EUGENE — For the longest time, time was something Stetson Smith fretted over.

EUGENE — For the longest time, time was something Stetson Smith fretted over.

The 800-meter runner for North Medford was stuck on a plateau and wondered if he'd ever negotiate it.

It seems silly now, following his exhilarating performance at the Class 6A track and field state championships Saturday at Hayward Field.

Smith ran his typically powerful race, stubbornly refusing to let anyone else have a say in the pace, and raced to the 800 crown with a personal-best time of 1 minutes, 53.09 seconds.

He held off a late charge by Badane Sultessa of Centennial, who was second in 1:53.75. South Medford's Nick Shanklin-Rice was eighth in 1:59.75.

The PR didn't seem to matter to Smith moments after he climbed down from the medals podium, where he stood in fourth place a year earlier.

"Time at this stage doesn't really matter anymore," said Smith, a senior. "Coach (Piet) Voskes always made the analogy of, back in the fourth grade, no one ever had a stopwatch on you. Someone challenges you to a race, your goal is to go out and beat them."

The soul concern was getting from Point A to Point B.

But until a little over a month ago, when Smith hadn't run below 1:56 — despite hitting that number plus fractions a handful of times — that time was an issue.

Once he beat it at the Crater Classic, it became a regular occurrence. Saturday marked the fourth time he went under 1:56.

"I was just hoping for 1:54 by the end of the year," he said. "But hard work paid off."

In order to overcome Sultessa, the defending champion with a strong kick, Smith started his big push with 250 meters to go, or 50 meters earlier than usual.

"I was feeling pretty confident coming around at 200, then I heard Sultessa," said Smith. "I was like, come on, this is it, I've gotta go."

Smith was wary of his foe's finishing ability and mindful he'd been caught in the last five meters before, mostly in cross country.

"I've lost a couple races before where I thought I was beating people and they passed me in my last stride," said Smith. "I was like, I can't have that happen again. It taught me, don't quit, even if you're five meters from the line, because someone's there wanting to beat you."

GIL-JUAREZ SECOND — Phoenix senior Jorge Gil-Juarez capped a fine meet with a runner-up showing in the 4A boys 1,500, where he led most of the race, fell back, then summoned enough energy to overtake a couple of others on the closing stretch.

Gil-Juarez's time was 4:07.14, a personal best by almost two seconds. Jeff Schreiner-McGraw of Philomath won in 4:06.59.

Gil-Juarez led until the final 600 meters, then began fading. He was in fourth when he rallied.

"You just have to find that extra gear in your body and just go for it," he said. "If you can, you can. You have to push your limits so you know what you're able to do. He (Schreiner-McGraw) is like the No. 1-ranked guy in the 800, so I was sure he'd get a good kick out of it. If I had 50 more meters, I think I could have gotten neck-and-neck with him."

ANOTHER PIRATE — Gil-Juarez's teammate, Max Hamilton, brought home a third in the 800.

His time was 1:57.30. Schreiner-McGraw won in 1:56.28, and was followed by Seaside's Brett Willyard in 1:56.52.

"I was planning on just sticking with Jeff as long as I could," said Hamilton. "After 600, we were right there. I was hoping to be able to kick with him, or outkick him, hopefully, but he was just stronger. He was as strong as I anticipated. He and Brett both ran amazing races."

SNOW HOT — Eagle Point senior javelin thrower Garrett Snow placed third, helping the Eagles to sixth place in the 5A boys race.

Eagle Point scored 28 points. Summit won with 78.

Snow's top mark was 169-11, which he achieved on his second attempt in the first round. It was within two feet of his season's best.

Marshfield's Dallas Milburn won at 185-8, and North Eugene's Collin Mender was second at 174-11.

HOLMES FOURTH — Tyrone Holmes of Eagle Point, who won the shot put Friday, took fourth in the 110 high hurdles Saturday in 15.16 seconds. Blake Kemp of Marshfield won in 14.94.

"I was so nervous, I popped up on my first hurdle and got a little wobbly," said Holmes, "and I wasn't able to recover like I did yesterday. I was more relaxed yesterday. I was kind of disappointed, but that's all right. I still have next year."

Class 6A

BOYS

TEAM SCORES — Sunset 58, Roseburg 55, Barlow 51, Sheldon 39, Aloha 34, Crater 34, Tigard 31, Centennial 28, Oregon City 27.5, Clackamas 26, Thurston 24, South Salem 22, North Medford 20, Central Catholic 19, Grants Pass 19, Redmond 17, Newberg 17, Gresham 14, McKay 13, South Medford 12, Jesuit 11, Lakeridge 10, Beaverton 9, South Eugene 9, Westview 8, West Linn 8, Reynolds 7.5, Grant 6, Lincoln 6, David Douglas 6, Canby 5, Tualatin 4, Hillsboro 3, Forest Grove 3, Sprague 2, Century 2.

Winners and local placers

4X100-METER RELAY — 1, Aloha (Christian Wood, Sheldon Prince, Ryan Russo, Thomas Tyner), 41.45; 8, Grants Pass (Enrique Mendez, Logan Dean, Lawrence Potts, Dalton Cervantes), 43.23.

100 METERS — 1, Thomas Tyner, Aloha, 10.48; 6, Dalton Cervantes, Grants Pass, 11.18.

200 METERS — 1, Jack Galpin, Crater, 21.25.

400 METERS — 1, Jack Galpin, Crater, 47.75.

800 METERS — 1, Stetson Smith, North Medford, 1:53.09; 8, Nick Shanklin-Rice, South Medford, 1:59.75.

1,500 METERS — 1, Andy Bennison, Central Catholic, 3:57.92; 7, Max Runia, Crater, 4:04.91.

110-METER HURDLES — 1, Korey Smith, Roseburg, 14.54; 5, Jonathan McUne, North Medford, 14.78; 6, Brandon Hooper, 14.82.

300-METER HURDLES — 1, Korey Smith, Roseburg, 38.65.

JAVELIN — 1, Junior Espitia, North Salem, 196-4; 5, Selmar Hutchins, Roseburg, 180-5; 8, Josh Evens, Grants Pass, 176-0.

HIGH JUMP — 1, Kenneth Newcome, Roseburg, 6-6; 10, Brandon Hooper, South Medford, 6-0.

LONG JUMP — 1, Zechariah McLaurin, Centennial, 23-51/4; 2, Dalton Cervantes, Grants Pass; 10, Jeremy Scottow, North Medford, 20-101/4.

4X400-METER RELAY — 1, Grant (Tyler Riggs, Julian Hanlon-Austin, Nate Halverson, Will Watkins), 3:26.12; 5, Roseburg (Bruno Gegenhuber, Cody Fields, Micah Audiss, Korey Smith), 3:25.00; 6, Crater (Jason Braxton, Hunter Sanders, Neil Seibert, Jack Galpin), 3:25.51.

GIRLS

TEAM SCORES — Jesuit 96, Gresham 48, McMinnville 40, Southridge 39, Roseburg 37, Westview 28, South Eugene 26.5, Lakeridge 26, St. Mary's Academy 25, Centennial 21, West Linn 20.5, Newberg 18, Hillsboro 18, Glencoe 17, Tigard 17, Lincoln 15, Aloha 15, South Salem 15, Sheldon 15, Sunset 13, Lake Oswego 12, North Salem 12, Century 10, Beaverton 9, Barlow 9, McNary 8, Tualatin 8, Canby 8, Grant 6, Forest Grove 6, Thurston 5, Sprague 5, David Douglas 4, Oregon City 4, West Salem 3, North Medford 1, Clackamas 1.

Winners and local placers

4X100-METER RELAY — 1, Sunset (Hayley Mackay, Maddie Thom, TAylor Coon, Georgia Henderson), 48.00.

100 METERS — 1, Sabrina Moore, Southridge, 11.96.

200 METERS — 1, Dominique Keel, Westview, 24.58.

400 METERS — 1, Ashante Horsley, McMinnville, 56.16; 2, Kelly Audiss, Roseburg, 57.04.

800 METERS — 1, Louise Mulvey, Sheldon, 2:13.75.

1,500 METERS — 1, Kelsi Schaer, Tigard, 4:37.03; 11, Grants Pass, 4:58.78; 13, Sarah Hastings, Crater, 5:05.59.

100-METER HURDLES — 1, Garmai Gorlorwulu, Jesuit, 14.22; 6, Madison Cavens, Roseburg, 15.30.

300-METER HURDLES — 1, Annelise Coxeff, Centennial, 44.89; 6, Hannah Russo, Roseburg, 46.99.

SHOT PUT — 1, Elizabeth Brenner, Jesuit, 45-43/4.

DISCUS — 1, Ariel Oliver, McMinnville, 146-6; 3, Rachel Picknell, Roseburg, 125-7; 9, Kim Gomez, North Medford, 108-9.

TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Taisha Moore, Aloha, 39-3/4; 4, Jenna Sandling, Roseburg, 37-1/2.

POLE VAULT — 1, Jill Doyle, Jesuit, 12-4; 9, Emily Walker, Crater, 10-0.

4X400-METER RELAY — 1, Roseburg (Madison Cavens, Jenna Sandling, Hannah Russo, Kelly Audiss), 3:54.42.

Class 5A

BOYS

TEAM SCORES — Summit 78, Marshfield 77, Silverton 49.5, Franklin 45, South Albany 30, Eagle Point 28, Marist 27, Mountain View 25, Sherwood 23, Sandy 20, Pendleton 20, Hood River Valley 18, Benson 18, Lebanon 17, Bend 17, Churchill 17, Jefferson 16, St. Helens 16, Wilsonville 15, Milwaukie 15, North Eugene 13, Dallas 12, Corvallis 12, Hermiston 8, Parkrose 8, West Albany 6.5, Crescent Valley 6, Wilson 6, Willamette 5, The Dalles-Wahtonka 5, Woodburn 3, Putnam 2, Springfield 2, Cleveland 1, Liberty 1.

Winners and local placers

4X100-METER RELAY — 1, Summit (Alex Needham, Jesse Sanderson, Cole Thomas, T.J. Peay), 42.85.

100 METERS — 1, Taylor Walcott, Marist, 10.83.

200 METERS — 1, Cristian Morris, Sherwood, 22.33.

400 METERS — 1, Ian McNaughton, Hood River Valley, 49.41.

800 METERS — 1, Demetrius Rhodes, Benson, 1:56.51.

1,500 METERS — 1, Ian Burgess, Franklin, 4:04.28.

110-METER HURDLES — 1, Blake Kemp, Marshfield, 14.94; 4, Tyrone Holmes, Eagle Point, 15.16.

300-METER HURDLES — 1, Blake Kemp, Marshfield, 39.17.

JAVELIN — 1, Dallas Milburn, Marshfield, 185-8; 3, Garrett Snow, Eagle Point, 169-11.

HIGH JUMP — 1, Ken Sharp, Marshfield, 6-5.

LONG JUMP — 1, Adam Schamp, South Albany, 22-73/4.

4X400-METER RELAY — 1, Silverton (Torrey Rogness, Zach Gengler, Joe Bochsler, Nic Reinhard), 3:24.07.

GIRLS

TEAM SCORES — Summit 112.5, Sandy 55.5, Wilsonville 45, Mountain View 41, North Eugene 40, Hermiston 39, Benson 38, Corvallis 37, Springfield 25, Silverton 24, West Albany 22, Milwaukie 17, Hood River Valley 16, Crescent Valley 15.5, Marshfield 15, Sherwood 15, Dallas 13, Lebanon 13, The Dalles-Wahtonka 12, Madison 9, Woodburn 8, Willamette 7, Bend 6, Marist 6, Liberty 5.5, Cleveland 5, Pendleton 4, Franklin 4, South Albany 4, Putnam 3, Wilson 3, Churchill 2.

Winners and local placers

4X100-METER RELAY — 1, Mountain View (Brianna Rosen, Krysta Kroeger, Macaulay Wilson, Ayla Rosen), 49.04.

100 METERS — 1, Allie Church, Wilsonville, 12.26.

200 METERS — 1, Allie Church, Wilsonville, 24.91.

400 METERS — 1, Malika Waschmann, Corvallis, 56.97.

800 METERS — 1, Aiyanna Cameron-Lewis, Crescent Valley, 2:14.37.

1,500 METERS — 1, Ashley Maton, Summit, 4:41.27.

100-METER HURDLES — 1, Daphne Chambers, Springfield, 14.96.

300-METER HURDLES — 1, Jazmin Ratcliff, Benson, 44.63.

SHOT PUT — 1, McKenzie Warren, Sandy, 40-10.

DISCUS — 1, McKenzie Warren, Sandy, 134-8.

TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Iris Anderson, North Eugene, 38-4.

POLE VAULT — 1, Olivia Campbell, Hood River Valley, 11-6.

4X400-METER RELAY — 1, Corvallis (Megan King, Grace Spaulding, Brigid Behrens, Malika Waschmann), 3:57.81.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com