By Gini Davis
Sean Kounovsky won his event and Zach Bellew set a new school record as top track and field athletes representing 50 1A through 4A schools competed at the storied annual Meet of Champions, held on Saturday, April 12 at Willamette University in Salem.
Seven Creswell High School Bulldogs – five boys and two girls – were among the 3A athletes competing. Other 3A schools represented were Amity, Blanchet Catholic, Catlin Gabel, Colton, Dayton, Gervais, Jefferson, Oregon Episcopal, Pleasant Hill, Riverside, Salem Academy, Santiam Christian, Scio, Sheridan, Valley Catholic, Warrenton, Westside Christian, Willamina and Tillamook.
Kounovsky, a junior, gave the Bulldogs their only victory of the meet, winning the 300-meter hurdles in 40.65a.
Although he placed second in the boys’ 3,000 meters with a time of 8:50.35a, Bellew, a senior, set a new school record doing it, shattering the old record of 8:55. Bellew also placed third in the 1,500 meters in 4:12.08a. Colby Hanson, also a senior, placed fourth in the 800 meters in 2:02.93a and sixth in the 1,500 in 4:16.75a.
The boys’ 4×400-meter relay team of Ryan Bates, Andrew Tidwell, Kounovsky and Hanson placed fifth in 3:39.02a; Bates, a junior, finished 18th in 55.19a; and Tidwell, a sophomore, finished 24th in the 200 meters in 26.02a.
Olivia Powell, a junior, placed third in the girls’ 800 meters in 2:28.05a, and in the 1,500 meters in 4:54.46a. Her sister, freshman Hope Powell, placed third in the 3,000 meters in 11:09.79a.
The Bulldogs also hosted the Creswell Invitational on April 10, where the CHS boys placed first with 82 points while the girls placed fourth with 38 points.
Jesse Wittenborn won two events: the 1,500 meters in 4:39.68 and the 3,000 in 10:14.00. Kounovsky won the 200 meters in 23.88, and the 4×100-meter relay team of Seth Partin, Braden Seiber, Lance Campbell and Kounovsky won in 45.40.
The CHS boys also finished one-two-three in two events. In the 400 meters, Hanson won in 51.18, Bellew took second in 53.87 and Travis Gunn took third in 55.67. In the 800, Josh Fortner won in 2:09.66, Bates placed second in 2:10.66 and Tidwell took third in 2:16.48.
In other scoring finishes, Partin took second in the 100 in 11.91 and Tidwell was seventh in 12.25; Fortner placed second in the 1,500 in 4:46.69, Kounovsky took third in the 110-meter hurdles in 16.30, Seiber placed second in the long jump, at 19’7” and in the triple jump at 38’11”; Riley Langdon-Callahan was fourth in the 3,000 in 12:34.00 and Partin was sixth in the long jump at 18’2.5”.
Olivia Powell won the 400 in 1:00.90 for the CHS girls’ only win, while Hope Powell took second in 1:03.33.
In other scoring finishes, Nikki Boyer placed second in the triple jump at 25’7”; Reina Wrinkle-Ramirez took third in the javelin at 91’2” and Savannah Halvorson was fourth at 86’5”; the 4×100-meter relay team of Olivia Powell, Hope Powell, Corina Burnette and Jamie Fox placed third in 56.10.
Rebecca Bowers was fourth in the 800 in 2:49.82 and in the 1,500 in 6:12.16, while Wrinkle-Ramirez was sixth in the 1,500 in 6:28.03; Burnette was fourth in the 200 in 30.06 and sixth in the 100 in 14.60, and Halvorson was fourth in the shot put at 24’3” and sixth in the discus at 68’2”.
Santiam Christian placed second in boys’ team standings with 74 points, Harrisburg placed third with 64, and Lowell and Pleasant Hill tied for fourth with 56.
Pleasant Hill won the girls’ meet with 113 points, Lowell placed second with 66, Harrisburg placed third with 52, and Santiam Christian was fifth with 16.
This week, the Bulldogs travel to East Linn in Lebanon for another regular PacWest/District 3 meet.