Gorze, Rider make their mark at Medford Relays
As Tyrone Gorze made the turn into the backstretch at Bowerman Field for the final time Saturday afternoon, he heard something come over the loudspeakers.
“He’s got a chance to break the meet record.”
Gorze, Crater’s standout junior distance runner, only obliged.
With one of his good buddies giving him a challenge, Gorze was able to pull away late and win the boys 1,500-meter run in a meet-record time of 3 minutes, 54.55 seconds at the 83rd annual Medford Rotary Relays.
“It’s definitely something I can be proud of,” said Gorze, “especially considering in Southern Oregon there’s been a lot of good runners to come through and a lot of runners to run at this race. To get that meet record, it’s something really special.”
Gorze broke the meet record by just under a full second that was previously set by Ashland’s Cameron Stein (3:55.53) during last spring’s meet.
“It’s a good opener,” said Gorze, who was running his first 1,500 of the young season. “There’s definitely lots of room for improvement with more training throughout the season. It’s only April 2, so come a couple of months from now I feel like I can definitely do a lot better.”
Gorze came out victorious in what was a loaded field in the 1,500. His teammate, freshman Josiah Tostensen, was there. As was one of Gorze’s good friends, South Medford senior Michael Maiorano, and Ashland senior Nathan Stein, the younger brother of Cameron Stein.
Maiorano finished second with a time of 3:59.14, while Tostenson was third at 3:59.71 and Stein was fourth (4:04.59). Both Tostenson and Stein set new personal records.
“This season, we’re starting out where, I think I speak for Tyrone and the rest of the valley, we’re in the best shape of our lives,” said Maiorano. “That doesn’t necessarily result in race fitness, but hopefully people tune in and stick around because it’s going to be like a TV show that keeps getting better.”
Gorze and Maiorano were leading the pack from the onset, with the two separated by less than a second for essentially the entirety of the first 1,200 meters. Maiorano said he was starting to feel the effects of participating in Friday night’s distance medley relay a little bit after the first 400, but powered through it to stay within striking distance of Gorze.
Then came the final 300, which saw Gorze turn his small lead into one where he pulled away for the win.
“The goal is to always finish off faster,” said Gorze. “I wanted to be a little faster in the 1,200 and close a little faster in the last 300, so I think I was a little off pace with what I would have liked. Coming out with a win is always good, but I’ve definitely got to work on that third phase, that finishing phase, because I felt like there’s a lot to improve on there.”
North Medford senior Nathan Rider proved to be the other star of the day Saturday, racing to a time of 10.69 seconds in the boys 100-meter dash.
Rider, who will run at Sacramento State next season, hadn’t previously run the 100 this season, having just run the 200 at the Crater Twilight. But in another field that had some of the best sprinters in the Rogue Valley and Oregon as a whole, Rider went out and ran the top time in the state so far this spring.
“I felt like I ran awesome,” said Rider. “My start was a little iffy, but I caught up in the end. It was a huge improvement for me over last year. At districts, my PR was 11.08 and this was just so much better. Training every single day, that’s the determination that got me through.”
Rider’s previous personal-best time in the 100 was set last April at the Southern Oregon Conference meet. On Saturday, he crushed that time by nearly half a second.
“It’s a lot more work for me,” said Rider with a laugh, alluding to the high bar Saturday’s time sets. “But I love the challenge, I love the competition.”
“Mechanically, he leaned some things up,” added North Medford head track and field coach Piet Voskes. “He’s always run with aggression and from the neck up he’s always had the right mindset, but from the neck down he’s made some adjustments from two weeks ago in the 200.”
Rider, who was mobbed by his teammates after crossing the finish line, finished ahead of St. Mary’s senior Gavin Cougle (10.74) — who also set a new personal record — and Roseburg’s Landyn Dupper (10.86).
South Medford’s Andrew Walker, who previously ran the state’s fastest time (10.74) at the Crater Twilight on March 17, was not in Saturday’s field.
“That was awesome,” said Rider of his teammates’ reaction. “It’s everything I worked for and everything I am going to work for that’s so much greater.”
The boys 1,500 and 100 were the two big races of the day, according to Voskes, and the Black Tornado coach certainly felt like they met the lofty billing.
“They lived up to the expectations,” said Voskes, adding that the times by Gorze and Rider were both new Bowerman Field records. “How impressive it is that right here in Southern Oregon we have these kinds of kids running these kinds of times. They all feed off each other. The energy of this meet and kind of the craziness of it, it allows kids to really just blossom — and that’s what happens.”
North Medford also picked up a win in the boys shot put after David Fuiava recorded a throw of 127 feet, 1 inch.
South Medford’s lone win Saturday came from Liam Hurley, who comfortably won the boys javelin with a throw of 157-3.
The Crater girls got first-place finishes from Clara Bennett in the high jump (5-1) and Cambrea Goodwin in the triple jump (32-9). Luke Higginson’s mark of 45-5 in the boys triple jump was the Comets’ other win.
Grants Pass claimed both team titles, finishing ahead of Roseburg and Crater on the boys side and comfortably ahead of Henley and South Medford in the girls standings.
The GP boys picked up two individual wins in field events — Parker Jarvis in the shot put (44-9) and Jayden Jessee in the high jump (6-1).
The Cavers’ Grace Osborne won the girls discus (108-5) and was second in the shot put (34-2).
Cascade Christian’s Autumn Murray won the girls long jump (15-10), while Mackenzie Walker of St. Mary’s won the girls pole vault in 10-6.
“Kids got an opportunity to compete,” said Voskes, “and that’s what this is all about, making sure kids get back to some normalcy. I felt like the meet was a success and now we build on it from there. Most importantly, we spotlighted Southern Oregon.”
Medford Rotary Relays
TEAM SCORES: Grants Pass 118.2, Roseburg 103.35, Crater 99.92, South Medford 97.34, North Medford 80.44, Henley 72.64, North Valley 47.17, Ashland 32.21, Mazama 29.73, Hidden Valley 28.97, Phoenix 14.97, Cascade Christian 4.5, St. Mary’s 3.25.
100 — 1, Nathan Rider, NM, 10.69; 2, Gavin Cougle, St.M, 10.74; 3, Landyn Dupper, Ros, 10.86.
1,500 — 1, Tyrone Gorze, Cra, 3:54.55; 2, Michael Maiorano, SM, 3:59.14; 3, Josiah Tostenson, Cra, 3:59.71.
300 HURDLES — 1, Savien Burk, Maz, 41.92; 2, Charles Anderson, R, 42.47; 3, Asher Johnson, SM, 42.55.
SHOT PUT — 1, Parker Jarvis, GP, 44-9; 2, Kyan Hidde, St.M, 43-10.5; 3, Matthew Moses, CC, 42-1.5.
DISCUS — 1, David Fuiava, NM, 127-1; 2, Dain Silva, Cra, 124-0; 3, Zyan Shull-Bain, Pho, 120-11.
JAVELIN — 1, Liam Hurley, SM, 157-3; 2, Raymond Hart, Ash, 140-2; 3, Deacon Edgar, SM, 138-6.
HIGH JUMP — 1, Jayden Jessee, GP, 6-1; 2, Grant Gober, Ros, 5-10; 3, Colton Marsters, Ros, 5-8.
POLE VAULT — 1, Anthony Edwards, Hen, 14-0; 2, Carson Le Bel, Cra, 13-6; 3, Carson Morrison, GP, 12-0.
LONG JUMP — 1, Colton Marsters, Ros, 21-0; 2, Landyn Dupper, Ros, 20-5.5; 3, Eli Hayes, Hen, 20-0.25.
TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Luke Higginson, C, 45-5; 2, Eli Hayes, Hen, 43-4.75; 3, Diego Hernandez, Pho, 41-2.5.
TEAM SCORES: Grants Pass 162.94, Henley 81.19, South Medford 76.95, Roseburg 66.71, North Valley 61.47, Crater 53.21, North Medford 52.97, Phoenix 43.94, Hidden Valley 32.95, Cascade Christian 28.71, Ashland 24, Mazama 17.72.
100 — 1, Karlee Touey, NV, 12.66; 2, Zanai Vainuku-Johnson, GP, 13.11; 3, Kasemsri Miele, Ros, 13.34.
1,500 — 1, Elizabeth Eckman, Ros, 4:50.34; 2, Grace Yaconelli, Ash, 4:54.02; 3, Madison Wilt, GP, 4:58.74.
300 HURDLES — 1, Karlee Touey, NV, 47.72; 2, Lauren Robinson, GP, 50.51; 3, Autumn Murray, CC, 50.62.
SHOT PUT — 1, Taylor Lee, Hen, 37-2.5; 2, Grace Osborne, GP, 34-2; 3, Jacquuelyn Aukusitino, NM, 34-0.5.
DISCUS — 1, Grace Osborne, GP, 108-5; 2, Anna Tobey, GP, 97-1; 3, Skylar Willey, HV, 86-1.
JAVELIN — 1, Abby Beals, Maz, 103-11; 2, Skylar Willey, HV, 95-6; 3, Isabella Heaton, Maz, 94-6.
HIGH JUMP — 1, Clara Bennett, Cra, 5-1; 2, Callie Brandes, GP, 5-0; 3, Katie Clevenger, SM, 5-0.
POLE VAULT — 1, Mackenzie Walker, St.M, 10-6; 2, Erin Bechtold, Cra, 10-0; 3, Clara Bennett, Cra, 8-6.
LONG JUMP — 1, Autumn Murray, CC, 15-10; 2, Sophie Mock, GP, 14-10; 3, Aja LaPan, HV, 14-9.
TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Cambrea Goodwin, C, 32-9.25; 2, Shanelle Balbin, Hen, 31-11.25; 3, Aja LaPan, HV, 31-3.5.
Reach Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @penzatopaper.