Tigers, Hornets shiver through Oroville meet

Photo by Brent Baker - Oroville's Sierra Speiker shook off an early challenge from Tonasket's Kylie Dellinger to win the 1600-meter run at the March 31 Eagle Home Mortgage Invitational.

Photo by Brent Baker – Oroville’s Sierra Speiker shook off an early challenge from Tonasket’s Kylie Dellinger to win the 1600-meter run at the March 31 Eagle Home Mortgage Invitational.

OROVILLE – It wasn’t a good day for fast times or long distances.

It wasn’t a good day for much of anything but huddling inside next to the fireplace.

The Tonasket and Oroville track and field teams, as well as most of the other county teams and schools from as far away as Leavenworth, Moses Lake and Northport, braved cold, wet and windy conditions Saturday, March 31, and battled their way through the Hornets’ own Eagle Home Mortgage Invitational.

Tonasket got the biggest payoff for its trouble, rolling to a 29-point team victory over second-place Cascade on the boys’ side and finishing second to Omak by 3.5 points on the girls’ side.

With many of their athletes already gone for Spring Break, the Hornets didn’t fare quite as well, with the boys and girls both finishing seventh.

Tonasket boys dominate

The Tigers excelled in the track events, winning all but one individual running event and both relays

John Stedtfeld swept the 100 (11.51) and 200 (23.59), Jake Hickman claimed the 800 (2:11.00), and Damon Halvorsen fended off his top two area rivals in the distance races, getting past Oroville’s Zack Speiker in the 1600 (4:45.78) and Omak’s Michael Goble in the 3200 (10:16.16).

Stedtfeld, Hickman, Smith Condon and Zach Villalva won the 4×100 (45.95) and while Devyn Catone,Roberto Juarez, Condon and Hickman took the 4×400 (3:58.23).

“We were really pleased with the competitiveness of each one under less than ideal conditions,” said Tonasket coach Bob Thornton. “After going up against 4A schools in every meet up ’til now it was good to see the hard work of Damon, Jake and John pay off with first places against schools our size.”

Thornton was particularly pleased by the efforts of his sprint relay team.

“After losing two guys off last year’s state team it is good to see that they are running times equal to last year at these meets.

“It was a total team effort for the boys to win and for the girls to get second. Many say that track and field is an individual sport but when everyone does their best in their event it picks up points for the team win.”

Caleb Haney was the Hornets’ lone event winner with a throw of 121-2 in the discus.

“The weather held off long enough,” said Oroville coach Harold Jensen. “We were very respectable as a team despite many being gone for spring break and others who had senior presentations.”

Other top performances for the Oroville boys included Speiker in the 1600 (2nd, 4:54.40) and 800 (4th, 2:17.80); and the 4×400 relay of Sean DeWitte, Speiker, Ruben Renfro and Tanner Smith (2nd, 4:02.09).

Renfro also took third in the long jump (17-4.25).

Speiker, Tiger relays excel

Despite the cold weather, Sierra Speiker lowered her season-best time in the 3200 (11:48.02) while cruising to a nearly three minute victory, as well as pulling away from Tonasket’s Kylie Dellinger to claim the 1600 (5:42.59) for the Hornets’ only victories of the afternoon.

The Hornets also took second in the 4×400 (Speiker, along with Kaitlyn Grunst, Callie Barker and Lisa Hartvig in 4:41.62).

Other top Oroville finishers included Katie Tietje in the discus (6th, 68-4), Grunst (5th, 4-6) and Hartvig (6th, 4-4) in the high jump; Grunst in the long jump (6th, 14-1.5).

“Now with our meet out of the way we can concentrate on practices and hopefully the weather will improve,” Jensen said. “We would like to thank all the helpers who turned out, and Eagle Home Mortgage for sponsoring the meet.”

For the Tonasket girls, Cassie Spear took first in the 400 (1:07.01), though Emily Mills (now at Tonasket but running unattached) won the race in 1:03.40.

The Tigers’ 4×100 relay team of Spear, Kathryn Cleman, Karlie Henneman and Kelly Cruz (54.78) and 4×200 relay of Cruz, Spear, Henneman and Amber Kilpatrick (1:59.03) were also victorious.

Kylie Dellinger was second to Speiker in the 1600 (5:55.40), Devan Utt took third in the 100 hurdles (18.13), Cleman was third in the 300 hurdles (54.85) and Yasmin Cervantes finished third in the discus (79-9).

The Tigers and Hornets both compete next at the Brewster Co-ed Relays, hosted by Bridgeport, on Tuesday, April 10.

About Brent Baker

Brent is a reporter for the Gazette-Tribune. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent started work at the G-T in 2011.

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