Progress and pride propelled the Panther boys and girls track and field squads to first place at the 12-team Al McKee Invitational Saturday, at Stevenson High School.
“Anytime you have success, it breeds a little more confidence and a little more pride,” said head coach Dave Hajek. “Our girls and our boys expect to do well. When expectations are driven more by the athletes than the coaches, it’s fun to just sit back and watch them perform. I don’t feel like I have to say anything. They police themselves and they push themselves to get better.”
The Washougal boys racked up 166.5 points. Kalama was second with 149 points and all the other teams were under 100. The Panther girls edged La Center 113 to 112.5 for first place. The rest of the teams were under 100.
“The team as a whole felt really accomplished. We were excited that both the girls and boys won. That doesn’t always happen,” said senior Page Wade. “When I look back, I’ll remember how hard everybody worked and the looks on everyone’s faces when we found out the girls and boys both won. That will be a good memory to look back on.”
Washougal had several standout performances on the track and in the field. Sean Eustis tripled his effort, running the 1,600, 800 and the 3,200. He won the mile with a personal best time of 4 minutes, 32.05 seconds, and then finished first in the 800 in 2:09.46. Eustis still had enough in the tank to take fourth place in the 2-mile with a time of 10:14.46.
Isaac Bischoff tossed the discus a personal best 137 feet to win the event. He also took first in the shot put with a throw of 42-10. Joe Harris grabbed second in the discus (133 feet), high jump (5-6) and the 110 hurdles (15.77). He also finished fourth in the triple jump (38-9).
“Joe and I have a lot of fun competing against each other. I throw better than him, but he likes to think he throws better,” Bischoff said. “It felt really nice to hit a big PR in the discus. It makes me feel like I can go to state this year, if I continue throwing well.”
Randy Gubser, Karsten Short, Michael Stainbrook and Josh Vergera captured first in the 400 relay (46.71). Short also earned second in the 200 (24,32), third in the 100 (11.93) and fourth in the long jump (19-0.5). Nathan Milojevic (11-6) and Adam Thomas (11 feet) notched second and fourth on the pole vault. Isaac Stinchfield took third in the 3,200 (10:07.49) and fourth in the 1,600 (4:37.77). Kaidyn Campbell claimed third in the long jump (19-1.5) and Stainbrook took fourth in the 400 (55.72).
Katie Wright clinched first in the high jump (5 feet) and third in the long jump (16 feet). Wright, Kristen Graham, Serene Dunn and Maddie Braun won the 400 relay (55.34). Wade won the pole vault with a personal best leap of 8-3.
Michelle Greear grabbed second in the discus (96 feet) and the shot put (32-7). Braun, Mackenzie Kitchen, Graham and Kelsey Lagerquist placed second in the 800 relay (1:58.48). Lagerquist also took second in the 100 (13.56). Braun (1:08.4) and Kitchen (1:08.79) finished third and fourth in the 400.
Washougal hosts Seton Catholic and Vancouver Christian Wednesday before going to the Kalama Invitational Friday. Both meets start at 3:30 p.m.