6A track — The senior drops two seconds from his personal best to set new NHS mark at 1:56.23

HILLSBORO — Every time Newberg’s Dan Harper looked up at the clock during his 800-meter race at Glencoe April 16, he felt pretty good.

That was true after going out the first 200 in about 26 seconds and even after finishing his first 400 in 56 seconds.

“I just tried to keep up the pace, even though you can’t really keep up the pace in the second lap of the 800,” he said. “With about 300 left, I wasn’t feeling that bad, so I just decided to go as much as I could.”

Originally shooting to set a new personal best and qualify for the night heat at Saturday’s Centennial Invitational, Harper did more than that, coming in at 1:56.23 to set a new school record in the event.

“The impressive thing about it is those records usually go down in big meets where there are a lot of people around, you’re either chasing somebody or somebody is chasing you,” Ramey said. “But he was all by himself for quite a while, so the cool thing is it seems there’s more to be had.”

Harper’s effort was part of a dominating 111-33 win for the boys team, while the girls squad picked up their first league victory of the season 75-70.

Newberg won 14 events in the boys meet, including both relays, and recorded 1-2-3 finishes in the 400, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, discus and triple jump.

Winning multiple events for the Tigers were Jack Kerwin in the long jump (19-8) and triple jump (38-8) and Colin Hyatt in the 100 (11.53) and 200 (23.63).

In the field, Brandon Zimmerman won the discus (117-11), Hap Frketich was best in the javelin (161-7), Jacoby Wolfe took first in the high jump (5-8) and Dane Jensen had a breakout performance in the shot put, throwing 45-6.5 to place second by 6.5 inches.

Newberg’s other winners on the track were Jonathan Bos in the 400 (55.67), Quentin Read in the 3,000, Zane Burgess in the 110 hurdles (15.05) and Andy Tautfest in the 300 hurdles.

Before the meet, head coach Brandon Ramey said he felt the girls meet would come down to wire and it was an unexpected third-place showing by Monica Kelly in the triple jump (31-2) and a win by the 4 x 400 relay team (4:16.28) that sealed the deal.

“The girls did everything they had to do to get points and then they overachieved in a few different events to win the meet,” Ramey said. “I was really proud of the way the girls competed. To their credit, the two meets they’ve lost were to McMinnville and Hillsboro, which might be the two best teams in our league this year.”

Ramey has been pleasantly surprised by some of his freshmen and their contributions were key against the Crimson Tide.

Madison Hergert (27.24) and Madeline Whalen (27.71) went 1-2 in the 200 meters, with Whalen also capturing the 400 (1:03.58) and Hergert taking second in the 100 (13.54). The duo also ran on the winning 4 x 100 relay team (51.71) with seniors Hannah Green and Maya Adams.

Fellow freshman Grace Hanna won the 3,000 in 11:26.34, while first-year performer Natalie Peterson was second in both the 300 hurdles (52.09) and the javelin (113-11).

Also winning events for the Tigers were Kyle Thomas in the long jump (15-9.5), Emma Burridge in the high jump (4-10) and Savannah Stanton in the 1,500 (5:05.97).

“By the end of the season we’ll be where we need to be to put some points up at the district meet on the girls side and then have a bright future coming up next year,” Ramey said.

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