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PREP TRACK: Walker steals spotlight with swift 200

South Medford junior records fifth-fastest time in Oregon history

EUGENE — South Medford sprint star Andrew Walker had been building for a good showing at the Oregon Relays and he provided just that Friday for the throngs of track and field fans on hand at Hayward Field.

Walker blistered the field to run the fifth-fastest boys 200-meter dash in Oregon high school history and win going away in 21.27 seconds.

His mark stands as the third-best in Oregon Relays history, shy of only University of Oregon standouts Devon Allen (20.68) and Marcus Chambers (20.94) when they squared off among the collegians in 2016.

In setting his personal record, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Walker was able to pull away down the stretch to finish ahead of a strong field that saw Mason Lawyer of Boise High in Idaho finish runner-up in 21.72 and North Medford senior Nathan Rider place third in 21.77. St. Mary’s High senior Gavin Cougle finished fifth in 21.94.

The effort was reminiscent of when Tyren Wolfe of North Medford took the Oregon Relays by storm six years ago, finishing with the meet’s fifth-best effort for all levels in the 100 (10.70) and eighth-best mark in the 200 (21.71).

In Oregon history, only Ryan Bailey of McKay (21.13 in 2007), Micah Williams of Benson (21.19 in 2018), Jack Galpin of Crater (21.20 in 2011) and Jordan Kent of Churchill (21.25) have bettered Walker’s time.

The first day of the two-day elite event that draws athletes from Oregon, Washington and Idaho high schools — as well as collegiate competitors in separate races — included a host of strong local efforts.

Crater sophomore Caleb Barsalou placed seventh in the boys 2-kilometer steeplechase in 6 minutes, 57.38 seconds and freshman Hudson Barsalou was 10th (7:11.15) in an event that isn’t part of a typical high school meet.

North Medford sophomore Terrell Kim placed 11th in the boys shot put with a throw of 13.62 meters, with Mountain View of Idaho’s Jackson Beck winning in 17.37 meters.

Crater sophomore Gabriel Grant placed 13th in the boys long jump at 6.15 meters, not far off the pace set by Meridian of Idaho’s Eli Lawrence (6.68), while North Medford senior Audrey Yechout finished 18th in the girls long jump at 4.65 meters.

Crater senior Erin Bechtold finished 17th in the girls pole vault (3.20 meters), while the boys 3,000-meter freshman finals produced solid marks from Crater’s Aiden Huggins (11th, 9:41.68) and Ivar Hokanson (15th, 10:06.58) and South Medford’s Eli Dixon (9:56.93). In the girls 3,000 freshman finals, Crater’s Emma West placed 19th (11:18.05).

In other notable preliminary marks entering today’s finals, South Medford’s boys 4x100 relay of Asher Johnson, Benjamin Krebs, Deacon Edgar and Andrew Walker qualified third in 43.15 and Ashland’s boys 4x400 relay of Caden Negra, Cole Beneventi, Nathan Stein and Vincent Senn qualified fourth (3:29.96).

PHILLIPS-KLIMEK DISTANCE TWILIGHT: At Phoenix, Phoenix seniors Elwood Hosking and Sophia Stubblefield set personal records in the 800 meters in the first of a two-day set of meets at Jack Woodward Stadium.

Hosking crossed the finish line for the boys in a winning time of 1 minute, 58.01 seconds, while Stubblefield clocked 2:24.74 to win the girls race. Stubblefield was followed by fellow Pirate Kyla Potratz, who also set a PR and was runner-up with a time of 2:28.68.

The Grants Pass girls earned the top three spots in the 3,000 meters with Madison Wilt leading the way. Wilt posted a personal-best time of 10:36.81, as did second-place teammate Nettle Grey (11:19.2). Bela Marshak (11:22.46) rounded out the top three for Grants Pass.

Wyatt Montgomery of La Pine won the boys 3,000 (9:24.26).

BOYS

800 — 1, Elwood Hosking, Phoenix, 1:58.01; 2, Quaid Kelly, Grants Pass, 1:59.74; 3, Grant Bohannon, Hidden Valley, 2:00.43.

3,000 — 1, Wyatt Montgomery, La Pine, 9:24.26; 2, Justin Ball, North Valley, 9:25.57; 3, Matthew Rieman, Grants Pass, 9:31.71.

GIRLS

800 — 1, Sophia Stubblefield, Phoenix, 2:24.74; 2, Kyla Potratz, Phoenix, 2:28.68; 3, Olivia Smith, North Valley, 2:28.91.

3,000 — 1, Madison Wilt, Grants Pass, 10:36.81; 2, Nettle Grey, Grants Pass, 11:19.2; 3, Bela Marshak, Grants Pass, 11:22.46.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Andrew Walker crosses the finish winning the 100 meters during a dual meet against Grants Pass Wednesday in Medford.
Andrew Walker, South Medford