The Washougal High School track and field teams went above and beyond the call of duty to defeat Hockinson and Woodland Thursday, at Fishback Stadium.
Brendan Casey had a busy day on the ground and in the air. The best part was launching the javelin 170 feet, 6 inches to win the event. Not only was it a personal best throw for the Panther, it also ranks third in the state for 2A schools on athletic.net.
“I felt that one popping, and I knew it was going far,” Casey said. “It makes me feel great, but I know I still have things to work on. Hopefully, I’ll continue to improve as the season goes along.”
The senior also cleared 12 feet to tie for first place on the pole vault, and anchored the 400-meter relay team to victory. Jacob Banta and Stephen Camden got it started. Casey took the baton from Bobby Jacobs, passed the lead runner from Woodland and never looked back. Washougal won with a time of 47.17 seconds.
“I knew my teammates could pull it off, and that I could bring it home,” Casey said. “Once I passed that guy, he wasn’t going to catch me.”
Katie Wright is reaching new heights for the Panthers. For the first time since she was a freshman, the junior leaped past 16 feet in the long jump to win the event.
“It was just a really good feeling, the air that I got on that jump,” Wright said. “It was just fantastic.”
She also cleared 5 feet to tie for first place in the high jump.
“Quite a few of my jumps had a lot of air,” Wright said. “It felt fantastic flying.”
The Washougal distance runners and sprinters did significant damage. Camden captured first place in the 100 (11.89) and 200 (24.6) to go along with his victory in the 400 relay. Kendall Utter took Hockinson’s Jayden Gourley by surprise in the 800, and won the event with personal best time a 2:33.
“I saw a lot of smiles on the kid’s faces, the biggest one by Kendall Utter,” said distance coach Terry Howard. “She caught Gourley in the 800, and set a new best time. It was a great moment for her.”
Dylan Croeni dusted the competition in the 3,200 (10:14), and Isaac Stinchfield won the 1,600 with a personal best time of 4:43. Sean Eustis finished first in the 800 (2:01.34), followed by Croeni (2:01.56) and Noah Collins (2:20.67).
The Washougal boys beat Hockinson 95-45 and Woodland 91-44. Isaac Bischoff earned first in the shotput (127-8) and Kayden Campbell claimed first in the 300 hurdles (46.67).
The Panther girls topped Hockinson 92-55 and Woodland 97-53. Kelley Young, Kelsey Lagerquist, Kari Johnson and Kaitlyn Johnson finished first in the 800 relay (1:51.34). Kayla Lockard clinched first in the pole vault (8 feet even).
“We had a lot of PRs, and kids jumping into different events to help us win the meet,” said head coach Dave Hajek. “Once again, it proves we have great kids at Washougal.”
Washougal and Camas look forward to competing alongside the best high schools in Clark County at the annual John Ingram Twilight track and field meet Friday, April 15, at Columbia River High School in Vancouver.
Hajek said the success of the meet as a tribute to the hardworking athletes across the county.
“You always want to see the sport you are involved in progress throughout the community,” he said. “We would love to see somebody from this area win a state title, no matter what size of the school.”