Things get better for Ridgefield's Page at 2A track meet

Sophomore qualifies for state in 100, 200 meters

By Candace Buckner, Columbian staff writer

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WASHOUGAL -- Ridgefield sophomore Raigan Page did not start the Class 2A district meet as well as she expected. However, as the races picked up on Friday afternoon, Page and her Ridgefield relay teammates earned high honors.

Page anchored the victorious 400-meter relay, overtaking a River Ridge runner in the backstretch so that Ridgefield could win in 51.16 seconds.

Page also stood out as an individual with second and third-place finishes in the 100 and 200 meters, respectively. After running to a time of 13.01 seconds in the 100, Page declared that her day was going "better."

The redemptive performances came after the Ridgefield girls could not qualify for the state meet in the 800 relay. The relay -- that also features sophomores Cami Pickett, Julia Benville and Kaylene Brink -- placed fourth and out of contention to qualify for the Washington Class 2A state track and field meet next week in Tacoma.

"I was so mad about the (relay)," Brink said. "I just felt like everybody else came to run and we were not ready."

After the finish, Pickett and Benville said that they worked on their handoffs while Page stepped away from the disappointment.

"I think we just kind of shook the last one off," Page said.The girls -- who say they have known each other since first grade -- showed just how much they had recovered. After the 400-meter win, they set their sights on achieving one of their middle-school feats: setting a school record.

Greear beats nerves

Washougal junior Michelle Greear could not concentrate in history class on Friday.

"I was nervous all day," Greear admitted. "I was shaking."

Greear knew her problems stemmed from the district competition and her role as the leadoff performer in the shot put and discus events. But through her nerves, Greear won the discus with a throw of 109 feet and 3/4 inches, and she also placed third in the shot put.

"I was just excited to throw," Greear said. "(I thought) I'm going to come out on my home turf and show these people what I could do."

For the first time in her high school career, Greear will compete in two events at state. Though the stage will be greater than her Washougal "home turf," Greear does not expect those panicky feelings to overcome her.

"I will be nervous, but more excited," she said. "I'm going to compete but I'm going to have fun, too."Teammate Morgan Rodgers also qualified for state with a third-place discus throw of 99-3.

Eustis places high in 1,600 and 3,200

Another Washougal athlete performed well at Fishback Stadium.

Senior Sean Eustis placed second in the 3,200 meters and third in the 1,600.

Though Eustis had set a home meet record (4:20) in the 1,600 several weeks ago, his pace slowed to 4:22.15 as W.F. West's Dallas Snider overtook him two laps into the run.

However in the 3,200, Eustis kicked out of third place for a runner-up finish.

"My coach said if you don't want to run the (1,600) relay, then you have to go hard on this (event)," Eustis said, explaining his motivation. Other Washougal state qualifiers include hurdler Joe Harris (second place in the 110) and Austin Tofell who placed third in the javelin with a throw of 150-2.

Hockinson's Klodt wins high jump

Jack Klodt of Hockinson cleared the high-jump bar at 6-2 for the district championship. Teammate Preston Martin (5-11) finished third and also qualified for state.

Also from Hockinson, Hayden Stults placed third in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 41.74 while Nick Barclay finished second in the 400-meter dash in 51.18.