PORTLAND - The Warrenton boys track team scored points in all but two events to finish second at the Northwest League district meet Saturday.
The Warriors finished with 128 points, falling just 23 behind host Portland Christian. The team's most impressive effort came with a 1-2 finish in the 800-meter race where Dallas Moses and Michael O'Casey settled into the middle of the pack on the first lap before charging to the front.
Moses took over the lead early in the bell lap and never looked back, crossing the finish line in 2 minutes, 1.34 seconds.
That left it to O'Casey to complete the sweep, and he did just that by holding off a late charge by Corbett's Jake Soulagnet to claim second by several strides.
O'Casey won the meet's most exciting race earlier in the day, edging Portland Lutheran's Sean McGuire in the 1,500. It quickly became a two-man race, as the pair separated from the pack on the opening lap. They traded leads a few times before McGuire moved to the front at the halfway point.
"The lead kept going back and forth, and I knew I had to stay with him," O'Casey said. "It's hard to catch up if you get too far back."
He stayed on McGuire's heels going into the bell lap, before surging into the lead on the backstretch. O'Casey appeared to have the race in hand when he turned the final corner and could see the finish line. But he also saw something else.
"You can always hear footsteps if someone is close, but when you see their shadow it gives you a little scare," O'Casey said. "I knew I had to give it all I had to the finish."
The Warrenton junior changed gears, widened his stride and took a comfortable lead across the finish line with a time of 4:18.27.
Moses was the team's top scorer adding a triple jump (40-feet-9.75-inches) title to his collection and taking third in the 300 hurdles. But his proudest accomplishment came in the day's final race when he anchored the 1,600-relay team to state.
The Warriors' tag-team held the lead through the first half of the race before being overtaken by a talented Neah-Kah-Nie group. But Warrenton held on to the No. 2 and final state qualifying spot when Moses held off a late charge by Corbett coming down the final straightaway.
"I saw him coming up on me, and I was just hoping I had a good kick in me," Moses said. "It's one thing to go to state in individual events, but it means the world to me to go along with these guys."
Other members of the tag-team included O'Casey, junior Kevin Dugan and freshman Sean Ball.
In addition to its relay, the Warriors will send four athletes to state in five different events. Anthony Smith earned a spot with a runner-up finish in the discus, edging out Portland Christian's Brian Joslen by three inches. Ball also qualified by taking second in the long jump, beating DeLaSalle's Dominique Harris by a half-inch for the final berth.
Chris Diego turned in other top efforts with a third in the javelin and a fourth in the high jump, while Kris Collier placed fourth in the shot put.
Warrenton track coach Sara Oien was named boys' Coach of the Year.
Knappa took seventh in the boys standings with 45 points. Steve Bokor, a junior, swept the two hurdle races and finished second in the 100 dash after earning the top preliminary time Friday.
The Loggers took fourth in the girls competition with 86 points. Senior Nadra Evans earned the team's only first-place points with a convincing win in the shot put. She powered past the competition on her first throw of the finals, sending the ball 33-feet-10-inches.
Comfortable with her lead, she checked out of the event and warmed up for the 200-meter dash, in which she placed fourth. She returned to the pit after her race and stretched her best mark to 34-5, beating her closest competitor by almost three feet.
Evans also took third in the 400 race earlier in the day to finish with a team-high 21 points.
Teammate Gretchen George had a pair of runner-up finishes in the 800 and 1,500 races. She challenged for a win in the 800, moving into an outside lane to try and pass Portland Lutheran's Cheryl Burris going into the final turn. But Burris picked up the pace, stayed on the inside and stretched out to a comfortable five-stride cushion.
Other top efforts for Knappa came from Rachele Schuyler with a second place in the javelin and a third in the shot put, while Kristie Owings took second in the high hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles.
Warrenton distance runner Janessa Gramson took fourth in the 3,000 and sixth in the 1,500, while senior Olivia Newbold was fifth in the triple jump despite missing the finals with a leg injury.
Portland Lutheran won the girls title with 145 points, edging DeLaSalle by seven.