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Mia Brahe-Pedersen of Lake Oswego breaks Oregon record in 100 meters, joins Oregon City's Sophia Beckmon, Roosevelt graduate Lily Jones as U-20 World Championships qualifiers

“Making Team USA, it’s such a big step in someone’s career. It’s literally life-changing.”

By René Ferrán | Photo by Pam Cosper 

Three more Oregon high schoolers booked their tickets to Cali, Colombia, this summer with runner-up finishes Friday at the U.S. Under-20 Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene.

However, only two will end up making the trip to South America.

Mia Brahe-Pedersen, coming off a phenomenal sophomore season at Lake Oswego, broke the state record in the 100 meters in Friday morning’s prelims, then came back to match her career best with a wind-aided run of 11.09 seconds to finish second to Shawnti Jackson, a rising senior who won four North Carolina state titles this spring.

Brahe-Pedersen ran 11.25 in the prelims with a legal wind to break Margaret Johnson-Bailes’ 54-year-old mark of 11.30 set during her run to the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and cap a year-long pursuit of the record.

That accomplishment paled in comparison with what she achieved later.

“I mean, making Team USA, it’s such a big step in someone’s career,” Brahe-Pedersen said. “It’s literally life-changing.”

A few minutes later, Sophia Beckmon, a rising senior at Oregon City, completed her second-place finish in the long jump, with her opening jump of 20 feet, 0½ inch, holding up through six rounds of competition to nab the second automatic berth to the U-20 World Championships in early August.

“I make goals for every meet,” Beckmon said. “This time, it was to go 21 (feet) or make the team, and I did it.”

However, that dream turned into a nightmare later in the day when she learned that because she doesn’t have a passport, she had to give up her spot on the world team.

“They said I have until tomorrow (to get one), but that’s impossible,” she said in a text late Friday. “If I’m being completely honest, I’m angry and upset.”

India Alix, a rising senior from Houston who finished second at the Texas 6A state meet, won the national title with a jump of 20-3.

Beckmon hadn’t had the world championships on her radar at the beginning of the season, but victories at the OSAA 6A state championships and the Nike Outdoor Nationals — resetting the state record each time — qualified her for the U-20 national meet.

Brahe-Pedersen also didn’t consider making the U.S. team at the start of the year. As the year progressed, she started eyeing a berth as a member of the relay pool.

That all changed in the 100 final. Jackson started fast, while Brahe-Pedersen was last in the eight-runner field through 30 meters before storming past Autumn Wilson in the final strides and just missing out on catching Jackson.

“I was just thinking, ‘Get to the line; hopefully, you make the team,’” Brahe-Pedersen said.

Jackson ran 11.07, moving her past Brahe-Pedersen to fourth on the all-time national list for all conditions. Brahe-Pedersen also ran 11.09 to win the OSAA Class 6A state title last month, also at Hayward Field.

Wilson, a University of Georgia signee, narrowly beat Brahe-Pedersen in the 100 at last week’s Nike Outdoor Nationals at Hayward Field. Brahe-Pedersen came back the next day to win the 200 title, sweeping the Nike Indoor and Outdoor championships.

“I was definitely more relaxed today than I was last weekend,” Brahe-Pedersen said. “I felt a little more prepared, and I think that definitely helped with my success.”

Lily Jones, who just finished her career at Roosevelt and will attend the University of Oregon, placed sixth in the final in 11.37. In the prelims, her 11.41 was a personal best with a legal wind. Jones’ finish put her in the 4x100 relay pool for the world championships.

Brahe-Pedersen and Jones will be back on the track Saturday for the 200. Hoping to join them on the world team on the final day of the meet are state 3,000 champions Caleb Lakeman of Tualatin and Kate Peters of Lake Oswego, and Sunset graduate Benjamin Balazs running in the 3,000 steeplechase.

Peters and Balazs won Nike Outdoor Nationals titles last weekend.

Lakeman, Crater senior-to-be Tyrone Groze (fresh off his U-20 title in Thursday’s 5,000) and Crater sophomore Josiah Tostenson are part of a loaded 3,000 field.

Cascade graduate Emma Gates, who became the fourth Oregon girl to clear 6 feet in the high jump, also competes Saturday.

Harley Daniel, who won state titles in the 100 and 300 hurdles for Oregon City and is headed to the University of Utah, became the second Oregon girl to break 14 seconds in the 100 hurdles, going 13.95 in the prelims — one-hundredth of a second from advancing to the final.

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