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Yost posts surprise with Class 3A title in 300-meter hurdles

EUGENE -- Rogue River High hurdler Mindi Yost wasn't even thinking about winning a state title going into what proved to be the race of her life.

The senior was after a career-best time Saturday in the 300-meter hurdles during the Class 3A state track and field finals at Hayward Field.

Due to warm temperature and swirling wind, Yost didn't come close to her best time, but she still hurdled her way to a state championship in a hand-held time of 46.3 seconds.

I'm not that happy with my time, but winning the state championship in my last hurdle race is pretty sweet, said Yost, who led the Rogue River girls team to a tie for fourth place with Skyline Conference rival Henley.

Yost is headed for George Fox College next fall with plans to play volleyball and basketball. She said her track days are probably over.

We'll see, but I think I'm done in track, said Yost. I like volleyball and basketball and the team thing more than track.

Rogue River's Sarah Zempel finished second in the discus at 121 feet, 10 inches after finishing third in the shot put (36-10) on Friday.

I'm really excited to get second in the state in the discus and third in the shot put in my junior year, said Zempel. Now, my goal will be to win both of them next year at state.

After what happened here today, I think I can do it.

Sophomore Bobbi Wright took fifth in the 800 meters in 2:23.19.

Bobbi was disappointed with fifth, but she ran hard, said Rogue River coach Ron Graham. I'm pleased with that. I'm pleased as punch about most of our performances today.

There's that sense that we could have won a state championship lingering, but I'm still happy with the kids.

Junior distance runner Selena Harman, who finished third in the 3,000 Friday, placed seventh in the 1,500 in 4:55.08.

Senior Jodi Minard, a two-time state placer in the 1,500 and 3,000, finished 13th in the 1,500 in 5:13.93. She ran with a painful case of shin splints.

It's pretty tough to run in that kind of pain, said Graham. It's too bad, but Jodi has already proven up here what she can do. She was at a major disadvantage today.

Rogue River's 1,600-meter relay team finished fifth in 4:10.70.

Wilsonville won the 3A girls team title with 53 points, followed by Stayton (46) and The Dalles (41). Rogue River and Henley had 40 each.

Graham had mixed emotions about Rogue River's tie for fourth place in the girls team competition.

It's kind of bittersweet, he said. If everything had gone our way, we could have won a state championship. But with Jodi hurt and our short relay team not making it here, we lost some points that might have won it for us.

Jennifer Bones of Phoenix finished 11th in the triple jump with a leap of 33-6.

Myrtle Point won the 3A boys team title with 52 points, followed by Cascade (46) and La Pine (45). Mazama tied for 13th and Rogue River tied for 17th.

The Chieftains' Tony Roberts finished second in the javelin with a 194-10 throw Cascade's Jay Goff won with a 201-3 effort.

Roberts, who entered the competition with the best 3A mark this spring was disappointed with his finish, according to Graham. But the coach was pleased with his junior thrower.

His throw was consistent with what he's been doing, said Graham. I think he threw pretty well.

Sure, he wanted a state championship and a school record, but he still did well. He will be back next year with hopes of winning it and breaking the school record (208-3). He will have a good chance.

Rogue River senior Ron Wessels finished seventh in the boys shot (48-2), while Joe Blomberg of Phoenix was 10th in the discus with a throw of 136-2.

Rogue River's 1,600-relay team of Jesse Smith, Nathan Love, Paul Sutherland and Brandon Padilla took fifth in 3:30.49.