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So close! Emma Gates of Cascade just misses state record, still walks away with 4A girls high jump title

“Just a little more speed, a little more up, and I’ll get it.”

By René Ferrán | Photo by Leon Neuschwander 

Emma Gates had been perfect up to clearing 5 feet, 11 inches, in the high jump Friday at the OSAA Class 4A girls track and field championships in Eugene.

With all eyes at Hayward Field now squarely on the southeast corner where the Cascade senior hoped to make history, she figured now was the time to go for it.

She asked meet officials to raise the bar to 6 feet, 1¼ inches. If she cleared it, she’d break the all-time state record. 

Her first attempt wasn’t close. Her second? 

That’s the one she’ll dream about. 

“I think I just skimmed it with my butt,” she said. “Just a little more speed, a little more up, and I’ll get it.”

After her third attempt missed, Gates was off to continue her busy schedule this weekend. She qualified for Saturday’s 100- and 200-meter finals as the top seed, and she’ll anchor the Cougars’ 4x400 relay.

Soon, though, the University of Arizona signee can focus solely on the high jump, and perhaps this summer, while she’s still considered a high schooler and eligible to break the record, she’ll get it.

“I’ve had quite a few jumps at it,” she said. “I’m getting closer and closer, so hopefully, sometime soon.”

Best photos from Day 1 of 6A, 5A, 4A Oregon high school track and field state championships