Region loves track

Kraske sets 400 hurdle records

Our region produces some great tracksters, especially this year, with school and university records toppling all over the place.

Omak’s Rachael Kraske, who competes for George Fox University of Newberg, Ore., ran 1:00.70 in the 400 hurdles Tuesday at Whitworth University.

That’s an all-time university record and Boppell track record, and ranks her fourth in the nation in NCAA Division III.

The ranking virtually assures Kraske a berth at the national championships May 22-24 in Delaware, Ohio.

She also ran a 14.56 in the 100 hurdles, a personal best, which ties her for 21st in the nation.

Ben Klemmeck of Liberty Bell set the most recent high school record in the 3,200 during a May 9 meet.

He finished in 9:51.60, which broke the 2009 record of 10:02.57 set by skiing Olympian Erik Bjornsen. Klemmeck is ranked No. 3 in state 2B at 3,200

Oroville’s Sierra Speiker lowered her own school records with personal bests this year of 5:19.98 in the 1,600 and 10:49.00 in the 3,200. Both are tops in state 2B, while the 3,200 time is No. 2 among all of the state’s runners.

What is truly remarkable is that Speiker set both bests at a Quincy meet in April.

Speiker, a senior, will be running and studying physical therapy at the University of Idaho this fall.

Lest you think it amazing that a 2B competitor, like Speiker, could be among the very best in the state at all levels, consider Mansfield’s Macen McLean at 1B (smallest school size in the state).

McLean, who comprises the Kernels entire track team, set records in the high jump (6-7), long jump (21-9) and triple jump (44-10.5) at last year’s state track meet.

McLean, a senior who has been nursing a leg injury, currently is tied for third in state among all high jumpers at 6-6.

Kathryn Cleman of Tonasket set a school record in the pole vault at 9-6 at the Caribou Trail League meet earlier this month at home. She’s ranked No. 6 among all 1A girls.

Teammate Rose Walts, a sophomore, is ranked No. 3 in 1A in the 100 hurdles (16.06).

Brette Boesel of Brewster is tied for sixth in the high jump (5-45) among all the state’s girls.

Al Camp is the sports editor at

The Chronicle. Email him at


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