Passing the torch

Washougal track tradition lives on through alumni

College spring break gave former Washougal High School track and field athletes an opportunity to see the new Panthers in action at Fishback Stadium Thursday.

Sean Eustis, Kaitlyn and Kari Johnson, Thomas Normandeau, Mackenzie Pfeifer, Jordin Seekins and Adam Thomas, Kelley Young coached, scored events and cheered.

Their presence inspired Washougal to sweep Hudson’s Bay. The girls won 96-49 and the boys gained a 92-52 victory.

“To have all of this alumni show up and help means a lot to me and the rest of the coaches and parents who have been running these meets for years,” said head coach Dave Hajek. “To them, Washougal track and field means something.”

The Panthers of today saw this movement from the alumni as a passing of the torch.

Matt Rotundo earned personal bests in the triple jump, long jump and the 110-meter hurdles. He cleared the hurdles in 17.54 seconds and leaped 18 feet, 8.5 inches in the long jump. Rotundo saved his best for last. He triple jumped 42.25 feet to win the event and surpass his previous mark by two feet.

“That’s something I’ve been wanting to hear since last year,” Rotundo said. “I need a couple more feet to get to state. Ever since I was a freshman, I’ve wanted to get there and compete against people who are better than me. This is a good start.”

Several Panthers set personal records Thursday. Christian Mishler won the 300 hurdles in 45.75 seconds. Josh Bischoff finished first in the shot put (47-11.75) and discus (127-8). Aubrey Kraft earned second place in the shot put (46-9.75) and discus (118-5). Hannah Lintala took first place in the 3,200 (14:02.06) and second place in the 1,600 (6:07.49). Stacy Cuff snagged first place in the long jump (13-8.5) and the triple jump (27-6). Laura Dills claimed first in the 100 hurdles (20.14).

Morgan Rodgers grabbed first place in the girls shot put (31-7.75) and discus (98 feet). Karina Miller clinched first place in the 800 (2:46.99), Courtney Owens notched first in the 1,600 (5:41.1), Christina Murray soared to first in the pole vault (9 feet), Anna Sharp earned first in the javelin (98-2) and Corinne Clark took first in the 300 hurdles (1:03.81).

Aiden Pullen placed first in the boys 1,600 (4:52.8), Tanner Lees earned first in the 3,200 (12:02.67), Max Churchman clinched first in the 800 (2:20.44), Evan Hoff finished first in the 400 (1:01.24) and Justin Snodgrass grabbed first in the 200 (24.78). Nathan Tofell notched first in the javelin (122-11).

Washougal had some strong individual performances at the Tiger Invitational Saturday, in Battle Ground. Sharp snatched second place in the girls javelin (114-10). Owens earned fifth place in the 3,200 with a personal best time of 12:24.59.

Kraft took third place in the discus with a personal best throw of 146-6. He also finished fourth in the shot put (45-8.5). Bischoff grabbed fourth in the discus (131-8) and sixth in the shot put (44-7.75). Jacob Bowen notched fifth in the pole vault (11-6) and Rotundo took fifth in the triple jump (41-8.75).

The Panther track and field teams compete at Ridgefield Thursday. Events start at 3:30 p.m.