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Clinton, Powers, Venema each notch victories for Bickleton Pirates at Toppenish High invite

TOPPENISH - Sophomore Willie McGuire was in on half of the eight first-place finishes the 2A Selah Vikings notched at last Friday's Top-Hi Track & Field Invitational.

But despite Selah winning 8 of the 17 boys events, the 1B Bickleton Pirates made their presence felt at the six-school, non-scoring meet. That was chiefly due to the efforts of Peter Clinton, Mitchell Powers and Nic Venema, each of whom recorded a victory of their own.

Clinton, a junior, picked up his win in the boys 800m run. Competing against a field of 11 runners, the race eventually came down to him and Riverside Christian's Marshall Travis. In the end, Clinton burst across the finish line just a whisker ahead of Travis, less than seven-tenths of a second to be exact, to claim the nip-and-tuck affair. Officially, Clinton's winning time was a clocking of 2:12.63, compared to the 2:13.30 time posted by Travis.

Clinton also gave a good accounting of himself in the boys pole vault, finishing third with a vault of nine feet, six inches, half a foot higher than the fourth-place leap of teammate Justin Roberts (9-0). The winner of the pole vault, another Bickleton athlete, proved to be Venema, who was heads-and-shoulders above everyone else with his vault of 11-0. The closest anyone in the nine-vaulter field came to him was Selah's Tim Rice, who cleared the bar at 10-0.

The one other event the senior Venema found success in was the boys 110-meter hurdles. He clocked the fourth fastest time from the nine-runner field (19.25). The first and second-place hurdlers, Davis High School teammates Kyler Roberts and Ryan Socha, sped to clockings of 17.09 and 17.10, respectively.

Powers got the Bickleton boys their third win on the day, that coming in the high jump. His leap of 5-6 was two inches better than the runner-up jump of Selah's Hunter Hanratty.

Powers and Roberts also managed third and fourth-place performances for the Pirates in the triple jump. Roberts had the third best triple jump on the day (34-10), with Powers placing fourth (34-4). Toppenish junior Daniel Suarez won with a leap of 38-2.

Selah's McGuire proved his mettle at Friday's invite, picking up two victories on his own and getting in on two others by way of the relay competitions. The speedster won both the 100 and 200-meter dashes in times of 12.31 and 25.09. He also was a member of Selah's winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay squads.

Selah's four other victories came in the shot put (Steven Macias: 39-3), discus (Brandon Bertelsen: 115-1), javelin (Drew Carney: 131-3) and 400m run (Kyle Ditter: 56.14).

The Bickleton boys track and field squad's next scheduled competition is the Sunnyside JV invite this coming Friday. The Pirates are then scheduled to compete the following day at the Prosser Rotary Invitational.

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