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‘It’s such a privilege to get to run here.’ Newly renovated Hayward Field lives up to the hype at thrilling OSAA track and field championships

“I didn’t really care how my races went, as long as I got to run them here.”
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By Dan Brood 

The return of the Class 3A/2A/1A state track and field championships to Hayward Field included a bit of everything. 

There were record-setting runs.

There were big-time throws. 

There were some sky-high jumps.

There were definitely some clutch performances.

There were dramatics.

But maybe most of all, there were plenty of smiling faces and athletes at the meet, held Thursday and Friday, gushing over the new-look historic track and field venue in Eugene.

“It’s been amazing,” said Catlin Gabel senior Megan Cover, who won the Class 3A 3,000- and 1,500-meter runs. “When we actually walked in here for the 3,000, I started crying. It’s a stunning facility, and it’s such a privilege to get to run here.” 

“Oh, it’s amazing. This place is amazing,” said Brookings-Harbor senior Miguel Ramos, who won the Class 3A 400 in dramatic fashion, purposely diving at the finish line to get the victory. “The track is very nice. Everything here is very nice. It’s my first time competing in a stadium like this, and it’s a great experience.” 

“It was awesome,” said Heppner senior Hannah Finch, who triumphed in the Class 2A 800. “We came in here the other day, when we just arrived here, and I was just so hyped — it was insane. It was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re actually here!’ It’s been so fun.” 

“I’m happy I got to run my last race at Hayward under the lights,” said St. Mary’s of Medford senior Mackenzie Walker, who won the Class 3A pole vault and took second in the 300 low hurdles and fifth in the 400. “It was my first time running at Hayward, so it was kind of the cherry on top. This place is stunning. I didn’t really care how my races went, as long as I got to run them here.”

Oh yeah, the meet also included team championships — six of them.

On the girls side, Nyssa and Coquille had historic title victories.

For Nyssa, which won the Class 3A crown, it was the first girls track and field state title in school history.

Coquille, which earned the Class 2A title, did that one better, as it was the first girls state championship the school has won in any sport.

Damascus Christian won the Class 1A girls state championship.

On the boys side, Catlin Gabel won the Class 3A championship, Bandon took the Class 2A title, and Adrian sprinted away with the Class 1A crown. 

Class 3A Girls

Of all the dramatics at the state championships, maybe nothing was more dramatic than Nyssa’s first state track and field crown.

Entering the final race, the 4x400 relay, the Bulldogs were in second place with 63.5 points, putting them 6.5 points behind first-place St. Mary’s, which had a score of 70. 

St. Mary’s didn’t have an entry in the 4x400 final, but Nyssa did, meaning the Bulldogs needed to finish in first or second place in the race to claim the team title. But here’s the catch: In the 4x400, Nyssa was running in the first heat, considered to be the slower heat, of the timed two-heat final.

No problem.

The Nyssa team of junior Asbel Tellez Jaquez, junior Ella Draper, senior Kate Vineyard and junior Gracie Johnson came out of that first heat to finish in second place overall, behind only Heat 2 winner Sutherlin, clinching the team title with its time of 4 minutes, 19.45 seconds.

“It was super intense, and super exciting,” a smiling Vineyard said. “This means pretty much everything to me. This is my second state title of my senior year. We also got one in basketball. It’s kind of me going out with a bang, and it really feels awesome.”

Johnson also had third-place finishes in the 200 and 400, and she was seventh in the high jump. Senior Marly Ausman was second in the discus and seventh in the shot put. Freshman Julianna Bowers was second in the triple jump. Sophomore Ambrie Draper was second in the pole vault and eighth in the triple jump. Tellez Jaquez sprinted to third in the 100 and was fourth in the high jump. Freshman Brynn Hartley was fifth in the pole vault. Vineyard ran to seventh in the 800.

In the 4x100 relay, the team of Draper, Tellez Jaquez, Vineyard and Ausman took third place.

Walker and junior Sidney DeBoer helped lead the way for second-place St. Mary’s. Walker had her three high finishes, including a state-meet record of 12 feet in the pole vault. DeBoer took first place in the 200 and triple jump, and she was second in the 100 and long jump.

Sutherlin finished in third place with 60 points. Sutherlin senior Erica McDonald triumphed in the shot put with a mark of 38-8.5. The Bulldog team of sophomore Paige Edmonson, senior Mady Turner, sophomore Kendra Parsons and senior Mallory Turner won the 4x400 in 4:15.50.

Turner took second place in the 100 high hurdles.

Cascade Christian finished in fourth place with 58 points.

Junior Autumn Murray won the 100 high hurdles and the long jump for the Challengers. She also teamed with senior Jerushah Purrier, sophomore Sierra Samhammer and junior Elliana Vanlandingham to triumph in the 4x100 relay. Samhammer also won the 300 low hurdles. 

Willamina junior Hallee Hughes triumphed in the discus and javelin. Cover won the 1,500 and 3,000. 

Class 3A Boys

Catlin Gabel claimed the Class 3A boys crown with a score of 84, putting the Eagles 14 points ahead of second-place Santiam Christian. 

The Eagles got off to a strong start on the track Friday, with the team of sophomore Joshua Widdows, senior Elijah Widdows, senior Jackson George and junior Malcolm Grant winning the 4x100 relay in 44.37. Catlin Gabel finished the day in winning fashion, with Grant, Joshua Widdows, Jackson George and senior Mike Hart triumphing in the 4x400 in 3:30.01.

Catlin Gabel boys Dan Brood

Hart won the 800 in 2:00.02, and Joshua Widdows triumphed in the 110 high hurdles in 15.27.

For second-place Santiam Christian, junior Caleb Ness won the 300 hurdles, and junior Jayden Christy had a winning height of 6-2 in the high jump.

La Pine finished in third place in the team standings with 57 points. Senior Stephen Machin won the shot put and the discus for the Hawks.

Warrenton took fourth place with a score of 47.5. Senior Zander Moha had an impressive double for the Warriors, running to victory in the 1,500 and the 3,000.

St. Mary’s senior Gavin Cougle sprinted to victory in the 100 and 200, and Riverdale senior Sam Veverka won the long jump and triple jump.

Class 2A Girls

Coquille clinched its first state crown with a score of 58 points, putting the Red Devils eight points ahead of second-place Regis, which scored 51. 

Coquille’s title came off a team effort — a big team effort. 

Junior Trinidy Blanton had the only individual title for the Red Devils, as she triumphed in the javelin with a throw of 122-7. Blanton was second in the 200, in a time of 27.18, fourth in the long jump and sixth in the 100.

Coquille had other clutch performances, especially in the field events. Sophomore Callie Millet cleared 8-4 to take fourth in the pole vault, and she was fourth in the javelin with a toss of 110-8. Senior Hailey Crombie was fourth in the discus with a mark of 105-0, and she was fifth in the shot put with a mark of 35-3.5.

Also for the Red Devils, freshman Holly Vigue was sixth in the discus, and freshman Emelia Wirebaugh was sixth in the triple jump.

Coquille girls Dan Brood

Senior Whitley Stepp led the way for the Regis girls, winning the long jump, at 16-0.75, and the triple jump, at 34-4.75. She took second place in the high jump, clearing 5-1.

Weston-McEwen finished in third place with 41 points, edging fourth-place Neah-Kah-Nie by one point.

Columbia Christian senior Makena Houston followed her winning performance in the 3,000 on Thursday, which she won in a meet-record time of 10:11.99, by winning the 1,500 on Friday with a mark of 4:46.22. Monroe senior Laura Young was a double winner, as she triumphed in the shot put at 40-0 and had a winning mark of 115-8 in the discus. 

Class 2A Boys

Bandon grabbed the team championship with a score of 56 points, with Enterprise taking second at 49. 

Senior twins Hunter and Trevor Angove helped lead the Tigers to their title.

Trevor Angove won the long jump with a mark of 20-2.25, and he had a winning distance of 43-4.25 in the triple jump. He ran to sixth place in the 400, and he was fourth in the high jump.

Hunter Angove cleared 13-0 to take first place in the pole vault.

Senior Zac Knapp helped take Enterprise to the runner-up spot. Knapp followed his win in the 3,000 on Thursday by running to victory in Friday’s 1,500 in a time of 4:04.04. Knapp also teamed with freshman Andrew Nordtvedt, junior Weston Wolfe and senior Levi Ortswan to win the 4x400 relay in 3:36.78. 

Heppner, Sheridan and Weston-McEwen tied for third place in the team standings, each with 31 points.

Class 1A Girls

Damascus Christian took the title with a whopping 105.5 points, the most of any team at the small-school state championships.

Freshman Avi Mai was the big scorer for the Eagles. She took first place in the 300 low hurdles in 50.36 and she had a winning mark of 15-10.75 in the long jump. Mai finished third in the 100, and she teamed with junior Sierra Hale, senior Andrea Bogdan and senior Alysha Colburn to finish second in the 4x100 relay.

Colburn cleared 9-0 to triumph in the pole vault. Senior Emily Powers had a winning throw of 118-1 in the javelin.

Second-place Adrian, which scored 82 points, was led by freshman Addy Martin, who was a four-time winner on the day. Martin sprinted to victory in the 100 in 12.81 and had a winning time of 26.65 in the 200. Martin also teamed with senior Riley Lucas, senior Lizzy Nielson and sophomore Presley Speelmon to win the 4x100 relay in 51.14. In the 4x400 relay, the team of Martin, sophomore Rylee Ready, Speelmon and Lucas triumphed in 4:16.36.

St. Stephen’s Academy senior Olyvia Oeverman was a two-time winner on Friday. Oeverman triumphed in the 800 in 2:30.90, and she had a winning time of 5:03.83 in the 1,500.

Crane finished in third place in the team standings with 64 points, and North Lake was fourth at 39.5.

Class 1A Boys

While the Adrian girls took second place in the team standings, the Adrian boys did one better, claiming the Class 1A team title with 74 points.

The Antelopes almost literally sprinted to the title, as they dominated in the sprint events. 

Adrian junior Jace Martin sprinted to victory in the 200 in 22.35 on Friday, tying his meet record he set the day before in the preliminaries. He won the 100 in 11.08. In that event, he also set a meet record in Thursday’s preliminaries, with his time of 10.99. 

Martin teamed with senior Riley Griffin, senior Gavin Bayes and senior Conley Martin to triumph in the 4x100 relay in 43.82, winning that race by nearly two seconds. In the 4x400 relay, the Adrian team of Jesse Walker, Jace Martin, Bayes and Conley Martin won in 3:34.84.

Conley Martin was runner-up to his brother in the 100 and 200. Griffin was second in the 110 high hurdles.

Powder Valley finished in second place in the team standings with 52.5 points.

The Badgers were led by senior Kaden Krieger, who had a spectacular day Friday. Krieger won the 400 in 50.79, he ran to victory in the 110 high hurdles in 15.55, and he had a winning mark of 39.90 in the 300 intermediate hurdles.

Colin Friend Dan Brood

St. Stephen’s Academy senior Colin Friend had a big meet. After winning the 3,000 in a meet-record time of 8:37.78 on Thursday, Friend triumphed in Friday’s 1,500 in 4:05.64.

North Douglas junior Ray Gerrard won the discus in 146-11, and he had a winning throw of 164-11 in the javelin.

Joseph finished in third place in the team standings with 49 points. Days Creek was fourth with a score of 40. 


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