Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
EUGENE — There wasn't much mystery surrounding the girls 3,000-meter race in the Class 3A track and field state championships Thursday at Hayward Field.
The top two placers from the past two years were in the field, and they completed the event in their customary positions: Creswell's Olivia Powell first, Cascade Christian's Stephanie Croy second.
For the third straight year, Powell, a junior, denied the senior Croy a chance to take the top step on the medals podium.
Powell surged ahead with a couple laps to go and won her third straight title in convincing style with a time of 10 minutes, 41.09 seconds. Croy's time was 11:02.75, well ahead of third-place Aida Santoro of Bandon (11:11.47).
Croy wasn't the only Challenger with a high finish on the first day of the extravaganza that features state competition for all six classifications through Saturday.
Cascade Christian senior Aaron Cesaro placed third in the boys shot put and junior Cheyenne Auchard was fourth in the girls discus.
The 3A/2A/1A opening day was Thursday, with a handful of finals at each level and all the preliminaries.
Today, the 6A/5A/4A portion of the meet starts, followed by the remaining small-school finals.
Action ends Saturday with the rest of the big-school finals.
With the efforts of Croy and Auchard, the Challenger girls were tied for sixth after the first day with 13 points.
Powell and Croy were shoulder-to-shoulder, content to run with the pack for the first half of the 3,000, but they put in a move on the fifth lap that left the field behind.
"Olivia started that," said Croy, who placed third as a freshman before her series of runner-up places. "The pace was going pretty slow and neither of us wanted to take the lead. We wanted to sit back, but it got too slow so we had to get in front."
Croy threw in a surge a lap later, but it had little effect on her nemesis.
"I tried to kick it in on the sixth lap a little bit and she just kind of stayed with me," said Croy. "I kind of suspected that she'd be coming with me, so I tried to stick with her."
Ultimately, Powell had too much in her tank.
Croy will next compete for Biola University in La Mirada, Calif.
"I knew all the girls would be pretty competitive," she said, "so I just tried to give it my all in my last high school race."
Cesaro had hoped to record a personal record in his final state meet but came up short.
His best throw was 48 feet, 11 inches — well off his PR of 51-21/4.
Brandon Bowen of Coquille won with a heave of 52-9. Jeff Lieder of Blanchet Catholic was second at 50-51/2;.
"My goal was just to throw a PR, really," said Cesaro. "If it came out a PR and I got first or second, that would have been great. I ended up third, which isn't horrible, but I would have liked second."
Cesaro was fifth in the shot put last year.
Cesaro's best throw came on his second attempt. He followed with a couple of throws in the 48-foot range and a couple of fouls.
He was bothered by back pain during the competition.
"That kind of affects stuff," he said, "but other than that, I felt OK. It just didn't turn out the way I wanted."
He'll hope for a better result today in the discus, where his goal is again to get a PR, and then some. His best is 157-7, established as a junior.
"I want to hit over 160," said Cesaro. "That's been my goal all season, and I just want to fulfill that now."
Auchard improved dramatically on a career best with a throw of 111-8 in the discus. Her previous top mark was 105-11 — a distance she bettered on four of her six attempts.
Lindsay McShane of Amity won with a mark of 125-1, 8 inches better than Blanchet Catholic's Sheila Limas.
St. Mary's long jumper Denten Edwards placed ninth in the boys long jump, going 18-10¾.
Illinois Valley had two finalists: Joshua Allan in the boys pole vault and Theresa Frederick in the girls high jump.
Allan placed sixth, clearing 11-6. Frederick was 10th with a jump of 4-6.
Coquille 20, Catlin Gabel 16, Nyssa 11, Cascade Christian 11, Creswell 11, Umatilla 10, Colton 10, Lakeview 8, Horizon Christian 8, Blanchet Catholic 8, Clatskanie 6, Valley Catholic 6, Salem Academy 6, Harrisburg 6, Vale 5, Illinois Valley 3, Dayton 3, Warrenton 2, Corbett 2, St Mary's 2, Westside Christian 1, Sheridan 1.
3,000 — 1. Fabian Cardenas, Umatilla, 8:46.87; 2. Zach Bellew, Creswell, 8:57.72; 3. Ben Davidson, Valley Catholic, 9:08.22; 4. Tim McPherson, Cascade Christian, 9:10.68; 7. Conor Keating, St Mary's, 9:42.73;
POLE VAULT — 1. Tristan Dixon, Coquille, 13-00; 2. Zach Greenleaf, Catlin Gabel, 12-06; 3. Hunter Jelden, Harrisburg, 12-06.
LONG JUMP — 1. Malik Knott, Colton, 21-07¾; 2. Michael Cooney, Lakeview, 21-01¾; 3. Cedet Bailey, Clatskanie, 21-011/4; 9. Denten Edwards, St Mary's, 18-10¾.
SHOT PUT — 1. Brandon Bowen, Coquille, 52-09; 2. Jeff Lieder, Blanchet Catholic, 50-051/2;; 3. Aaron Cesaro, Cascade Christian, 48-11.
Wheelchair (Mixed Class)
100 — 1. Yen Hoang, Evergreen, 19.72; 2. John Roberts, Eugene, 20.03; 3. Josiah Schuermyer, Alice Ott Middle, 21.65.
200 — 1. Yen Hoang, Evergreen, 36.48; 2. John Roberts, Eugene, 39.95; 3. Josiah Schuermyer, Alice Ott Middle, 41.88.
400 — 1. Yen Hoang, Evergreen, 1:16.35; 2. John Roberts, Eugene, 1:25.02; 3. Shanti Morrell, A&T Academy, 1:29.39.
Mohawk 20, Condon/Wheeler 17, Crosshill Christian 16, Lowell 13, Ione 12, Crow 11, Southwest Christian 11, Portland Waldorf 10, Powder Valley 81/2;, Sherman 8, Griswold 8, Spray 8, Joseph 61/2;, Dufur 6, Siletz Valley 5, Powers 5, Gilchrist 5, Eddyville 5, Horizon Christian (Hood River) 4, Camas Valley 3, Open Door Christian Academy 3, Triad Christian 21/2;, Harper 21/2;, Crane 2, Huntington 2, Imbler 1.
3,000 — 1. Izaak King, Portland Waldorf, 9:09.70; 2. Willy Helms, Spray, 9:10.47; 3. Trevor Lane, Southwest Christian, 9:36.46.
HIGH JUMP — 1. Brennan Johnson, Crow, 6-01; 2. Matthew Gille, Crosshill Christian, 6-00; 3. Bailey Haguewood, Ione, 6-00.
POLE VAULT — 1. Austin McNichols, Lowell, 14-001/2;; 2. Jared James, Condon/Wheeler, 12-09; 3. Ryan DeJager, Crosshill Christian, 12-09.