SOUTH?BEND — Rob Baker won the high jump by clearing 6 feet and tying his personal best at the Pacific 2B League track meet at South Bend Friday, May 13. Baker came in third in the 110-yard hurdles in 16.1 and Cramer Smith placed fourth in the 3,200 in 10:38.3, Jake Condon was fourth in the pole vault (10 feet) and Nathan Reitz was fourth in the 1,600 in 4:48.4 and fifth in the 800 in 2:09.9.

Katie Green was fourth in the 1,600 in 5:49 and in the 3,200 in 12:41.6 for the Comets girls. Kayti Nelson placed fifth in the 400-meter race in 75.5 and just missed qualifying for district as only the top four runners in lane events move on. Baker’s time in the hurdles ranks him 10th at the 2B level in the state and his height in the high jump ranks sixth, two inches away from second place.

Baker found himself in a bind when he was trying to clear 6-feet-2 as the third call for the hurdles final was given, so he didn’t have much time to warm up for the hurdles race or to concentrate on his last high jump attempts. “Hopefully at district we will start field events early enough so that won’t happen,” coach Debbie Denny said. “Rob is having a great year.”

Condon had a personal best for this year in the pole vault and Denny said, “He is peaking at the right time. Cramer Smith and Nathan Reitz both ran smart races and competed well against some of the best runners in the state. It will be a challenge for them to get out of district. Nathan had a PR in the 800 and didn’t make the top five in our league.”

Green also was up against some of the top distance runners in her events. “It is tough for a freshman to compete with a senior, but Katie is doing very well and is among the best freshmen. Kayti Nelson also was impressive in her 400 race, even though she just missed qualifying,” Denny related.

Dakota Thompson, Austin Smith, Keith Reitz, Ryley Queener, Seth Scrabeck, Dakota Phillips, Beau Santjer, Jayson Cooley, Emily Gudmundsen, Kelsey Kelly and Jordan Badger also competed for Naselle. “This was a fun year and our juniors got a lot of experience and should do well next season, and our younger kids are already competitive with other athletes their age in our area and in the state,” said Denny.

Northwest Christian won both the boys and girls divisions and South Bend boys and Raymond girls are also solid contenders for the 2B District IV title and high finishes at state. The top five finishers in each of the 14 boys and 14 girls events at district in Raymond Thursday, May 19 move on to state in Cheney May 27 and 28.

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