OROVILLE – Oroville’s track and field teams are peaking at just the right time.
The Hornets, competing against schools their own size after spending much of the regular season going against larger schools at big invitationals, showed they were ready for the post-season Thursday, May 10, with the girls team winning the Central Washington League North Sub-district meet by more than 50 points. The boys were edged by Liberty Bell in a two-way race for the team title.
“The boys and girls really stepped up with 12 PRs,” said Oroville coach Harold Jensen. “We got 19 of our 23 athletes through to the district meet.”
The girls ran up 153 points to easily outdistance Liberty Bell (108) for their third straight sub-district title.
The Hornet girls dominated the meet despite never having the services this year of last year’s multiple event state qualifying thrower, Kelsey Hughes, who was hurt during basketball season.
“We knew going in it would be difficult to win without Kelsey,” Jensen said. “But our younger girls are improving, and that is what made the difference. All the girls did their part in scoring for the championship.”
The Hornets got points where they expected to. Kaitlyn Grunst won the triple jump (31-10) and long jump (14-4.5) and took second in the high jump (4-6); Callie Barker claimed the pole vault (8-6), took third in the triple jump (29-10), and was fourth in the 300 hurdles (55.40), and Sierra Speiker took second in the 3200 (11:54.6), 1600 (5:37.50) and 800 (2:38.67).
“Sierra is recovering from the flu, and her times are coming down again,” Jensen said. “Kaitlyn Grunst is progressing every week, and Callie Barker is always stable with a win in the pole vault.
Freshman Andrea Perez continued her late-season surge with a win in the shot put (30-8), with Alexa Werner taking fourth (28-11).
“The shot put was a pleasant surprise,” Jensen said.
The top four finishers in each event move on to Saturday’s state-qualifying District 5/6 meet at Eastmont High School in East Wenatchees.
Other district qualifiers included Lisa Hartvig in the 400 and high jump, Naomi Peters in the 300 hurdles and triple jump, Brittany Jewett in the javelin, and Breanna Ervin and Sonia Bobadilla in the pole vault.
All three Hornet relays advanced, led by Grunst, Peters, Barker and Speiker in the 4×400 (2nd, 4:36.76). Ervin, Jewett, Bobadilla and Katie Tietje finished third in the 4×200 and Jewett, Tietje, Peters and Bobadilla took fourth in the 4×100.
The only thing that stood between the boys and a sub-district title of their own was Liberty Bell sophomore standout Austin Watson, who swept the 100, 200, long jump, and anchored the Mountain Lions’ winning 4×100 relay.
Liberty Bell edged the Hornets 150-144, easily outpacing the rest of the field. Bridgeport was third with 77.5.
“A couple of events could have made the difference,” Jensen said.
Winning sub-district titles for the Hornets were Zack Speiker in the 3200 (10:41.57); Caleb Haney in the discus (130-2); and C.J. Mathews in the triple jump (40-3.25). Speiker also took second in the 800 (2:15.44) and 1600 (4:57.13) to qualify for the district meet; Mathews was third in the 110 hurdles (17.69) and second in the long jump (18-8.5);
Tanner Smith took second in the 100 (12.16) and 200 (24.23) and was fourth in the 400; Diego Santana finished third in the 3200; Luke Kindred was third in the javelin, discus and 300 hurdles; Sean DeWitte was fourth in the 300 hurdles and third in the pole vault to move on to next week.
Both boys relays will also compete at the district finals, led by Mathews, Smith, Kindred and DeWitte in the 4×100 (2nd, 46.87). Taking third were DeWitte, Speiker, Renfro and Connelly Quick in the 4×400.
The top four boys and top three girls in each event advance to the Class 2B state finals, May 25-26 at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.