Skip to main content

Kate Peters of Lake Oswego, Cascade graduate Emma Gates will join Mia Brahe-Pedersen, Tyrone Gorze, Lily Jones at U-20 World Championships in Colombia

Six Oregon athletes qualified, but Oregon City's Sophia Beckmon couldn’t accept her spot because she couldn’t procure a passport before Saturday’s deadline.

By René Ferrán | Photo by Pam Cosper 

Mia Brahe-Pedersen and Tyrone Gorze already knew they were headed to Cali, Colombia, when they arrived at Hayward Field in Eugene on Saturday for the final day of the U.S. Under-20 Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Kate Peters and Emma Gates hoped to join them on Team USA when it headed to South America for the U-20 World Championships in early August.

All four got to spend Saturday evening processing their paperwork for their international journey, earning berths with top-two finishes in their events at the U-20 meet held in conjunction with the U.S. national championships.

Brahe-Pedersen, a rising junior at Lake Oswego who punched her ticket with a second-place finish in Friday’s 100 meters, came back Saturday to finish second in the 200 in a personal-best 22.98 seconds, just .03 off the state record and making her the second girl in state history to break 23 seconds.

Gorze, a rising senior at Crater, came back two days after winning a grueling 5,000 title to grab a spot on the team in the 3,000 with a second-place finish.

Joining them on Team USA are Peters, a rising Lake Oswego senior who dominated the women’s 3K to win her second national title in the past two weeks, and Gates, a recent Cascade graduate who took second in the high jump.

In all, six Oregon athletes qualified for the world team, although only five will make the trip to Colombia. Rising Oregon City senior Sophia Beckmon earned a spot with a second-place finish in Friday’s long jump but couldn’t accept it because she couldn’t procure a passport before Saturday’s deadline.

Lily Jones, a recent Roosevelt graduate, made the relay pool for the women’s team with her sixth-place finish in Friday’s 100 final.

As Peters did during her victory in the 3,000 at last month’s OSAA Class 6A state championships, she took control almost from the start. She took the lead midway through the second lap and stretched the margin to more than 18 seconds with two laps to go.

Eventually, the strain of running by herself in the 90-degree heat slowed the Oklahoma State commit a bit, but Peters still beat runner-up Analee Weaver — a BYU freshman and Thursday’s 5K champion — by almost seven seconds in 9:34.78, adding this title to the 2-mile national championship she won at last weekend’s Nike Outdoor Nationals.

Gates, who will jump for the University of Arizona next season, nearly went out of the competition at 5 feet, 10 inches (1.78 meters), clearing the bar on her third attempt to stay alive.

She then went over 5-11¼ (1.81 meters) on her second try. All four jumpers still left at 6-0½ (1.84 meters) then went out at that height, with Miracle Ailes of Iowa Western JC winning the title and Gates finishing second on tiebreakers.

Brahe-Pedersen posted the top qualifying mark of 23.02 seconds despite running in Lane 9 for her afternoon prelim, one-hundredth faster than University of South Carolina freshman Jayla Jamison.

The two ran side-by-side in the final, with Brahe-Pedersen grabbing the lead coming around the curve and holding it until the final 20 meters, when Jamison surged past her to win in 22.93.

Brahe-Pedersen still qualified ahead of four other collegiate runners and posted the fastest wind-legal time this season. She broke the state 100-meter record in Friday’s prelims in 11.25 (also the fastest wind-legal time by a high school girl this season) before taking second in the final.

Saturday night’s final race saw Gorze get off to a slow start, sitting last after one lap and still in seventh at the halfway point.

He moved to fourth with 1,000 meters to go, then surged to the lead with a lap to go in a fierce battle with Georgetown freshman Lucas Guerra and James Wischusen, a rising junior from New Jersey.

Guerra finally got some separation in the final curve to win in 8:19.36, and Gorze eventually put Wischusen away on the homestretch to take second in 8:21.03.

More Oregon track and field stories