Lane Titans down Spokane to win their sixth straight NWAC men’s track title
By David Ball For The Register-Guard
GRESHAM — The Lane men’s track and field team scored 185 1/2 points to edge out Spokane at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges championship meet Tuesday.
The Titans, who won their sixth straight men’s crown, got off to a quick start by winning Tuesday’s first race on the track, the 4x100-meter relay, with anchor runner Jacoby McNamara getting the baton with runners from Clark and Clackamas even with him on both sides.
McNamara quickly zoomed away in front of the grandstands, gaining plenty of space to throw his arms out wide as he dipped through the finish line for the win in 41.83 seconds.
“The handoff was our biggest concern, once it got that baton it was an easy race,” McNamara said. “I caught him right away and no one here has my top-end speed.”
Moises Martinez supplied more first-place points in the next race when he cruised to a victory in the 1,500.
After pacing the first lap, Martinez slipped back into second place behind Treasure Valley’s Carlos Lamas, who twisted his head back and forth searching his shadow for the race favorite. Martinez made his presence known, surging into the lead early in the backstretch and opening up a large lead coming off the final turn. He clocked in at 4:00.36.
“A few people cut in front of me, so I let them do some of the work. I’m pretty confident in my kick,” Martinez said. “I wanted to make a big enough gap that I didn’t have to try over that last 100 — I wanted to save some energy with the 800 and 5K still ahead.”
Martinez came in second in the 800 and was fifth in the 5,000.
Lane picked up its biggest points in the 400 where it filled half the lanes on the track. McNamara led wire-to-wire with a winning time of 47.65, while teammate Jacob Williams made it a 1-2 Titans’ sweep by holding off Spokane’s J.J. Curry by 0.13 hundredths at the line.
The finish caused a four-point swing in the team tally.
“It was my last 400 of the year, so I had to give it a big effort,” Williams said. “Our coaches reminded us that this was a big event for us to score points.”
On the women’s side, Carly Kleefeld toyed with the competition in the 400, making up the stagger out of Lane 4 by the end of the first turn. She was several strides ahead of the pack coming onto the final straightaway when Essense Foster of Clackamas put on a surge to move into her shadow.
“I felt her come up on me, and I was like ‘No way’ — that was my trigger to go to another gear and get those first-place points,” Kleefeld said.
Lane’s Shayla Noil followed with a convincing win in the 100 (12.08) crossing through the line four strides ahead of anyone else.
Lane settled for second in the women’s meet with 165 1/2 points — 70 behind winning Spokane.