Sports

Trojan boys take second at Olympic League Track and Field Championships

 Above left, Olympic sophomore Larry Dixon unleashes a throw in the shot put Saturday at the Olympic League Track and Field Championships at Bremerton’s Memorial Stadium. Above right, Port Townsend’s Quinton Decker gets an early lead in the 1,600-meter race against Oly’s John Wojtech and Klahowya’s Noah Caffrey. -  Above left: Photo courtesy of Lance McCoy; above right, Wesley Remmer/ staff photo
Above left, Olympic sophomore Larry Dixon unleashes a throw in the shot put Saturday at the Olympic League Track and Field Championships at Bremerton’s Memorial Stadium. Above right, Port Townsend’s Quinton Decker gets an early lead in the 1,600-meter race against Oly’s John Wojtech and Klahowya’s Noah Caffrey.
— image credit: Above left: Photo courtesy of Lance McCoy; above right, Wesley Remmer/ staff photo

The Olympic boys tracksters overcame cold, damp conditions at Bremerton Memorial Stadium on Saturday, nabbing second place at the Olympic League track and field championships.

Led by sophomore behemoth Larry Dixon, the Trojans earned 120.5 total points, finishing just behind first-place Peninsula (130). Sequim took third with 114, far ahead of fourth-place North Mason (62). Klahowya finished last on the boys side with 10 team points.

“All in all, it was a good, close three-way meet,” Oly coach Greg Chapman said. “I think everybody understands we had a chance to win it.”

Dixon anchored the 400-meter relay team to a winning time of 44.69 seconds, then hoisted a 49-foot-10-and-3/4-inch toss to win the shot put.

“He’s a stud,” Chapman said of Dixon, the current Olympic League shot put leader. “He can do anything we ask him to do.”

While Dixon continued his season-long winning ways, the Trojans also earned big-time points off the feet of seniors Tao Smith and Brent Groulik.

Groulik won the 800 (2:03:04) and

ished third in the 400 (53.78).

“(Groulik) has turned into our middle distance runner,” Chapman said.

Smith, on the other hand, has emerged as one of the Trojans’ fastest sprinters, joining Dixon in the 400 relay victory while running to third in the 100 (11.43) and second in the 200 (23.37).

Unable to run in last year’s league championships, Smith has come back strong in 2008.

“He’s quite a competitor,” Chapman said. “He keeps pushing the envelope.”

Sophomore long-distance man John Wojtech boosted the Trojans as well, running to second place finishes in the 1,600 (4:32.28) and 3,200 (9:50.56). Port Townsend’s Quinton Decker took first in both.

“Our (long) distance crew did really well,” Chapman said, noting that three other Trojans — Johnathon Bergman, Brenden Schruhl and Aaron Newman — placed in the top 10 of the 1,600.

Now with momentum and a strong showing under their belt, the Trojan boys will ease into subdistricts, beginning Friday at North Mason High School in Belfair.

“Everybody was pumped up about the league (championship) meet,” Chapman explained of the team vibe last week. “(Now) we’ll have some fun and try to relax. I don’t want to keep up all the pressure.”

The top two finishers in each event at subdistricts qualify for the 3A West Central District Championships, scheduled for May 16-17, with an opportunity to reach the state championships.

“It’s not easy (to reach state),” Chapman said, praising the accomplishments his athletes have already made. “I tell my athletes, ‘If you make it to league, you’re the best of the best. You make it to districts (and) that’s awesome.’”

And while the boys will be busy at subdistricts — Dixon, Smith, Groulik, Wojtech and others all will compete — the girls, finishing eighth on Saturday with 20.5 points, won’t be as strongly represented.

“The girls team is extremely small,” Chapman said, explaining that it has overcome small numbers to remain competitive all season. “I’m proud of them.”

Klahowya was a spot ahead of Oly on the girls side, scoring 42 team points. Peninsula won the girls title with 143.5.

Individually, Rebecca Lindgren had a strong day for the Eagles, taking third in the 100 with a time of 13 flat while she ran fourth in the 200 at 27.52. Her best event was the 400 however, where her time of 1:01.43 was second only to Bremerton’s Jacki Hill. Sharon Cox had a nice championship meet as well, finishing fourth in the long jump, leaping 15-3/4, while taking third in the triple jump with a distance of 32-9 1/2.

Subdistricts will get underway at 3:30 p.m. Friday, continuing through Saturday. Saturday’s action begins at 3 p.m.

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