Tim Martinez: High school schedule gets heavy before break

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

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This week is the last before spring break, when most prep teams in Clark County take a hiatus.

Class 4A and 3A Greater St. Helens League baseball teams each have three scheduled league games, and the weather looks like it might allow them to play all of those games and maybe a make-up game.

The 2A GSHL will kick off its baseball schedule this week, as will 4A, 3A and 2A GSHL boys soccer teams.

But before we look ahead to the events on the schedule, it's always best to look back at the highlights of last week.

TRACK AND FIELD: The Tiger Invitational in Battle Ground is evolving into the spring version of the Hudson's Bay Run-A-Ree, even though it doesn't nearly have as much history.

But the Tiger Invite does pull together most every high school track program in the county and gives athletes, coaches and fans an early barometer on how the season is going to shape up.

Skyview's Colby Gilbert looks better than midseason form in winning the boys 3,200 meters by 40 seconds. His winning time of 9 minutes, 4.30 seconds is the best time run in the state for any classification, according to athletic.net. By comparison, when he placed 15th at the 4A state meet in the event last year, he ran 9:39.08.

Skyview's Kevin Washington won the 200 in 22.35, which is third in the state. Prairie's Jacob Austin (22.50) ranks fifth.

After watching Sean Keller regularly throw the javelin more than 200 feet the last couple of years, it's easy to overlook Jabari Marshall's winning mark of 170-1, which ranks fifth in the state this season.

Grayson Anderson, who placed third in the high jump for Mountain View at the 3A state meet by clearing 6-6 last year, cleared 6-4 on Saturday.

On the girls side, Alexa Efraimson's 800 time of 2:13.63 is a state-best time and ranks sixth in the nation.

Class 4A GSHL teams will hold league duals on Thursday this week, while 3A and 2A teams will compete on Tuesday.

BASEBALL: Heritage opened league with two solid wins, but the Timberwolves face big tests this week at Union on Monday, home against Camas on Wednesday and at Skyview on Friday.

In the 3A GSHL, there could be an early showdown on Friday when Columbia River plays at Mountain View. And the 2A GSHL opens league play on Monday.

SOFTBALL: The 3A GSHL wasn't slated to open until after spring break. But a scheduling glitch has led to teams trying to move their league finale up in the schedule and get it played before spring break. Prairie and Columbia River got in their game last week. Kelso-Hudson's Bay and Fort Vancouver-Mountain View will look to do the same this week.

BOYS SOCCER: League play opens Tuesday for the 4A, 3A and 2A GSHLs.

Defending 4A state champion Skyview travels to play Camas in an intriguing league opener in the 4A GSHL. Camas is moving up from the 3A ranks this season.

Mountain View, a 3A semifinalist last year, opens against Columbia River at Kiggins Bowl.

Ridgefield, which went 3-2-1 in a tough stretch of non-league matches that included losses to 4A teams Skyview and Battle Ground and a tie with 3A Mountain View, gets a good test in its first 2A GSHL match when the Spudders host Hockinson.

Erik Powell, who scored 13 of Seton Catholic's 13 goals in the Cougars' first four matches, accounted for two goals in Seton's 5-0 win over Castle Rock on Thursday. Josh Balsiger had two goals and Josh Polen added the other. More importantly, Seton improved to 4-0 in the 1A Trico League with all four wins being shutouts. Seton will host King's Way Christian on Monday in Camas before traveling to White Salmon for a big league test on Wednesday.

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.