Martinez: High school sports spring back into action

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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The high school spring sports season heats up — figuratively and, we hope, literally — again this week with three prime events in track and field, girls tennis and girls golf.

These three events used to be prime events that would draw teams from just about every Clark County school and then some. But now only one can say it accomplishes that.

We’ll start with the John Ingram Twilight Invitational at Columbia River.

In past years, this meet drew competitors from across the county. But with most county schools competing in the season-opening Tiger Invitational in Battle Ground just a couple of weeks ago, several teams have decided to go elsewhere this week.

Evergreen will compete in the Lower Columbia Invitational in St. Helens, Ore. Heritage and Mountain View are going to the Aloha (Ore.) Relays on Friday. Battle Ground and Union will compete in the Willamette Falls Invitational in Oregon City, Ore., on Saturday. Washougal, La Center, King’s Way Christian and Seton Catholic will head to Stevenson for the Al McKee Invitational on Saturday.

And Heritage javelin thrower Sean Keller is expected to compete at the Pasco Invitational on Saturday.

But that still leaves athletes from Skyview, Camas, Columbia River, Fort Vancouver, Hudson’s Bay, Kelso, Prairie, Hockinson, Mark Morris, R.A. Long, Woodland and Ridgefield slated to compete at the Twilight meet at River on Friday night.

Similarly, the Mountain View Invitational girls tennis tournament used to bring together all of the best tennis players in the region, serving as a preview to potential district matchups next month.

But this year, only Skyview, Columbia River and Prairie included the tournament on their tennis schedules. The tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

One event that is on every team’s schedule this week is the Chieftain Invitational girls golf tournament on Thursday at Lewis River Golf Course in Woodland.

Battle Ground, Evergreen, Heritage, Skyview, Union, Camas, Columbia River, Fort Vancouver, Hudson’s Bay, Kelso, Mountain View, Prairie, Hockinson and Washougal are all scheduled to compete.

Daily highlights

The schedule is full this week of baseball, softball and boys soccer events as well. Tuesday’s slate is particularly heavy.

On any day when the weather allows for more than just a few events, The Columbian will run a highlights package on its high school sports blog at www.360preps.com.

Athletes of the week

Be sure to check out The Columbian’s prep sports Facebook page at www.facebook.com/360preps for candidates for athlete of the week.

With the light spring break schedule, nominees this week are based off their performances from March 26 to April 7.

Voting begins today and continues through Thursday.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or email at tim.martinez@columbian.com