Panthers rise in the Gorge

Mackenzie Pfeifer finished first for Washougal in the javelin with a throw of 103 feet, 10 inches at the Al McKee Invitational Saturday, at Stevenson High School. Buy this photo

Washougal High School seniors Brian Connolly, Thomas Normandeau, Mackenzie Pfeifer and Adam Thomas delivered on the track and in the field at the Al McKee Invitational Saturday.

Connolly cleared 6 feet on the high jump to finish in first place. He also clinched second place in the javelin with a throw of 122 feet, 2 inches.

Normandeau notched first place in the 800-meter run with a personal best time of 1 minute, 59:98 seconds. Donald Holbert, Christian Mischler, Thomas and Normandeau earned second place in the 400 relay in 46.66 seconds. Normandeau, Jacob Bowen, Luke Belzer and Holbert snagged ninth place in the 1,600 relay (4:03.45).

“I like this running thing,” Normandeau said after playing soccer for the Panthers the three previous springs. “I wish I would have started earlier. My goal is to win state. I think I can do it. I just need to prove it now.”

Pfeifer tossed the javelin 103-10 for a first place finish. She also secured fifth place in the shot put (29-7.5) and eighth place in the discus (77-9).

Pfeifer said the erratic weather made it tough on all of the throwers, but there was this one sophomore from Toutle Lake who was grabbing lots of attention.

“It was cool to see a younger girl having some success out there,” Pfeifer said. “I enjoyed watching her form. You learn from people who are better than you.”

Thomas soared 12 feet over the bar in the pole vault and landed in first place. He also leaped to fourth place in the long jump (18-7.25).

The Washougal boys racked up 121.5 points to finish in second place at the 12-team meet, at Stevenson High School. Woodland won the meet with 129.5 points. White Salmon was a distant third with 65 points.

The Panther girls earned third place with 115.5 points. White Salmon (143.5) finished on top and Woodland (136) followed in second. Toutle Lake (60.5) took fourth.

Josh Bischoff won the discus for the Washougal boys (126-6). He also snatched second in the shot put (41-5.5). Holbert grabbed second place in the 200 (23.69) and fifth place in the 100 (11.69). Aiden Pullen placed second in the 3,200 (10:57.84) and fourth in the 1,600 (5:01.97).

Christina Murray cleared 9 feet with the pole vault to win the event for the Panther girls. Erin Locke followed in second place with a leap of 8-6. Kristen Graham gained second in the triple jump (30-7) and third in the long jump (14-6). Julia Vovna took second in the high jump (4-8). Hannah Wright earned second in the 3,200 (12:30.07) and sixth in the 1,600 (6:18.68). Morgan Rodgers finished fourth in the discus (88-6) and shot put (30-0).

After competing in the Bruin Invitational Friday, at White Salmon, Washougal hosts Ridgefield Tuesday, April 29, and the Panther Twilight Friday, May 2.

“When we all came up as freshmen, there was a lot of talk about this senior year,” Pfeifer said. “We have high expectations. I hope we live up to them. Just come out to compete and win for our school. That’s about all you can do.”