The Tiger boys outgun McMinnville to win the district title and will send a strong contingent to this weekend's state meet

For most of the senior class on the Newberg boys track and field team, the Pacific Conference district track meet Thursday and Friday at Loren Douglas Field was a chance to leave high school they way they entered it, as champions.

Building on their 7-0 dual meet record, the Tigers held off McMinnville 138 to 132.5 to win their first district title since 2011, when the current seniors were SETH GORDON - Total focus - Newberg senior Andy Tautfest duels with McMinnville's Tanner Scanlon en route to a second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles Friday at the Pacific Conference track and field championships at Newberg High School. Tautfest also qualified for the state meet by placing second in the 110 hurdles, as the Tigers won the boys event with 138.5 points.

“Our group of seniors this year has been looking forward to this moment since our first year together,” Trevor Danielson said. “Ever since our last district title we’ve looked forward to getting back to that same moment. It’s great. It’s amazing.”

Danielson had to scramble to win his signature event, not registering his winning throw of 183-9 until the finals after slipping twice in preliminaries.

Jacoby Wolfe had one of the most dramatic and surprising victories, winning the high jump with a personal-best mark of 6-3. In span of eight days, the senior, who only came out for track as a junior, has increased his personal best three inches.

“I had to do a couple run-throughs because I was kind of worried, but I felt the wind on my back, so I just went,” Wolfe said.

Senior Jack Kerwin, who was bumped down to third in the final round of his best event, the long jump, earned a measure of redemption after setting a new PR by nearly two feet to win the triple jump (41-8.5).

Zane Burgess, also a senior, has been chasing former teammate Jacob Petrie’s school record in the 110 hurdles for two years now, but had to settle for a district championship after winning with a time of 14.80. Teammate Andy Tautfest came from behind to place second (15.40) and will also compete at state in the 300 hurdles (40.26) after finishing runner up in that event as well.

The meet was a fitting send off for longtime Newberg head coach and current volunteer assistant Monte Bradley, who not only had a district champion in Wolfe, but got the 1-2 finish from his seniors in the 110 hurdles.

“That’s what (coach) Bradley was saying all year,” Tautfest said. “I was okay with that, but I didn’t know it would actually come true. It’s an awesome feeling.”

During the meet, his name was listed as the home team, with 48 points in lights below representing the number of years he’s been a coach, while retiring Tualatin head coach Paul Zitzelberger’s name and 38 points was listed on the visitors’ side.

Rounding out Newberg’s win was one of the Tigers’ future leaders, sophomore Colin Hyatt, who followed up his third-place showing in the 100 by winning the 200 (22.95).

Hyatt also ran a leg on Newberg’s runner-up 4x100 relay team, which crossed in 43.92 seconds to earn a bid to the state meet Friday and Saturday in Eugene, as did Daniel Harper, who was second in the 800 (1:57.86).

The only thing that seemed to go wrong for the Tigers was the 400, in which senior Jonathan Bos, who was second in 6A in the event last year, pulled up midway through the race due to a hamstring injury that has plagued his senior campaign.

“With all the work that he helped me do personally, I wouldn’t be here without him,” Tautfest said. “It was very heartbreaking for me to see him end the way he did.”

With Bos out and the meet result already secured, Newberg chose not to enter a team in the meet-ending 4 x 400 relay.

NHS girls finish fifth

Junior Paityn Peterson picked up the only Newberg win in the girls competition, leading the javelin with a throw of 127-10, as the Tigers compiled 73 points to finish fifth, well behind winner Hillsboro (124).

Peterson’s throw put her 11 feet ahead of her sister, freshman Natalie, who finished third, but she won’t be the only Tiger competing at the state meet, as freshman Emma Burridge cleared 5-1 to take second in the high jump.

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