Heartbreak and triumph for Washougal

Boys track wins league, but girls lose first meet

Adam Thomas clinched first place on the pole vault and in the long jump to help the Washougal boys track and field team beat Hockinson and Ridgefield for the league championship.

Boys track wins league, but girls lose first meet

The Washougal boys track and field team earned another league championship last week, but the girls lost their first league meet in five years by one point.

“It’s been a great five years. Not too many teams can say they had this much success in any sport,” said head coach Dave Hajek. “I’m impressed by all the girls. They were willing to do whatever takes to keep the streak alive.

“I’m proud of the seniors who gave everything they had, and I’m excited for the younger girls who say they want to get the league title back next year,” he added. “It means we have athletes in Washougal who care. That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”

Ridgefield beat the Panther girls 75-74 April 30, at Ridgefield High School. The Washougal boys defeated Hockinson and Ridgefield to go undefeated in league meets.

“I was pretty excited,” said junior pole vaulter, jumper and sprinter Adam Thomas. “We were able to compete well enough to beat whatever competition we had.”

Thomas soared to first place on the pole vault and in the long jump. Randy Gubser grabbed first place in the 100-meter dash and Thomas followed in third place. Sean Eustis and Isaac Stinchfield snagged the top two places in the mile run. Eustis also earned first in the 3,200 and Stinchfield snagged second in the 400.

Josh Banks and Geer McGee grabbed first and second in the 800. Aubrey Kraft and Josh Bischoff finished first and second in the shot put. Bischoff snatched second in the discus, Tim Tran took second in the triple jump, Austin Tofell earned third in the javelin and Brian Connolly claimed third in the high jump.

“The guys have been successful because of the athletes who came to us from other sports,” Hajek said. “Austin Tofell is a perfect example. He played football and baseball before coming out for track in his senior year. The other day, he said he wished he came out as a freshman. If kids give track a chance, they can have some success and have some fun with it.”

Michelle Greear, Morgan Rodgers and Mackenzie Pfeifer grabbed the top three places in the discus and shot put. Pfeifer also finished first in the javelin, Erin Locke took first on the pole vault, Rae Allen clinched first in the 400 and Polly Pace placed first in the high jump.

Kari Johnson secured second place in the 100 hurdles and the long jump. She also took third in the 300 hurdles. Kaitlyn Johnson snagged second in the triple jump, and she also finished third in the 100 and 200 dashes.

Meredith Collins and Karina Miller claimed second and third place in the 3,200. Paige Roberts placed second in the 800, Miller took third in the 1,600 and Sydney Neimi notched third in the 400.

The Panthers enter the sub-district meet Friday, at Longview Memorial Stadium. Washougal hosts the district meet Friday, May 17, at Fishback Stadium.

“If you do well and you make it all the way to districts or state, it’s another opportunity to get a [personal record],” Hajek said. “You have no control over what the other people do. You do your best and they do their best, and hopefully you win.”