Tim Martinez: River set to host two big events

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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Columbia River High School will host a pair of high profile prep events this week, one that will draw just about every team in Clark County and one that used to do just that.

River will host the Chieftain Invitational girls golf tournament on Thursday at Lewis River Golf Course in Woodland. It is the first of two 18-hole tournaments in the area for high school girls golfers.

For Class 3A golfers in the region, this tournament is of particular interest. It gives golfers an opportunity to play an 18-hole tournament round on the course that will host the Class 3A girls state tournament next month. Almost every girls golf program in the area is scheduled to compete in the Chieftain Invitational.

Southwest Washington will host four golf state tournaments this spring — Club Green Meadows in Vancouver (4A girls), Lewis River (3A girls), Camas Meadows in Camas (4A boys) and Tri-Mountain in Ridgefield (3A boys). It also the first time in several years that all state golf tournaments will be held west of the Cascades — the 2A boys event will be at Chambers Bay near Tacoma, 2A girls at The Classic in Spanaway, both 1A events will be at Lake Spanaway in Spanaway and the 2B/1B events will be at Oakbrook in Lakewood.

For Columbia River's Chloe Bartek, a two-time Columbian All-Region girls golfer of the year, Thursday's tournament figures to provide a bit of a state preview. Bartek placed seventh at the 3A state tournament last year.

Lewis River is also the site of the 4A and 3A district tournaments in May.

The other big event for River this week is the John Ingram Twilight track and field meet on Friday at Columbia River.

This event used to be called the John Ingram Clark County Twilight Meet as most schools in the county would send athletes to compete in the event.

But with most county teams choosing to participate in the season-opening Tiger Invitational in Battle Ground last month, several teams are using this weekend to seek out other competition.

Battle Ground will compete in the Canby (Ore.) Invitational; Evergreen will go to the Lower Columbia Invitational in St. Helens, Ore.; Heritage will go to the Barlow Relays in Gresham, Ore.; Mountain View and Union are slated to go the Willamette Falls Invitational in Oregon City; and Washougal, King's Way Christian, La Center, Stevenson and Woodland will go to the Al McKee Invitational in Stevenson.

But Camas, Skyview, Fort Vancouver, Hudson's Bay, Prairie, Hockinson, Ridgefield are expected to compete in the Twilight meet. La Center and Woodland expect to send athletes to both the Twilight and McKee meets.

Other sports

With spring break over, most teams will return to their regular season schedules.

In baseball and soccer, the 4A, 3A and 2A Greater St. Helens Leagues return to league action with a full slate of games this week, as well as the 1A Trico.

If you're looking for softball league action, you'll have to wait for next week for league games in the 4A and 3A GSHL. The 2A GSHL will open league play on Wednesday. The 1A Trico opened league before the break and will resume play this week.

There are no league dual meets in 4A, 3A or 2A GSHL track and field this week.

The 4A and 3A GSHL return to league matches in girls tennis, but with only league matches on Tuesday. The same is true for golf teams — Tuesday only for league matches — as most team will be playing in the Chieftain Invitational on Thursday.

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