Eugene – The 2018 state track meet was held this past weekend at Hayward Field in Eugene, where crowds packed the stands to cheer on the 50+ schools competing for the state championship title.
Thursday and Friday were prelims and finals for 1A-3A, and Friday and Saturday were prelims and finals for schools 4A-6A.
Friday, the Pirates girls team took fifth place overall out of 35 teams.
In the triple jump, Amity Deters set a personal record of 33-05.25, landing in fourth place and earning a spot on top podium.
Deters set another PR that evening in the long jump, flying in at 15-11.50, taking another fourth place finish and top podium victory.
To put a cap on her sophomore track season, Deters was crowned the 1A state champion for the girl’s high jump, with a leap of 5-02.00.
Alyssa Lux took sixth place in the javelin, setting a PR of 31.53-meters.
Another top podium finish came for the girls in the 4x100 relay, Kieley Griffin, Jessica Cruikshank, Deters and Lux.
“We actually didn’t even plan on making it to state this year for the 4x100,” Griffin said, “and we came and took second so I was really excited.”
Griffin also ran the 100 and 200-meters, coming in third and fifth respectively.
“I’ve been waiting for a super long time to run a sub 13 and I picked a good day to do it,” Griffin said of her third place finish in the 100. “I ran a 12.8 yesterday and a 12.9 today, so I’m super happy to end my season on that note. I came out really strong this season and accomplished all my goals.”
Perrydale might be a small school but it appears they can hold their own.
“My girls did great,” head coach Brian Evans said. He said he was proud of the girls finishing fifth in the state, a sure sign that talent comes in all sizes.
The Mountaineers ended the weekend with 43rd place for the boy’s team and a 26th place finish for the girls.
The highlight for the Mountaineers came in the girls 4x100 relay, crossing the finish line in third place at 53.52, with Amara Houghtaling, Natalie Batie, Madelyn Hendrickson and Brittany Potts making up the team.
“I feel it’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of constructive criticism upon each other, not only brining each other up but also telling each other what we can do differently and how we can improve our team,” Houghtaling said.
The girls are proud of their top podium finish, ending the season with a PR.
“I think (it) went pretty well,” Hendrickson said. “We met our goal, we PR’d, so, we’ll take it.”
For Hendrickson and Potts, this state meet will be the last of their high school career.
“I’m a senior. It’s a bitter pill to swallow; I’ve been doing it since fifth grade,” Hendrickson said.
Potts, overcome with emotion, choked up as she said, “This is hard for me, because it’s my last year with them.”
The four girls have trained together all season, and they all developed close relationships with one another.
“We stick with each other, we’re like sisters,” Potts added as the four girls embraced one another.
The other Mountaineer to score on the girls’ side was Jamie Shaw, who took ninth place in the triple jump, sailing 31-01.25.
On the boys’ side, Austin Burgess took 11th and ninth place in the long and triple jumps, leaping 18-05 and 39-10.50, respectively.
Saturday, the five competing Dragons tackled their respective event with focus and determination, with the boys pulling up in 27th place and the girls clinching 23rd.
In the boys’ 10-meters, before the starting gun popped off, Malaki Connella hovered, waiting, his hands pressed on the warm track, his feet positioned just so on the blocks.
“My mind is just blank,” Connella said. “And I’m just eager to run, just excited to see what comes.”
He took fifth place in the race, clocking in at 11.12.
It didn’t go as he had hoped it would.
“I was a little disappointed in myself, to be honest,” Connella said, “but there’s always next year so I’m excited for that.”
Connella’s goal for his first state track meet was to dip under 11 seconds and, of course, take that first place finish.
“I’m still young,” he said,” (and) haven’t really experienced this type of competition yet.”
On the field, Evan Courtney took 10th place in the long jump, flying 20-04.75.
In the shot put, Justin Ingram took 12th place, heaving 128-11.
On the girls team, Hailey Van Well clinched seventh place in the triple jump, springing 33-11.75.
Also representing the Dragons was Marie Marshall, who raced against nine other para athletes on Saturday, taking first place in the 100-meters run, crossing the finish line at 20.56, and another first place finish in the 400, rolling in at 1:19.26, to become the para state champion for the girl’s team.
Taking a tie with Churchill for 12th place, the Central’s boys team racked up 19 points, with the girls clinching 14th place, nabbing 13 points.
Clinching first place in the 400-meters run at 50.19, Isaac Burgett became the 2018 400-meters state champion.
Jayden Aydelotte nabbed a fourth place triumph in the 300 hurdles, also setting a PR of 40.67. He was beaming as he went up onto the podium.
“I feel like today went spectacular,” Aydelotte said. “I met my goal by trying to break 41 and it happened; I’m ecstatic.”
The competition is heightened at the state level, where all the best athletes are competing for the same thing: state champion.
“You definitely feel a lot more pressure to perform well because you’re next to other district first place and second place runners,” Aydelotte said, “so it raises the stakes a lot, and it makes you think your best and perform your highest.”
Bethanie Altamirano, who was state champion last year in the 400, took fourth this year in the same event, clocking in under a minute at 59.72.
“I went out with a positive mind set,” Altamirano said. “In finals I went out faster than I usually do and it kept me up front and I stayed strong when everybody started speeding up. I’m glad I ran a 59; I’m glad I’m here again.”
Next year, Altamirano starts her freshman year at Western Oregon University, and will leave behind the coach that she’s been with for the past six years.
“I want to thank Eli Cirino the most,” she said, for her success on the track.
In the 4x100 relay, the Panthers took sixth place, Morgan Metzger, Samantha Londigan, Ana Becerra and Altamirano making up the team.
Sophia Henke made fourth place in the high jump with a leap of 5-02.