Girls track and field district champs

 

Last updated 5/14/2024 at 9:57am

Photo by Jack Turpin

The lady Outlaws continue to be a powerhouse in track and field. They took the District Championships for the second year in a row last week.

A well-balanced day on the track, coupled with bright spots in the field, earned the Outlaw girls' team its second consecutive 3A Special District 4 title after two days of action at Reed Stadium May 9-10. 

Sisters amassed 148 points to easily outdistance second place Siuslaw (109) in the team race. La Pine finished third (97), followed by Creswell (90), Elmira (66), Glide (56), Pleasant Hill (55), and Sutherlin (29). 

The top two finishers in each event at District meets qualify for the OSAA State Championships, which is scheduled for May 16-17 at Hayward Field in Eugene. In addition, athletes are able to punch a ticket to state by meeting automatic qualifying standards if they don't place in the top two. One additional state meet slot is filled in each event through a "wildcard" system that honors athletes with the "next best" mark after other qualifiers are determined. 

The Outlaws had a banner day with seven first-place finishes, and four seconds, among the 17 events. 

Freshman Audrey Corcoran proved she can compete with the best among 3A sprinters and jumpers as she claimed individual titles in the 200 meters (26.07) and the long jump (16 feet 2.25 inches), placed second in the 100 (12.80), and ran the third leg on the victorious 4x400 meter relay that was a state best time of 4:06.6. Sisters won the 4x400 state title in 2023 with a time of 4:10.82. 

Corcoran was named  "Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet" as voted by the coaches. 

"Her award was well deserved," said head coach Jonathan Kelly. "She scored 28 points on her own and helped us get 10 more in the relay."

Gracie Vohs, the reigning state champion in the 400, took top honors in her specialty (1:00.03) and won the high jump as well (5-feet-1-inch). She placed third in a very fast 200 (26.75) and anchored the winning 4x400 relay. 

"Gracie was also in the running as the athlete of the meet after scoring 26 points on her own, along with the relay," Kelly added. 

Two other seniors picked up wins, including Ella Bartlett in the 3,000 (11:17.86) and Katie Buller, who pulled off an upset in the pole vault at 9-feet-9-inches. Bartlett also qualified for state in the 1,500 after placing second in 5:12.94. 

"Katie's win in the pole vault was a nice surprise," said Kelly. "And Ella Bartlett ran well in her distance events and has been a wonderful leader all season, especially as a mentor for the younger girls."

Althea Crabtree, another freshman, will be competing at state in the high jump (4 feet 11.75 inches) and the 100 hurdles (16.77) where she placed second. She also earned a wildcard bid in the pole vault with a height of 8 feet 4 inches. She also placed fourth in the 300 hurdles (49.21). 

Crabtree's classmate Josie Ryan took charge in the 800-meter race and held on for a second place finish in 2:27.53, which was a 10 second personal best. 

The team of Ryan, Brooke Duey, Corcoran, and Vohs put together a very fast 4x400 relay that pulled both Creswell and Pleasant Hill well under the automatic qualifying standard as well. 

"The 4x400 at state is going to be amazingly competitive," said assistant coach Dennis Dempsey. "Along with the three teams from our district, Banks, Westside Christian, and Horizon Christian have run at or below 4:11." 

Other girls adding to the point total for the Outlaws included Shanitah Few, who placed fifth in the 100 (13.57) and fourth in the high jump (4-feet-8.75-inches). Kolby McMahon placed fifth in the 1,500 (5:41.82) and  eighth in the 800 (2:49.57). Mae Roth took sixth in the 100 hurdles (18.46), and Norah Thorsett picked up eighth place in the javelin (78 feet 8 inches). The 4x100 relay team of Duey, Kate Singleton, Devon Stevens, and Few got fifth place in 56.23. 

Kelly acknowledged the spirit that senior Lilly Sundstrom contributed to the team even after a season-ending injury that kept her from returning to state after competing in both hurdles races and the long relay last year. 

"I couldn't be more proud of her for the composure she showed after not being able to compete following the 100 hurdles prelim," he said. "She stuck around and continued to support her teammates."

The 3A State Meet runs May 16-17 along with the 1A and 2A classifications. The 4A, 5A, and 6A teams compete on May 17-18, giving all six levels the opportunity to compete at Oregon's Hayward Field, considered to be one of the finest track and field stadiums in the world.

Tickets can be purchased on the osaa.org website, which features the complete schedule for the event along with other spectator information.

 

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