• PREP TRACK AND FIELD

    Top dog at Newland

    Phoenix High's Merriman takes 400 at Bob Newland; Grants Pass, Roseburg win team titles as four records set
  • In a matter of seconds, Andy Merriman went from underdog to top dog.
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  • In a matter of seconds, Andy Merriman went from underdog to top dog.
    The Phoenix runner captured first place in the 400-meter race on Friday at the 17-school Bob Newland Invitational, which is just for freshmen and sophomores.
    Merriman, a sophomore who also plays football, said he enjoys playing the role of dark horse. He's smaller than some sprinters at 5-foot-7 and 120 pounds and he's accustomed to running longer distances. Others were seeded higher, but it was Merriman — whose favorite movie is Rudy — who blazed down the track like a speeding locomotive en route to his most satisfying triumph to date at South Medford High.
    "Seeing other guys who are getting in the blocks next to me, they are 6-2, 190 and all that, and I'm the 5-7 little kid," said Merriman, who won with a personal-best time of 54.15 seconds. "I always try to not let stereotypes get me down being this small. I always try to make up for it with my speed and it really helps motivate me being one of the smaller guys and trusting in my faith."
    The Grants Pass boys claimed the team title with 146.5 points, followed by North Valley (91) and South Medford (78). On the girls side, Roseburg was first (148), Grants Pass second (85.5) and Crater third (75).
    Three records were broken and a fourth performance tied a record: South Medford sophomore Mackenzie Cox logged a throw of 36 feet, 9 inches to eclipse Jo-Anne Jesse's 36-8 record, which she set for Rogue River in 2011.
    Grants Pass sophomore Dustin Harrah recorded a mark of 6-4 in the high jump to top North Medford standout Josh Pecktol's 2006 effort of 6-1. North Valley sophomore Douglas Dahl turned in a 43-51/2 in the triple jump to better the 42-11/5 mark that Aaron Browne-Moore registered in 2011 for North Medford.
    Crater sophomore Bailey Bascom finished the 200 in 26.73 seconds, equaling Emily Carlson's 2011 time for the Black Tornado.
    In the girls 400, North Medford freshman Savannah Greenwade secured a victory with a time of 60.26 seconds.
    Greenwade's athletic career is a relatively new one. She said she had to take up a sport in middle school and she chose track. Her interest in sprinting picked up in her eighth-grade social studies class at Hedrick Middle School. Mr. Voskes, her teacher, was Piet Voskes, the North Medford High head coach.
    "He would talk to me about my 400 times," said Greenwade, who ran the 400 in 61.08 seconds at the Oregon Relays last weekend. "I got hooked."
    Greenwade established a solid lead around the 100-meter mark as her arms and legs churned in harmony. She used a big kick to win comfortably for North Medford, which competed without standout underclassmen Halley Folsom and Mario Filippi. Those two and some other Black Tornado are at the Sacramento Meet of Champions.
    "It just comes naturally," Greenwade said of her final surge. "It's a big adrenaline rush."
    Merriman said he is taking advantage of the endurance he gained while focusing on the 3,000 in middle school. The South Medford High transfer switched over to sprints last season and he said it also helped him become a better wide receiver and defensive back in football.
    He entered Friday's contest heeding the advice of a coach to trust in his training.
    "I just knew what I had to do today," Merriman said. "Staying in the zone, going out there to prove to everybody and prove to myself that I have what it takes.
    "I just really wanted to work hard for this and I just want to thank my teammates for everything."
    Merriman turned up the acceleration on the final turn.
    "I watched all those guys in the Olympics and how they use the corner to their advantage and to gain my speed coming off the corners," he said. "I used that to propel me to the finish."
    BOYS
    TEAM SCORES — 1, Grants Pass 146.5; 2, North Valley 91; 3, South Medford 78; 4, Roseburg 67; 5, Crater 58.5; 6, North Medford 48; 7, Henley 36; 8, Hidden Valley 28; 9, Ashland 27; 10, Phoenix 26; 11, Eagle Point 25; 12, St. Mary's 14; 13, New Hope Christian 11; 14, Klamath Union 7.
    4X100-METER RELAY — 1, Grants Pass (Keegan Weiss, Zac Hannan, Conner McGlothlin, Ben Dean), 45.10; 2, North Valley, 45.15; 3, South Medford, 46.41.
    100 METERS — 1, Jordan Hannah, NV, 11.37; 2, Michael Pruitt, Ash, 11.51; 3, Ben Dean, GP, 11.57.
    200 METERS — 1, Ben Dean, GP, 23.71; 2, Tanner Berklund, Cra, 23.91; 3, David Walker, NV, 23.96.
    400 METERS — 1, Andrew Merriman, Pho, 54.15; 2, Mitchell Kilkenny, Ros, 55.20; 3, Dylan Wedman, NM, 56.0.
    800 METERS — 1, Jacob Lowe, SM, 2:01.51; 2, Jacob Busald, GP, 2:01.59; 3, Nic Feldkamp, Ros, 2:01.90.
    1-MILE — 1, Jacob Busald, GP, 4:45.00; 2, Devin Rodman, Cra, 4:49.20; 3, Josiah Burson, Ros, 4:51.00.
    3,000 METERS — 1, Shane Crofoot, HV, 9:16.51; 2, Devin Rodman, Cra, 9:30.57; 3, Chris Merlos, NHC, 9:31.78.
    110-METER HURDLES — 1, Zac Hannan, GP, 15.63; 2, David McLittle, NV, 16.94; 3, Trevor Eichelkraut, Hen, 17.04.
    300-METER HURDLES — 1, Zac Hannan, GP, 41.20; 2, Dustin Harrah, GP, 43.02; 3, Jake Roberts, NV, 44.10.
    SHOT PUT — 1, Ryan Davis, 46-01/2; 2, Makai Manuwai, SM, 44-10; 3, Brendan Sharp, GP, 43-10.
    DISCUS — 1, Makai Manuwai, SM, 131-11; 2, Scott Richter, StM, 127-7; 3, Sominic Meads, Ash, 125-11.
    JAVELIN — 1, Nick Janakes, NM, 153-8; 2, Travis LaDuke, Ros, 149-8; 3, Brandon Gilsdorf, Cra, 143-10.
    HIGH JUMP — 1, Dustin Harrah, GP, 6-4; 2, Kaizer Gillispie, SM, 6-0; 3, Rob Stalford, NV, 6-0.
    LONG JUMP — 1, David Elsdon, SM, 19-31/4; 2, Larry Cotton, GP, 19-11/4; 3, Rob Stalford, NV, 19-0.
    TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Douglas Dahl, NV, 43-51/2; 2, Bryce Norris, Hen, 39-11; 3, Jordan Hannah, NV, 39-10.
    POLE VAULT — 1, Cole VanAnrooy, Ros, 12-0; 2, Tyler Wanamaker, EP, 11-6; 3, Ryan Leach, NM, 11-0.
    4X400-METER RELAY — 1, Grants Pass (Bryce Dole, Jacob Busald, Dustin Harrah, Zac Hannan), 3:36.71; 2, South Medford, 3:37.41; 3, Roseburg, 3:38.90.
    GIRLS
    TEAM SCORES — 1, Roseburg, 148; 2, Grants Pass, 85.5; 3, Crater, 75; 4, South Medford, 58.5; 5, North Medford, 48; 6, Hidden Valley, 38.5; 7, Klamath Union, 36; 8, Phoenix, 32.5; 9, Ashland, 29; 10, Henley, 28; 11, Illinois Valley, 26; 12, St. Mary's, 16; 13, Cascade Christian, 14; 14, North Valley, 10; 15, Eagle Point, 8; 16, New Hope Christian, 7.
    4X100-METER RELAY — 1, Grants Pass (Emily Mindovich, Tarisa Olinski, Heather Harman, Alexa Ryan), 52.22; 2, Roseburg, 52.65; 3, North Medford, 53.85.
    100 METERS — 1, Devony Dettmen, Ros, 12.96; 2, Bailey Bascom, Cra, 13.0; 3, Halona Jackson, IV, 13.32.
    200 METERS — 1, Bailey Bascom, Cra, 26.73; 2, Savannah Greenwade, NM, 27.16; 3, Tarisa Olinski, GP, 27.33.
    400 METERS — 1, Savannah Greenwade, NM, 60.26; 2, Rachel Harland, Ros, 61.83; 3, Halona Jackson, IV, 62.43.
    800 METERS — 1, Mahala Norris, Ros, 2:26.40; 2, Kara Krnacik, Ros, 2:28.81; 3, Brooke Blacksmith, GP, 2:31.52.
    1-MILE — 1, Mahala Norris, Ros, 5:27.8; 2, Kara Krnacik, Ros, 5:37.8; 3, Brooke Blacksmith, GP, 5:44.3.
    3,000 METERS — 1, Nevina DeLuca, Pho, 10:40.63; 2, Jenna Anderson, Ros, 10:45.51; 3, Emma Amundsen, Pho, 10:57.47.
    100-METER HURDLES — 1, Andrea Gosman, Ros, 16.7; 2, Emily Lemons, SM, 16.85; 3, Elexxus McWillie, Cra, 17.7.
    300-METER HURDLES — 1, Emily Lemons, SM, 49.08; 2, Paige Berriochoa, Cra, 50.88; 3, Cassida Layton, Cra, 50.9.
    SHOT PUT — 1, Mackenzie Cox, SM, 36-9; 2, Gabrielle Kearney, Ros, 35-9; 3, Janae Wilder, KU, 32-11.
    DISCUS — 1, Lyric Biggins, HV, 100-0; 2, Emma Hickman, Pho., 99-8; 3, Bailey Aldrich, SM, 96-2.
    JAVELIN — 1, Gabrielle Kearney, Ros, 120-7; 2, Ashley Backen, Ros, 112-0; 3, Kelsey McKelvey, Ash, 111-6.
    HIGH JUMP — 1, Skylie Brummett, GP, 5-2; 2, Jennifer Jennings, KU, 4-10; 3, Bridget Park, NHC, 4-10.
    LONG JUMP — 1, Sarah Settimo, StM, 14-101/2; 2, Jaci Brumble, NM, 14-8; 3, Andrea Gosman, Ros, 14-61/2.
    TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Halona Jackson, IV, 32-1; 2, Ashley Heeter, HV, 31-81/4; 3, Rebecca Saxton, KU, 30-83/4.
    POLE VAULT — 1, Olivia Tardieu, GP, 9-0; 2, Kenya Hokanson, Cra, 8-6; 3, Diana Gilliland, Ash, 8-0.
    4X400-METER RELAY — 1, North Medford (Bethany Elliot, Jaci Brumble, Savannah Greenwade, Genesis Tepper), 4:15.19; 2, Grants Pass, 4:15.84; 3, Roseburg, 4:15.92.
    Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com
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