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Ashland keeps it in family with son Julian

The thought of coaching track at Ashland High didn't really occur to Bob Julian Jr. as quickly as it might have to others.

When he took a teaching and coaching position at Hidden Valley High in Murphy, it only seemed logical to we media types that he would one day follow his dad's footsteps and become the track coach at Ashland High.

When he joined the Crater High staff in 1999 and took over as boys cross country coach, he moved his family to Ashland.

"Honestly, when I took the job at Crater, I didn't think about it too much," Julian says. "Teaching jobs are hard to come by at Ashland, and I kind of figured if I wanted to coach, I would have to make my own way someplace else."

Ashland athletic director Jim Nagel confirmed Monday that Julian Jr., 32, has been hired to succeed his father to coach track and field along with cross country. Unlike Julian Sr., son Julian, who was hired Friday, will teach social studies instead of math.

"If I wouldn't have gotten the job, it wouldn't have been any skin off my back because I really liked it at Crater," Julian says.

Successful coaching stints at Hidden Valley and Crater didn't hurt the 1985 graduate's bid to return to his old stomping grounds.

"I really hadn't given it that much thought," he said. "Then my father asked if I'd like to apply for his job as coach. The more I commuted back and forth from Ashland, the more I thought it would be nice."

Julian says he didn't give teaching and coaching much thought until his final year at the University of Oregon.

"I wanted to be a journalist, having to do something with sports," Julian says. "I was a geography major, but I couldn't figure out a job to do with that. Then I started thinking about the positive impact Dad had on a lot of kids. What else could I do with a bachelor's of science in geography?"

A prime consideration for moving back to Ashland was Julian's daughter, Savannah.

"She's already in the school system," Julian says. "My wife works in Medford, and I thought it would be neat to be around and be right there with my daughter, otherwise she'd be growing up by herself during the school year."

Julian competed for his dad but graduated before state championship seasons in 1988 and 1993.

Still, he had a hand in the development of the Grizzlies' strong program.

"When my brothers (Tim and Pete) and I got to high school, we got a lot of our friends out and got people excited," Julian says. "Fortunately, some of our friends were really talented, and from 1986 to 1991, Ashland (boys) won six straight conference cross country championships."

IT'S BEEN A BANNER spring for North Medford girl athletes.

Tai Kinney was co-medalist at the Class 4A state golf tournament. Jenny Brown won the tennis singles crown, doubles partners Annie Chaney and Leslie Schultz won as well and the Black Tornado captured its first team championship since 1975.

The softball team won the Southern Oregon Conference championship and heads into today's first-round state playoff game, ranked No. 4.

North placed second in the conference track meet at Klamath Falls over the weekend, winning four events, including both relays.

"We've had a fantastic spring," says North principal Don Lacey. "We're planning a celebration (at 10 a.m. today) to acknowledge the success we've had even though the season is continuing for softball and track."

With strong performances by the football and volleyball teams in the fall already in the bank and the baseball team entering state play today, North could show up in the Oregon Coaches Association's all-sports top 10.

"It takes a lot of things to happen to win a state championship," Lacey says. "It takes not only the dedication of the kids, but the entire program. We have a tremendous coaching staff that wants to continue the tradition we have here. Everyone wants to achieve a championship and every once in a while you put together the kids that make it happen."

North was ranked ninth in the all-sports list in both 1993-94 and 1996-97 school years.

The last year a second high school was added to Medford, the Tornado weighed in at No. 4 and was No. — in 1981-82.

THE 55.73-SECOND 400 meters

turned in by Klamath Union's Sara Schaaf Saturday in the finals of the SOC girls track and field meet at Moehl Field in Klamath Falls was the seventh-fastest ever by an Oregon girl.

Schaaf is the defending state champion, but Benson High sophomore Deborah Jones has run a 55.6 this spring

Runner-up Brittany Hodges' 56.33 was just short of a top-10 time, but 2/100ths faster than Schaaf's state-fastest time a year ago.

The state record is 53.79 by Sasha Spencer of North Salem in 1997. The previous best by an SOC runner was by Janette Martin, who recorded 56.1 400 in 1999.

Sophomore Nathan May

had his doubts when Phoenix High distance coach Pete Voskes put him through workouts more in tune with sprints.

But after winning the Skyline Conference 1,500- and 3,000-meter championships, May is now a believer in Voskes' interval training.

"We did more intervals instead of overtraining for distances," May says. "I wasn't used to that kind of training, and I didn't think it would be effective. But it worked out well. He knew what he was talking about."

Reach reporter at 776-4483, or e-mail