Blue Mountain Eagle Wednesday, May 11, 2016 A9 WEDNESDAY May 11, 2016 Team Long Creek: 12 athletes learn, improve together First-year coach Studtmann proud of team’s effort By Angel Carpenter Blue Mountain Eagle The Eagle/Angel Carpenter Long Creek’s track and field seniors are, from left, Raquel Silva, Fernando Rodriguez and Aaron Yeung. LONG CREEK — Sever- al athletes on the Long Creek Mountaineers track and ﬁ eld team are new to the sport but, with a little elbow grease, are making strides. The varsity team has 12 ath- letes led by ﬁ rst-year head coach Linda Studtmann and assistant coach Jennifer Garinger. “For many of our athletes, it is their ﬁ rst year doing track and ﬁ eld,” Studtmann said. Even though it is their ﬁ rst year, most athletes have im- proved their times and marks in multiple events over the season. At the most recent High Des- ert League Meet in Prairie City last Thursday, ﬁ ve gained per- sonal records. The Mountaineers are often seen standing together in their red and white uniforms, cheer- ing on their teammates — or joking with them. There are three seniors: Aar- on Yeung, Fernando Rodriguez and Raquel Silva. “We have a really good team this year, and a nice coach,” said Yeung, who competes in the 100-meter dash, 200, 400, long jump and 4x100 relay. “Every- body wants to win, and we prac- tice hard. I appreciate that the school gives us the opportunity to compete in track.” Rodriguez has competed in the 100, 110 hurdles, high jump, long jump and triple jump. “This is the ﬁ rst time I’ve done track,” he said. “It’s good, because I’ve discovered that I’m not that bad.” Silva said her old school didn’t offer shot put and discus, so those are the events she’s try- ing out this season, as well as javelin. The fun part of track for her: “We get close to each other, and other people at the track meets,” she said. Studtmann said the team is gaining ground. “They are all working hard to learn and improve in their events,” she said. “It means a lot to me as a coach to watch them put in the effort and to see their excitement each time they PR. I’m proud of them all.” GC track teams prep for District Tucker Wright to bulldog at CNFR Athletes take on Baker, Prairie City meets By Angel Carpenter Blue Mountain Eagle BAKER CITY — Friday’s Bak- er Invitational was an exciting meet for Grant County teams as athletes soared to new heights. Prairie City’s Garrett Hitz, who broke his previous school pole vault record with a 14-foot mark at the High Desert League Meet in Prairie City last Thursday, broke it again in Baker City by 9 inches, earning ﬁ rst place. Hitz also placed second in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles at the Baker meet. “There were 27 teams at this meet, so plenty of tough competition,” said Prairie City coach Joe Weymouth. “The athletes will be working hard this week to prepare for the 1A district meet being held in Ontario this year.” Grant Union’s track coach Sonna Smith was pleased with her athletes’ results in Baker. “We had a strong showing in ﬁ eld events again,” she said. Kaylee Wright won high jump and javelin, and was fourth in the 100-me- ter dash and seventh in the 200, scor- ing 27 points for Grant Union. Jozie Rude had a ﬁ rst-place ﬁ n- ish in shot put, second in javelin and third in pole vault for a total of 24 points. “These two ladies led our team to a second-place ﬁ nish,” Smith said. “We were missing two key athletes in Samantha Brock and Kori Pentzer. We will have both back for district.” She said her athletes are peaking at the right time, but so are other schools in the league, so it will be a battle at the district meet for ﬁ rst place. “In the 21 years I have coached, I have had girls teams place second at state, third at state twice and a cou- ple of fourth, ﬁ fth and sixths, but I have never had a girls league cham- pionship,” she said. “This year, we are setting strong in ﬁ eld events but weak in running,” she said. “We are hoping our ﬁ eld events will be able to carry our team, and we will ﬁ nally bring home a girls league champion- ship.” Monument track coach Darrin Dailey said their team goal for Bak- er was personal records and prepa- ration for the district meet. Sophie Pettit claimed the top 100-meter time with a repeat of her See TRACK, Page A10 Wright and Riley Clark compete in Hermiston By Angel Carpenter Blue Mountain Eagle HERMISTON — Local rodeo cow- boy Tucker Wright of Canyon City will compete at the June 20 College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. Wright, who rides for Walla Walla Community College in Walla Walla, Washington, ﬁ nished fourth overall in steer wrestling for the Northwest Re- gion of the National Intercollegiate Ro- deo Association, and 23rd in the nation. The top three in the region automat- ically qualify for the CNFR, and the coach can pick from the top ﬁ ve to add to the team. WWCC coach Buster Bar- ter added Wright to the team. This will be Wright’s second run at the national competition. Last year, he ﬁ nished seventh in the nation as a college freshman. “I’m going to try to make it better than it was last year,” he said, adding he’s looking forward to returning. “It’s an exciting experience.” Wright, the son of Trent and Jamie Wright of Canyon City, is working toward an associate degree in animal science and ag business. See RODEO, Page A10 The Eagle photos/Angel Carpenter Prairie City’s Garrett Hitz reaches 14 feet in the pole vault, breaking his previous school record. Contributed photo/LindseyWyllie.com LEFT: Prairie City’s Wyatt Williams, left, and Long Creek’s Aaron Yeung and others compete at last Thursday’s High Desert League Meet in Prairie City. RIGHT: Competing in the 100-meter dash are Prairie City athletes Teri Cobb, second from left, and Hayley Pfefferkorn, right. Tucker Wright bulldogs in the Northwest Regional No. 6 rodeo April 29 in Hermiston, finishing sixth in the event, riding for Walla Walla Community College. Lady Prospectors face Prospectors get ready for must-win games If Grant Union wins two Vikings in rough waters GU baseball out of four of their remaining Grant Union hosts Riverside Friday By Angel Carpenter Blue Mountain Eagle VALE — The Grant Union Prospectors fell hard to the Vale Vikings in softball action last Friday. Vale came away with two wins on their home turf, 5-2 and 17-3. Grant Union head coach DeAnna Nash said Game One was close. “This was a tough-fought battle, and the game could have gone either way,” she said. Grant Union had a 2-1 lead going in to the bottom of the fourth inning when Vale tied up the score. Vale rallied in the bottom of the ﬁ fth with a three-run home run just over the out- stretched mitt of Prospector Whitney McClellan. Windy conditions didn’t help Grant Union, and al- though the team had a couple more chances in the sixth and seventh, the runs didn’t mate- rialize. Prospector Cody Jo Mad- den pitched through ﬁ ve in- nings with Brianna Zweygardt relieving in the sixth. See SOFTBALL, Page A10 hosts Rockets 11 a.m. Saturday By Angel Carpenter Blue Mountain Eagle JOHN DAY — The Grant Union Prospector baseball team had a series of close games against Weston-McEw- en — including one that went to 10 innings — but couldn’t catch a break. Weston-McEwen had a 6-3 and 7-6 upperhand last Friday, as well as 3-2 Tuesday, May 3. Prospector fans were on pins and needles through it all, hoping for wins to help the team reach district competition. games, they could tie for third with Pilot Rock/Nixyaawii. Their next three games are against Pilot Rock/Nixyaawii, and their ﬁ nal game is with Union/Cove. In Game One Friday, Grant Union grabbed the lead in the top of the fourth, 3-1. The TigerScots evened the score in the ﬁ fth and held Grant Union at bay while ral- lying with three runs in the sixth for the win. Prospector Clayton Vaughan singled in the second inning, and scored Ty McDan- iels and Wyatt Weaver, dou- bling in the fourth. See BASEBALL, Page A10 The Eagle/Angel Carpenter Grant Union’s Zack Deiter (13) gets a high-five from teammate Clayton Vaughan (23) after scoring in the bottom of the fifth inning May 3.