well but made up for it with two others. Field events were super-strong. This year our team is so good in the field it’s really fun. They really are sort of our bread and butter right now.”

Indeed, the Grizzlies won four field events on the girls’ side and four on the boys’ side. Senior Tim Tatton claimed three by himself, winning the discus (158 feet, 4 inches), hammer (159-1) and javelin throws (178-10). Tatton added a runner-up finish in the shot put (47-9.5) to Jacob Zartman of St. Helens (50-3.25) to his ledger.

“He’s a one-man team,” Downs said.

Nathan Clevenger won the boys’ triple jump with a leap of 40 feet, 9 inches, besting teammate Brandon Parks by six inches. Senior Dakota Buhler continued her strong season in the girls’ horizontal jumps by winning the long jump (16-3.75) and taking second in the triple jump (33-7).

The McMinnville girls claimed two wins in throwing events thanks to Bethany Mohler in the javelin (114-4) and Amber Bonds in the hammer (109-6). Senior Lucy Bellville won a hotly contested high jump competition by clearing five feet even; 13 girls cleared 4-8 or better, including Mac junior Natalie Scott.

Buhler, Montanna Gubrud, Annika Nyquist and Taylor Petersen joined forces to win the girls’ 4x100-meter relay in 51.61 seconds. Mac sophomore Whitney Rich won the 800 in 2:23.56 – a distance specialist, Rich entered the race to work on her speed – and freshman Ally Legard won the girls’ 1,500 in 5:06.90.

“She’s tough. She can run any race fast,” Downs said of Legard. “She can run the (400), the (800), the (1,500). I was really happy with her 1,500. The way she ran it, it was like a senior who had been through 50 1,500s.”

The Grizzlies’ foursome of Mauricio Duran, Trustian Hood, Darby Ramos and Cameron Marcom won the boys’ 4x400-meter relay in 3:35.40. Senior Cameron Marcom finished his day with a pair of season-bests in the 100 (third, 11.58) and the 200 (second, 23.54), and junior Darby Ramos set a personal record with a second-place finish in the 800 (2:09.36).

The Yamhill-Carlton girls’ 4x400-meter relay team of Kayla Archer, Perrin Xthona, Teagan Roberts and Susie Van De Grift won the event in 4:12.40. Sarah King and Van De Grift went 2-3 in the girls’ 200, clocking 27.37 and 27.59, respectively.

Amity junior Jordan Butler claimed victory in the boys’ 400, finishing in 53.12, ahead of McMinnville sophomore Trustian Hood (53.87). Warriors sophomore Lindsay McShane claimed victory in the girls shot put (37-1.5) by more than four feet; McShane also took second in the discus (113-8) and javelin (112-1).

Dayton junior Maddie Shirley won the girls’ discus with a throw of 118 feet, 2 inches.

For downs, the enjoyment of the meet came not just from the high schoolers in competition but from the middle schoolers. Duniway Middle School and Patton Middle School in McMinnville were represented, as were Dayton Middle School, Willamina Middle School and Walter L. Kraxberger Middle School of Gladstone.

“Bringing those middle schoolers, I thought that’s just great,” Downs said. “We’re all about promoting the sport before promoting the school. We want to do our part to make sure the sport is taken care of.”

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