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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation July 22, 2017

5/27/2014 4:51:00 PM
Pollard is 800 meter champion
Brandon Pollard — by Jerry Baldock
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Brandon Pollard — by Jerry Baldock

By Charlie Kanzig

A week after signing a letter of intent to run for Division 1 Gonzaga University, Brandon Pollard showed why the 'Zags want him on the team. The Outlaws senior ran away from the rest of the 800-meter field at the OSAA 4A State Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field on Saturday.

His victory gave him some sense of redemption after he lost an epic battle in the 1,500 with defending state-champion Mack Marbas of Siuslaw earlier in the day by just .4 seconds - 3:58.45 to 3:58.83.

The 1,500 began strategically, which resulted in a slower pace through the entire first 800 meters before Pollard decided it was time to get racing. He and Marbas ran virtually together over the final 600, covering the last 400 meters in under a minute.

Pollard gave it his all.

"I was just so dead afterwards," he said. "I threw up four or five times, my hamstrings were so tight I could barely walk, and my head was just pounding."

And then he remembered the upcoming 800. "I am so glad that I was able to pull myself together in time for the 'eight.'"

He not only pulled himself together, he pulled away from the rest of the field to finish almost a full second ahead of the runner-up in 1:57.69.

"He was not going to be denied a state title," said Coach Josh Nordell.

Pollard was not the only medal-winner for the boys, as Zoe Falk completed her career with three more medals, including one for second place in a sequel to last year's 800-meter final.

Falk could not overcome returning champion Emily Bever of Molalla, who won the race in 2:16.87. Falk was second (2:28.95) and Charlie Davidson third (2:19.49) which replicated the order from 2013.

"We went out faster this year, and I just didn't have enough to catch Bever," said Falk, who won the title as a freshman, and finished third as a sophomore.

Falk also scored in the long jump, where she finished eighth (16-feet-2-inches) and snagged another medal for running the third leg of the 4x400-meter relay team comprised of Natalie Ambrose, Macadia Calavan, and Michaela Miller, which was timed in 4:03.28. Philomath won the race in 4:02.54 and Ridgeview ended up third in 4:03.68.

"The relay was thrilling," said Nordell. "At one point Natalie and the anchor legs from Philomath and Ridgeview were running three across."

Earlier in the day Ambrose placed seventh in the 400 (59.61) and ran on the 4x100-meter relay team with Calavan, Miller, and Emily Corrigan that struggled a bit in placing 13th in 51.88.

Other points came from Miller, who placed fifth in the long jump (16-3.5), and Tessa 0'Hern, who earned a seventh-place medal in the pole vault with a clearance of 9-6.

On Friday, Aria Blumm lowered her school record once again, placing a solid third in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10:43.01.

"I am happy with my effort, but always looking for better," she said.

Blumm returned Saturday with yet another personal best in the 1,500 on her way to sixth place in 4:51.54.

Despite great efforts, the Outlaws fell just short of a trophy, placing fifth with 34 points. The trophy winners included North Valley (65), Crook County (46), Marshfield (40) and Ridgeview (37)

Crook County got 10 points from former Outlaw Laken Berlin, who won the long jump with a mark of 17-1.25.

The other individual qualifier for the boys, Jake McAllister, closed out his high school career with medals in both the 300 hurdles (41.21) where he placed seventh, and in the high jump (5-10) where he placed eighth.

He also ran on the 4x400-meter relay team (Pollard, Keegan Greaney, and Keenan O'Hern) which placed 14th in 3:34.17.

North Bend won the boys meet with 51 points to edge Hidden Valley (50), Scappoose (48) and Central (46). Sisters finished with 20.5 points.

"The kids competed hard, and nearly everyone had either personal or season bests, which is all you can ask for at this level," said Nordell.

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