UNION – Last Saturday was a monumental day for Prairie City track and field athlete Garrett Hitz.

Hitz, a junior, broke the school’s 40-year pole vault record at the Pepsi Invitational in Union, reaching a height of 12-7 1/2.

The record was previously held by Andy Anderson who reached the 12-6 mark in 1975.

Prairie City head coach Joe Weymouth said that while this was a goal Hitz had set, the athlete has even higher achievements in mind.

“He’s not finished for the year,” Weymouth said. “He’s still working hard – that’s what he does.”

Weymouth said that Hitz’ ultimate goal is to eventually beat the state 1A track record for pole vault, which is 14-1 1/2.

“He has a pretty good shot,” Weymouth said, adding that Hitz also has another year in high school to improve.

Hitz is gearing up for an international Down Under Sports track and field event in Australia in July.

Weymouth added that another highlight from Union was senior Michel Hitz reaching a personal record in javelin with a throw of 91-7.00.

Long Creek coach Mandy Blackburn’s team also attended Saturday’s meet in Union, as well the Heppner Invitational last Thursday.

In Heppner, Alvaro Lopez placed third in the 1,500-meter run.

“We also had PRs in the discus from Maria Cabral; shot put, Maria Cabral and Se Weon Park; 100 meters, Massimo Basconi, Timo Goebel, and Bow Rattanakulwattana; long jump, Bow,” Blackburn said.

She noted that Union was a large meet for them, but both Cabral and Park had personal bests in discus and shot put, and Bow had a personal record in the long jump.

Grant Union head coach Sonna Smith took just four girls to the Union meet and they finished in fourth place.

Jozie Rude had a good day, placing first in shot put and javelin.

Kenzie Wilson placed second in the triple jump and fourth in long jump.

Chelsie Kodesh placed third in discus.

On the boys’ side, Michael Ashmead finished first in the long jump with a mark of 19-5 1/2 and is seeded second in the district.

Smith said she’s looking forward to Friday’s meet at Three Flags Field.

“We have senior recognition, and recognition of our new track,” she said.

The meet starts at 10 a.m. with field events, followed by running events at 12 noon.

Prairie City, Dayville, Long Creek and Monument teams will compete, and 11 other schools have been invited.

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