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Hoekstra puts CV on track toward girls GSL title

Central Valley’s Savannah Hoekstra, center, pulls away from the pack to win 100 meters against Mead. (Jesse Tinsley)
Central Valley’s Savannah Hoekstra, center, pulls away from the pack to win 100 meters against Mead. (Jesse Tinsley)

Central Valley sophomore Savannah Hoekstra knew what was on the line Thursday in a Greater Spokane League track showdown against visiting Mead.

Hoekstra wanted to do her part. She did more than that and some as she captured the 100 meters in a wind-aided 12.55 seconds and 200 (26.40), anchored the winning 800 relay (1:45.26) and led a 1-2-3 finish in the long jump, leaping 16 feet, 5¼ inches against a headwind.

The Bears (6-0 in league duals) took a big step toward securing their first league championship since 2001, finishing with 83 points to three-time champ Mead’s 67.

It’s the third straight year that the Mead/CV showdown was contested in miserable weather conditions. The saving grace, though, was that rain-clogged clouds relented for most of the meet.

It was sweet redemption for CV after it lost by three points in the same meet at Mead a year ago when then Panthers standout Baylee Mires had four wins.

CV coach Dennis McGuire had high praise for Hoekstra.

“She may be the best athlete I’ve coached in 28 years,” McGuire said.

Hoekstra teamed with Michelle Nemeth, Ashtyn Turnbow and Mariah Cunningham in the 800 relay. The Bears’ time is the second fastest in the state behind Curtis (1:44.44).

In the GSL, Hoekstra has the best times in the sprints and her 17-10 in the long jump at the Pasco Invite, now CV’s school record, is tops among league jumpers.

Hoekstra was more excited about the team win than her individual efforts.

“This is amazing because we’ve been second to Mead for like five years in a row,” Hoekstra said. “This is huge.”

She admitted to being nervous before the meet.

“I was shaking today because it was a big meet,” Hoekstra said.

CV wrapped up the win in the next-to-last event, the 3,200 when Alexandria Moore (12:05.77) and Rachel Casey (12:07.14) finished first and second. Moore also won the 1,600 (5:30.14).

“This is a big step,” McGuire said. “Dori (Whitford, Mead coach) always has her girls really ready to go and they always compete well. It was a classic meet.”

Cunningham soared a personal best 5-3 to win the high jump and Roni Dringle went from third to first on her last throw in the javelin (125-8).

“We’ve been going against each other forever and it’s always like this,” Whitford said. “Their girls were ready. It was fun. I’m not disappointed with our effort.”

CV can clinch the league title Thursday when it is home against Gonzaga Prep, University and Mt. Spokane.

• In the boys, Mead (6-0) won 14 of 17 events to cruise past CV 99-46. The title will be decided Thursday when Ferris (6-0) and Lewis and Clark (6-0) visit Mead.