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BHS Pirates dominate six-school invitational

GLENWOOD - A total of 14 first-place finishes, seven each on both the boys and girls side, left Bickleton standing tall at the conclusion of last Friday's Jeff Agar Track & Field Classic.

Staged at Eldred Field in Glenwood, on a rather cold and somewhat breezy day, the invite drew a total of six schools.

In the boys events, Bickleton senior Nic Venema was in on four of the seven victories the Pirates came away with.

His sister, junior Jamie Venema, walked off with four wins of her own in the girls events.

Team-wise, meet officials didn't release any point totals. The Pirates, however, were the class of the field.

The senior Nic Venema notched three wins by himself - in the two hurdles races and in the pole vault - and ran the second leg of the winning 4x100 relay squad.

In the shorter of the two hurdles races, the 110-meter sprint, Venema cleared the barriers and hit the tape in 16.79 seconds. He ran a clocking of 47.90 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles. In the boys pole vault, which drew eight athletes, Venema went six inches higher than teammate Peter Clinton for top honors. Venema's winning vault was 12 feet-even, the runner-up Clinton cleared the bar at 11-6.

In the boys 4x100 relay, Bickleton came out on top in the three-horse race. Venema, along with Clinton, Justin Roberts and Taylor Brown, sped to a clocking of 49.04 seconds. A squad from Lyle placed second, about eight-tenths of a second back at 49.85. The one other team in the race, Trout Lake/Glenwood, was disqualified.

Bickleton Coach Darrell Lang said his 4x100 relay squad showed good form, "...but needs to smooth out some handoffs."

The Bickleton boys' three other victories last Friday came from Clinton, Joshua Cummings and Mitchell Powers.

Clinton won the 1600m race, less than half a second quicker than second-place finishing Alex King of Trout Lake/Glenwood. Clinton, a junior, clocked the winning time from the seven-runner field of 4:56.82. King's time was 4:57.27.

Lang said Clinton had a great duel with his rival, King.

Cummings, also a junior, notched his victory for Bickleton in the boys 3200m race. Only he and teammate Joey Cardenas, a freshman, competed in the long-distance event. Cummings' time was 13:07.30. The underclassman Cardenas had a clocking of 13:35.41.

Powers, likewise a junior, picked up his win for the Pirates in the boys high jump. He bested the runner-up, Klickitat sophomore Tim Lambert, by two inches with a first-place, and personal best leap of 5-8.

"He's headed to 5-10 very soon," said Lang.

Powers also managed a second-place finish, that coming in the triple jump with an effort of 32-11, about five and a half feet back of the winning leap.

The one other runner-up performance Bickleton's boys gleaned on the day came in the 800m run. Clinton was second, with a clocking of 2:25.77. Trout Lake/Glenwood's King won in a time of 2:22.03.

In the girls events last Friday, the junior Venema was victorious in the 200-meter dash, the pole vault, the long jump and the triple jump.

In the 200m race, she was nearly a second faster than second-place finishing Suzanne McConville of Lyle. Venema's winning time was 28.82 seconds, compared to McConville's clocking of 29.74.

Venema was even more impressive in the pole vault with her performance of 8-6. No other vaulter could clear anything higher than seven feet.

In the girls long jump, Venema again dominated. She set the winning mark of 14-1.5. The second-place finisher from the eight-girl field, Janey Hume, was well back at 13-2.5.

Venema might have saved her best for last, as she won the triple jump with a leap of 30-5.25. Her teammate, sophomore Sydnie O'Banion, was a distant second with a mark of 23-4.5.

Bickleton freshman Lindsay Brown also enjoyed making a splash at Friday's meet, coming away with two victories in the girls events. She won both the 100-meter sprint and the 100-meter hurdles. Brown clipped Lyle's McConville in the 100 dash with respective clocking of 14.09 and 14.40. In the 100 hurdles, Brown was never seriously challenged. She sped to the finish line in 18.32 seconds, two and a quarter seconds faster than the runner-up, Klickitat freshman Kenzie Schlangen.

The one other victory claimed by Bickleton's girls came in the 400m race. Sophomore Annie Lindsley set the winning time of 1:22.71.

The Lady Pirates' one other highlight on the day was collected by junior Haley Goodnight. Competing in the discus, she recorded the third best throw from the nine-athlete field with a toss of 88-7. The winning throw of 94-9 was notched by Lyle sophomore Kirstin Hylton.

The Bickleton High School track and field squads are scheduled to open postseason competition this coming Friday, May 11, at Sub-Districts, to be held in Glenwood. The top five finishing athletes in each event at Glenwood qualify to move on to the District meet in Wapato the following week.

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