INDEPENDENCE -- The battle for state berths will be a hot one -- both literally and figuratively -- May 16-17 in the Val-Co Conference track meet at Philomath High School.
"We're really optimistic," CHS coach Eli Cirino said. "We have a lot of people in position to qualify for state. We have some people who are in position to surprise some people and move up a couple of spots.
"We're very optimistic about both relays, both girls and boys. Both girls relays have a chance to go to state for the first time in a lot of years. We have a lot of young guys we're very excited about. It should be a fun meet."
And if the forecast holds, it should be a warm one as well. After weeks of cold, clouds and rain, the prediction for the end of the week calls for sunshine and temperatures near 90 degrees.
"That's going to be a real challenge for these kids," Cirino said. "It's going to be very important for us as coaches to keep them out of the sun and keep them hydrated."
The Val-Co meet is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Friday, May 16 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 17.
Central was one of 13 teams that closed the regular season May 9 in the Stayton Twilight Meet.
Amy Udell ran second for the CHS girls in the 400 meters with a time of 1:02.39. She also ran on both relays along with Julie Hedrick, Chelsea Boone and Helena Riddell. They took sixth in the 400 relay with a time of 53.55 and ran second in the 1,600 relay with a clocking of 4:16.42.
Boone also cleared 10-0 for the runner-up spot in the pole vault.
Jessie Gerdes placed fifth in shot put and discus with marks of 30-3 and 90-9, respectively.
Marcus Cuellar took second in the shot put with a toss of 46-0.
Steven Pond placed second in the long jump with a leap of 20-11.5 and was third in the triple jump with an effort of 41-1.5.