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Beavers' short relay is closing gap on Crusaders


by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton's Stephen Marcille and Ross Hoffman helped the Beavers 4x100 relay beat Westview on April 23. The Beavers short relay has the second best time in Metro.

The disparity separating Beaverton and Jesuit’s short relay teams is dwindling by the week on account of two Beaver sprinters — one an established standout, the other a bold, dangerous freshman — both of whom have the breakaway ability to make the Crusaders uncomfortable come district.

Senior Ross Hoffman and freshman Anthony Albright each had integral roles in Beaverton pulling away from Westview in the 4x100 relay on April 23, and both could have a greater impact on the district landscape down the road. Albright — running in place of Jadden Lake-King who’s focusing on the long and high jumps — sprinted a splitting second leg of the relay after Chidubem Nnoli gave Beavers an early lead, giving Stephen Marcille plenty of time to get around the corner and hand the baton to Hoffman.

Given a bit of a head start, Hoffman got on his horse and hoofed it home for the 44.35 victory in driving rain and sidewinds pummeling “The Dam” — Beaverton’s home track.

A self-described “top-speed guy,” who has big strides and tries to keep those steps short and quick, Hoffman let his legs uncoil until they reached max imum speed midway down the track. In addition to anchoring the winning relay, Hoffman (11.62) outleaned Albright (11.63) at the tape in the 100-meter dash to take first overall.

“That’s just my natural running, I’ve always been able to do that,” said Hoffman. “In the 100 I’m usually one of the last guys out (of the blocks), but I get them at the end. This is my fourth year, so it’s easier to stay relaxed. It just feels natural. I know there’s a guy right behind, so I just have to outrun ‘em.”

During the Beavers’ dual meet with the Crusaders, Hoffman and his Beaverton mates actually beat Jesuit, though a faulty handoff was much to blame for the Crusaders’ defeat.

Still, with the addition of the blinding fast Albright to match up with Jesuit’s Julian Body (currently Metro’s fastest man in the 100), and Marcille and Nnoli dropping precious hundreths of seconds to run beside Carlos Coleman and Tanner Tropio, Hoffman is confident in Beaverton’s chances, especially when the temperatures start to rise.

Hoffman — a member of the Beavers’ short relay that qualified for state last year — said Beaverton’s untapped potential is such, that barring injury or unexpected calamity on the track, the Beavers could baffle Metro and ambush Jesuit’s party.

“I feel like if things keep going right, I think we have the chance to beat Jesuit,” said Hoffman. “(Jesuit) is a really good, strong team. But, the way our team is coming along with every guy dropping time and the handoffs getting smoother, Jesuit’s got it coming. I like racing them. It’s fun.”

The Beavers’ best time this season is 43.68, though in last week’s rainy conditions, the focus was on not dropping the stick, and ensuring the win over the Wildcats.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview sophmore Zachary McNaulty and senior Glen Anderson finished first and second in the 1,500.

“The team’s starting to come together, and I like it,” said Hoffman. “Everything felt good today. The handoffs were on point. It’s a solid four legs. When we face Jesuit, it’s going to come down to who’s faster, who works harder and who has more speed, It’s just fun to put it all on the track, not just talking.”

Albright was literally a last-second insertion to the relay, as the freshman barely had time to stretch or tie his shoes before Nnoli yelled “stick” to transfer the baton.

“I got really nervous,” said Albright. “Going against varsity guys, I think I’m going to come in last because they know what they’re doing and I barely started. But, it went alright. It wasn’t my fastest race, but we got the win.”

Hoffman said it takes awhile to get into “running shape” and handle a full load of taxing workouts in the track and in the weight room. The senior wants his seasonal best 11.47 in the 100 to come down, and expects it should once the Beavers taper off their training and start prepping for the postseason.

“It’s not as fast I want it to be, but it’s consistent,” said Hoffman. “I know every week that I’m going to put out a good time, it’s just not getting down as low as I want yet. I want to get down to 11 (seconds) by the end of the season.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton freshman Anthony Albright won the 100-meter dash in 11.63 against Westview on April 23. Albright also helped the Beavers 4x100 relay prevail.

Albright is a 14-year-old brute ball of muscle booming down the track, a running back on the Beaver football team who scored six touchdowns a game on the freshman team and placed was on Beaverton’s playoff roster by head coach Bob Boyer. The rookie’s personal best 11.32 in the 100 is just .02 away from Body, though Albright has already set his sights on rarified air, and on a certain local legend who has Olympic speed and an NFL future.

“My goal is to be faster than Thomas Tyner was,” said Albright. “I’m trying to get down to the 10’s (seconds) and keep them at 10’s for now. That comes with hard work. I can’t be slacking. I want to be the best, so I have to train harder than everyone else.”

Albright works out daily with his dad, Nathanial who played football and ran track for Colorado State University back in the 1990’s. Albright’s torrid velocity was toned using resistant parachutes that are tied to the Beaver’s back and pulled in order to build lower body strength and endurance.

“He’s got me sweating a lot,” said Albright with a laugh. “Even when it’s raining hard, we’re out here. That’s really changed my attitude. I want to get better, so I have to come out in the rain and do this. To be better than everyone else, I have to work harder.”

Beaverton’s Jan Droste won the 110-meter hurdles in 16.52 and took second in the 300-meter hurdles behind Jacob Anderson. Jeremy Sears (120-03) won the discus, and Chris Sigler won the javelin (139-06). Lake-King (6-00) beat Droste in the high jump, and took first in the long jump (22-01). Westview’s Nikhil Anand took the 800 (2:02). Wildcat sophomore Zachary McNulty (4:19) beat senior teammate Glen Anderson in the 1,500, though Anderson took first in the 3,000 (9:29). Junior Tristan Carroll won the shot put (47-06), and Austin Kwong cleared 12-06 in the pole vault for first place.