McKinleyville track athletes set several PRs at Chico

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File photo – McKinleyville’s Owen Lien had four top-four finishes at the Chico Invitational on Saturday.

The McKinleyville Panthers continued to position themselves nicely for the upcoming track and field league championships with several PRs and season-best performances at the Chico Invitational on Saturday.

Both 4×100 relay teams set season bests, with an impressive third-place finish by the senior-heavy boys team at the prestigious 35-school meet, which returned this spring after a seven-year break.

Nathan Witte also had a big day as he continues to impress in his sophomore campaign, finishing third in both hurdle events.

Owen Lien, who is enjoying a big senior season, had a busy day, with three fourth-place finishes and a third.

Lien, a part of the Panthers 1×100 relay team, also placed fourth with the 4×400 team, as well as setting a pair of PRs on his way to fourth in both the 200 and 400 meters.

“We had 18 PRs today,” McKinleyville head coach Rudy Garcia said. “That’s a good showing for this team.”

Senior Adam Vera knocked 16 seconds off his previous best in the 3,200 meters, placing third in the event.

West Wood also had a PR in the race.

Sage Watrous De Salinas also enjoyed a big day, placing second in the discus, while topping his old mark in the shot put by an impressive three feet.

Freshman Jude Ortega had a PR in the 1,600m, knocking eight seconds off his previous best, while Che Jimenez set PRs in both the long jump and high jump.

For the girls, Cameron Heenan set a PR in the 400m, while Hadlie Ward and Mackenzie Bray each impressed in the hurdle events, with Bray setting a PR in each race and Ward a PR in the 300m.

“We had multiple kids place first or second in their heats, which I thought was huge because we were competing against 35 schools,” Garcia said.

The Panthers will travel to third league meet of the season at Del Norte on Wednesday.

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