Cougar track impresses at Birger Solberg Invite

Lakewood’s Cameron Hess placed second in the javelin only to teammate Payden Butler. He had a best throw of 159-7 at the Birger Solberg Invitational. - Photo courtesy RANDY ORDONEZ
Lakewood’s Cameron Hess placed second in the javelin only to teammate Payden Butler. He had a best throw of 159-7 at the Birger Solberg Invitational.
— image credit: Photo courtesy RANDY ORDONEZ

BELLINGHAM — At large invitationals, Lakewood rarely enters athletes in all of the events that they would normally compete in. Nearly every school at the meet has a larger enrollment than the Cougars do, giving other schools an advantage.

Even without that advantage, Lakewood came out on top in many key races and events at the Birger Solberg Invitational, April 11, as the boys team scored 49 points to place eighth out of 20 other teams.

In field events, senior Spencer Hulslander walked away with a first-place medal for his 13-06 effort in the pole vault. He was followed by seventh-place finisher in the pole vault, senior Payden Butler, who placed first in the javelin with a throw of 168-06. Trailing only his teammate, Cameron Hess’s 159-07 throw locked him for second place in the javelin.

On the track, Cougar senior Nikolay Borisov placed fourth in the 110 hurdles and fifth in the 300 hurdles with times of 16.41 and 42.43 seconds, respectively. The 4x800 relay team of Mitchel Gogert, Byron Gouette, Avery Jensen and Trent Tresch placed fifth and all of them set personal records.

The Cougar girls didn’t score well as a team but had many bright spots throughout the day. Yvette Kelp set a personal record by 10 feet in the javelin, placing sixth in the event with a throw of 99-03. Senior Breonna Albro’s 95-0 throw in the discus earned her sixth place as well. But the highlight on the girls’ side was clearly senior Lacey Nation placing fifth in the 1,600 in 5:18.14. That time is the third-fastest time in Lakewood school history and currently the fifth fastest in the state at 2A.

Coach Jeff Sowards was extremely proud of his athletes. Most schools sat in the bleachers when their events were up. Lakewood’s athletes were always running around the complex and cheering their fellow teammates on.

“Our athletes understand the importance of supporting each other and that we can rise to the greatest level of our abilities if we all help each other,” Sowards said. “The continued improvement of our athletes is a clear product of long-term commitment on the part of our fantastic coaches and committed athletes.”

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