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Bickleton tracksters notch five victories at West Valley meet

YAKIMA - Junior Jamie Venema secured three of the five victories Bickleton came away with at a 12-school track and field meet hosted by West Valley Tuesday afternoon.

Pirate teammates Lindsay Brown and Peter Clinton notched the two other wins for Bickleton.

Yesterday's non-scoring invite drew a 12-school field. The nine class 2A, 3A and 4A teams sent their junior varsity athletes to the meet. The three 1B teams...Bickleton, Thorp and Yakama Nation Tribal...used their varsity squads against the larger schools.

Venema claimed her three first-place finishes in the girls 300m hurdles, pole vault and triple jump.

In the longer of the two hurdles races, which drew just five girls, Venema clipped Colleen Gibbons of Walla Walla by a tenth of a second for top honors. Venema sped to the 300m hurdles victory in a time of 51.88 seconds.

The girls pole vault competition also featured just five athletes. Venema was by far and away the clear winner, soaring over the bar at a height of 8 feet, 6 inches. The four remaining vaulters all got over the bar when it was set at 6-0, but none of them were able to go higher.

Venema's third victory of the day came in the girls triple jump. Again, she was never seriously challenged, setting the winning mark of 32-1.5. Walla Walla freshman Emily Davis had the next best leap, an effort of 28-2.

Venema nearly claimed a fourth win Tuesday afternoon. Competing in the 100-meter dash, she raced to a 14.92 clocking, bested only by Thorp junior Katelyn Pendley, who crossed the finish line in 14.35 seconds.

The freshman Brown picked up her win for the Bickleton girls in the 100m hurdles. From a field of 19 speedsters, Brown raced to a clocking of 18.67 seconds, four-tenths of a second ahead of the runner-up, Ephrata junior Melissa Nelson.

Brown, at last Saturday's Prosser Invitational, set the Bickleton High School all-time record in the girls 100m hurdles with a clocking of 17.88 seconds.

Brown, too, yesterday scored a third-place finish for the Lady Pirates, that coming in the girls high jump with a performance of 4-4. The winning jump was 4-8, recorded by Walla Walla senior Chelsah Fulsom.

The only victory Bickleton managed in the boys events yesterday came from the junior Clinton. Competing in the pole vault, he didn't receive any real challenges. Clinton set the winning mark at 11-9, one foot and nine inches higher than the second-place vault of West Valley sophomore Taylor Alexander (10-0). Clinton's teammate, Justin Roberts, was third in the pole vault with an effort of 9-6.

Clinton's one other standout performance on Tuesday came in the boys 1600m race. He was third across the finish line from a field that went 28 deep, clocking a time of 5:00.10. Eisenhower sophomore Simon Verduzco won the mid-distance race in a time of 4:58.17.

Bickleton's boys also got a pair of second-place performances from senior Nic Venema and junior Mitchell Powers. In the 110m hurdles, Venema clocked a time of 18.85 seconds, the same clocking as the winner, Sowah Marley of Walla Walla. Powers' runner-up finish came in the boys high jump. He cleared the bar at 5-2. Only Victor Valdez of Toppenish went higher (5-4).

Bickleton's track and field team is next scheduled to compete at a meet in Condon, Ore. this coming Saturday.

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