|5/21/2013 1:49:00 PM|
Eight qualify for state track meet
|Allysa Haken win High jump @ 5’ 0” to qualify for State. photo by Jerry Baldock|
By Charlie KanzigWhile not quite able to repeat as District champions, the Sisters girls' track team still managed to qualify five girls to the state meet in a total of eight different events at the Sky-Em District Meet held at Cottage Grove High School May 16 and 18.
The boys' team will be sending three representatives to the state meet in four different events as well.
The girls finished second to a well-balanced Cottage Grove squad for the team title, but behind the efforts of Alisha Haken, who was voted the Field Athlete of the Year, and the strong running of Zoe Falk, Aria Blumm, and Michaela Miller the team will be well represented at the OSAA State Championships scheduled for Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene.
Haken's heroics began on Thursday with a victory in the high jump where she was the only competitor to clear five feet. She picked up another win Saturday in the triple jump (33 feet 9.75) and nearly simultaneously placed second in the pole vault with a clearance of 8 feet 4 inches, earning her the award for outstanding field event competitor for the second consecutive year.
In her only running event, Haken was edged at the wire in the 100 hurdles, finishing second in 16.49 seconds, just .01 off her career best.
"Alisha Haken has been the backbone of our program, an incredible athlete, and a positive role model on and off the track," said Coach Josh Nordell. "She will be missed next year."
Michaela Miller led the long jump competition until the final jump on her way to second place with a leap of 15 feet 4 inches to qualify for state. Danika Wagner, a fellow freshman, placed third at 14 feet 4 inches.
Like Haken, Miller will be busy at state as she also qualified in the 300-meter hurdles by placing second in 47.89 seconds, her best time ever.
"Michaela Miller was a rock and is the type of athlete we will build a program around the next three years," said Nordell. "To qualify for state in three events as a freshman is astounding and outstanding, sort of like Zoe Falk did as a frosh two years ago."
Falk and Blumm literally did a lot of legwork for the Outlaws as they placed second and third respectively in the 1,500-meter run (5:03.66 and 5:10.86) and first and second in the 800 meters (2:25.83 and 2:27.52). Falk, who finished third at the state meet last year in the 1500, elected to focus on the 800 this year, allowing Blumm to move up into the qualifying position. The pair both placed in the 800 at state in 2012 and look to repeat that performance this year.
Katelyn Meeter provided plenty of points in the middle distances as well, taking fifth in both the 1,500 and the 800 in career best times.
"Katelyn is a real competitor and she showed that down the stretch in both her races," said Nordell.
To conclude the meet Falk, Blumm, Miller, and Macadia Calavan teamed up to qualify for state in the 4 x 400 relay, placing second in 4:15.53.
"Zoe Falk and Aria Blumm continue to improve as the season goes on," said Nordell. " Aria had an incredible kick in the 1500m. She is much stronger than she gives herself credit for."
Cottage Grove won the meet with 171 points, followed by Sisters (143), Elmira (113), Sweet Home (91), Junction City (83) and La Pine (53).
"For us to place second with only one senior competing at the district meet is a testament to the girls' commitment and desire."
For the boys, Brandon Pollard proved that he is ready to take on the best in the state after overcoming a broken foot that kept him out of action the entire month of April and part of this month. He led the 1500 from start to finish winning in 4:08.21, just .3 seconds off his best from last year when he placed seventh at the state meet. Pollard looks to run with the leaders this year in that event this yea. He further underscored his return to good form, when he later captured first place in the 800 meters as well in 2:01.92,
After crossing the line, he quickly turned to see if his freshmen teammate Izaak Kanzig might join him at State. He got his wish as Kanzig surged in the final 40 meters to claim second in his best time of 2:04.42. Kanzig is one to just two freshmen at the 4A level entered in a running event at the state meet.
"It's pretty cool that our boys and girls 800 runners both went 1,2,5 in the final," said Nordell.
Trent Marks ran 2:09.23 in his finest time of his career.
Jake McAllister earned his ticket to the state meet in the long jump on Thursday, placing second to the state leader Jeremy Derosiers of La Pine, with a mark of 20 feet 3 inches on Thursday. Saturday brought disappointment for McAllister as he was not able to repeat his best in the high jump, finishing fourth at 5 feet 11 inches. Calamity struck in the 300 meter hurdles later in the meet when McAllister, battling hard for the second spot, clipped a the eighth hurdle and fell hard to the track, his dreams dashed. He bravely got up and completed the race. The meet ended on a happier note, as McAllister was voted the male Field Athlete of the Meet in a vote of coaches.
The top non-qualifying performance for the boys' team came when freshmen Dyut Fetrow moved up from eighth place to third over the final 500 meters to smash his previous best time in the 1500 at 4:25.49.
"Dyut ran with intelligence and heart and he impressed a lot of people," said Nordell.
Another pleasant surprise came on the runway when Jonathan Luz popped a triple jump of 38 feet 10 inches to finish fourth.
The 4 x 400 meter relay team, which ended up fourth, also provided some drama as the top four teams battled closely through most of the race thanks to the return of Pollard and season-best efforts by Ian Baldessari, Marks and Kanzig.
"Those boys knocked over eight seconds off the team's best relay time of the year and surprised everybody," said Nordell. "What a kick!"
The boys finished fifth as a team with 70 points behind La Pine (154), Cottage Grove (142), Elmira (142), Sweet Home (76). Junction City finished sixth with 65 points. Despite a low finish in the team rankings, Nordell pointed out how well the young team performed throughout the meet.
"These guys train hard and compete even harder," said Nordell. "The fact that none of them graduate is very exciting.
The state qualifiers will compete on Friday and Saturday with the goal of making finals and bringing back some medals. "The Outlaws tend to come to state ready for action and I don't see this year as being any different," said Nordell.
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