EUGENE – It was a day of individual champions for Mid-Willamette Valley high school track and field athletes at the Class 3A state track and field meet at Hayward Field.
Competitors from Salem Academy, Santiam Christian and Amity all became state titlists with winning performances in their respective events.
Karissa Standridge of Salem Academy was victorious in the girls’ pole vault, Christian Fullbright of Santiam Christian won the boys’ triple jump, and Lindsay McShane of Amity took home the top prize in the girls’ shot put.
Overall, Valley Catholic won the girls’ team championship with 73 points. Dayton was fourth and Scio was eighth. In the boys’ meet, Nyssa won with 65 points. Blanchet was ninth and Gervais finished 12th.
Standridge got the day started in the girls’ pole vault, and if she felt the pressure of being the favorite, the Crusaders’ senior never let it show.
Entering the Class 3A girls’ pole vault state championships as the top-seed, Standridge brushed away her nerves with a near flawless performance to win the event with a clearance height of 10-feet.
The senior cleared the bar on all her attempts up until 10-feet, which ended up being significant because it broke a first-place tie with Vale’s Kylee DeLong, who finished second because of previous misses at lower heights.
“I’ve been preparing for this for a really long time so I’m glad to have all my work pay off,” Standridge said. “Mentally it was a little tough because the first-place seed coming in is the only one that can lose from there, so I maybe would have rather been seeded second, but I came here with a clear mind, and that’s what I did.”
Also taking home a state championship was Christian Fullbright of Santiam Christian.
Like Standridge, Fullbright was the No. 1 seed in the boys’ triple jump, and he looked the part with a winning leap of 42-feet, 7.50 inches.
“It just felt like any other day,” said Fullbright. “I’ve heard people say this is just another track meet, but with a lot of hype. I didn’t focus too much about it being state.”
Fullbright’s winning jump came on his second attempt and was nearly seven inches longer than the runner-up. He also ran in the 110-meter hurdles final and took sixth.
McShane, a sophomore, dominated the field in the girls’ shot put, launching a winning throw of 39-11.25, nearly two feet better than the runner-up. In fact, only one other competitor in the event had a throw better than McShane’s shortest toss.
Scio, meanwhile, got a pair of second place finishes, one each from Natalie Legras and A.J. Holmberg.
Legras ran in four total events, and had her best finish as runner-up in the girls’ 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.84. In that race, she got off to a fast start before being nosed-out at the line by her friend Mikaela Bernards of Valley Catholic by .01 second.
“I think it was probably the best race I’ve run so far this season, and Mikaela’s a friend of mine, so I’m happy for her,” said Legras.
Legras also collected a third-place result in the girls’ 200 meters, and a fourth-place in the 100.
Also for the Loggers’ girls, Mikayla Cortez finished seventh in the girls’ 400, Grace Smith was eighth in the girls’ 300 hurdles, and Destiny Carlson fell back to fifth in the girls’ 800 after leading for the first 500 meters.
Holmberg, the Loggers’ other runner-up, ran a time of 51.09 in the boys’ 400 to place second, and finished seventh in the 100.
Elsewhere in the meet, Blanchet Catholic had four finalists, highlighted by Ryan Orlandini’s third-place finish in the boys’ 100 with a time of 11.25.
Orlandini, running in the event for the second year in a row, was at the front of the pack for the first half of the sprint before the pressure of the moment seized his nerves.
“I really wanted to go out and win it, but I tensed up as I was going and that’s something that makes you slow down,” Orlandini said. “I’m glad I improved from last year though, so it feels alright.”
Daniel Whittle, a sophomore for the Cavaliers, also took third, in the boys’ 800 with a time of 2:01.35.
Also for Blanchet, Mark Geisler took eighth in the boys’ 1500, and Alia Campbell was 10th in the girls’ 1500.
The Gervais boys made the finals in four events as well, with Pieter Top leading the way with a second-place result in the 300 hurdles in a time of 40.63, and a sixth in the 100.
Also for the Cougars, Jordan Milkovich, took third in the javelin (170-00), Cody Tesch was seventh in the 1500 and Henry Fleener was seventh in the discus.
Dayton’s Sydney Mohler took fourth in the girls 100 hurdles and sixth in the 300 hurdles, while Katey Harris was 8th in the girls’ 1500.
Willamina and Sheridan each produced one finalist.
Riley Boardman placed fifth in the boys’ discus for the Bulldogs and Jacob Hertel took sixth in the boys’ high jump.
Other finalists in the meet included Jaremy Neufeldt (boys’ 400) and Morgan Strunk (boys’ triple jump) of Salem Academy, who each placed eighth in their events.
Ryan Almen of Santiam Christian was ninth in the boys’ high jump.
Jordan Butler (boys’ 400) and Lance Nelson (boys’ high jump) each grabbed seventh-place finishes for Amity.
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