Aiden Pullen is back on the right track.
After weeks of being sick, the Washougal High School senior won the 1,600- and 800-meter races at the Kalama Invitational Friday.
Pullen moved up from fifth place at the start of the last lap in the 1,600 to chasing down leader. He took first place around the final corner, held it down the homestretch and crossed the finish line in 4 minutes, 37.17 seconds.
“I’ll remember that good feeling,” Pullen said. “I’m back in the game now.”
A few hours later, Pullen clinched first place in the 800 with a personal best time of 2:03.6. Once again, the Panther took the lead on the last turn and sprinted to the finish line at full tilt.
“I surprise myself, sometimes,” Pullen said. “It’s been weeks since I felt this good. I’m not used to watching myself pull off that kind of finish.”
Justin Snodgrass proved he could be the fastest one around the bend in the 200 dash. The WHS senior grabbed the lead on the final straightaway and held on for the ride of his life.
“The whole last 100 meters, I thought someone was going to get me,” Snodgrass said. “On either side, I had great athletes chasing me. I was like, ‘Not today. I want to win so bad.'”
Pullen and Snodgrass’s performances helped the Panther boys finish in second place at the 16-team meet with 88 points. Evergreen High School, of Vancouver, won the Kalama Invitational with 98 points.
Nathan Tofell notched second place in the javelin for Washougal with a personal best throw of 163 feet. Jason Keyser claimed second place in the 3,200 with a personal best time of 10:34.86.
Kenny Kanthak, Ryan Davy, Kade Coons and Snodgrass took second place in the 400 relay (45.27). Kanthak also finished fourth in the 110 (16.8) and 300 (43.15) hurdles. Tanner Lees earned fourth place on the pole vault (12-0).
The Washougal girls track and field team settled for eighth place at the meet.
Bekah Shilling, Anna Kallie, Kiara Kalle and Hannah Swigert gained second place in the 800 relay (1:53.12). Anna Kallie also took third place in the 200 (27.61) and Swigert grabbed fourth place in the 3,200 (13:18.44). Kiersten DeLaRocha earned third place in the shot put (30-10) and fifth place in the discus (91-9).
The Panther Twilight takes place Friday, starting at 3:30 p.m., at Fishback Stadium.
“It’s the big home meet,” Snodgrass said. “Last one for the seniors. Just got to give it our all.”