The twilight experience

Panthers host their annual track gathering Friday

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Sean Eustis breaks away for the victory in the mile run for Washougal April 16, at Fishback Stadium. Eustis won this event at the Kalama Invitational Friday, by setting a new meet record time of 4 minutes, 24.7 seconds.

Sean Eustis led his teammates in a cheer for Boston at the start of Friday’s Kalama Invitational, and then set a meet record in the mile run.

The Washougal High School senior crossed the finish line in 4 minutes, 24.7 seconds. He completed the last lap in 59.6 seconds. Eustis also won the 2-mile run in 9:49.86.

“This has always been one of my favorite meets. I love running in the dark,” he said. “The Boston bombers were caught today. I’m always going to remember that, and knocking out that 4:24.”

Austin Tofell can throw a javelin pretty far in the dark. The senior won the event with a toss of 163 feet, 9 inches.

“It’s pretty crazy,” he said. “I’ve only been throwing the javelin for about two weeks.”

Tofell told his coaches he could throw a football about 70 yards. He also played baseball, before coming out for track and field this spring. Although the throwing feels natural to him, Tofell thanked coach Chris Martell and WHS graduate Brendan Casey for helping him learn the technique.

“The release is like throwing a football, but the motion is like throwing a baseball,” Tofell said. “I’m learning something new every time I throw it, and hopefully I improve.”

Adam Thomas soared to first place on the pole vault with a leap of 12 feet, 6 inches. Coach Craig Grable said Casey has been helping Thomas rise to new heights this spring. Casey won the 2A pole vault state championship in 2011.

Eustis, Tofell and Thomas pushed the Panther boys up to third place. Woodland won the 14-team meet with 92.5 points, R.A. Long had 92 points and Washougal followed with 75 points.

Brian Connolly flew to second place in the high jump (5-8). Joe Harris snatched second in the 110 hurdles (15.72), sixth in the discus (126-9) and seventh in the long jump (19-1.5).

The Washougal girls earned sixth place. Karina Miller clinched first place in the girls mile a personal best time of 5:38.28. Sydney Niemi snagged second place in the javelin with a personal best throw of 100 feet. Kaitlyn Johnson took third in the 100 (13.46) and the 200 (27.85), and fourth in the triple jump (32-2). Michelle Greear grabbed fourth in the shot put (32-5.5), Kari Johnson finished fourth in the long jump (14-10) and Meredith Collins claimed sixth in the 2-mile (13:11.22).

The Panther girls and boys both defeated R.A. Long in their first league meet of the season April 16, at Fishback Stadium.

Kaitlyn Johnson clinched first place in the 100 (13.22), 200 (29.11) and the triple jump (31-3.5). Kari Johnson, Rae Allen, Paige Roberts and Kaitlyn Johnson snagged first in the 800 relay (1:58). Miller claimed first place in the 1,600 (5:47.66) and the 3,200 (13:17). Kari Johnson finished first in the 100 (18.43) and 300 (54.76) hurdles. Greear grabbed first in the shot put (33-10), Morgan Rodgers earned first in the discus (97-2) and Mackenzie Pfeifer placed first in the javelin (119-5).

Eustis had an elite day on the track for the boys. He finished first in the 1,600 (4:53.64) and the 3,200 (10:58.7), and second in the 400 (55.77). Eustis also anchored Caleb Economidies, Randy Gubser and Josh Banks to victory in the 1,600 relay (3:46.98).

“Those guys gave me a good lead to work with,” Eustis said. “It all started with Caleb. You couldn’t tell that this was his first time running the event. He had such a great kick at the end of his leg.”

Banks outlasted R.A. Long’s Dustin Nading in an exciting 800. Banks took the lead in the final 200, but Nading caught up to him on the last 100. Banks had a little bit more energy left, and he crossed the finish line first in 2:10.89.

Harris won the 110 hurdles (15.37) and the triple jump (39-8). He also took second in the discus (135-5.5) and the long jump (19-9.5). Tofell, Gubser, Donald Holbert and Thomas grabbed first in the 400 relay (46.56). Tofell finished first in the javelin (165 feet) and Thomas snagged first on the pole vault (12-6). Connolly clinched first on the high jump (5-10). Economidies earned first in the 300 hurdles (47.46).

The Panther Twilight meet is Friday, at Fishback Stadium. Field events start at 3:30 p.m., and running events begin at 5.