|5/8/2018 1:07:00 PM|
Track teams ready for District
By Charlie KanzigThe Wally Ciochetti Twilight Invitational served as the final tune-up for this week's Sky-Em District Track and Field Championships set to get underway Thursday and Saturday May 10 and 12 here in Sisters at Reed Stadium.
It is the first time in many years that Sisters High has been able to serve as host for the meet, but, now that the facility's renovation is complete, the stage is set for an exciting, high quality meet, according to head coach Jeff Larson.
"We've been looking forward to hosting District all season," Larson said.
At the Ciochetti meet, which featured 14 4A teams, Jordan Pollard faced his top 4A rival, John Kavulich of Scappoose, in the 1,500 meter and squeaked out a narrow win 4:05.17-4:06.86. Pollard was the runner-up to Kavulich at November's cross country state championships. The pair, who owns the top two times in the event among 4A runners, is likely to meet again at the OSAA State Championships the week after District.
To add an exclamation point to the speed Pollard has developed, he came back less than an hour later and won the 400 meters in a personal record of 51.13, which puts him with .7 seconds of the fastest 4A sprinter. Pollard finished second to Crook County's Tyler Lawson who finished in 50.89.
"It's very hard to imagine anyone outkicking Jordan in a distance race," said assistant coach, Josh Nordell.
Hayden Sharp earned a spot on the podium in the 400 race, finishing eighth in 53.75.
Junior Keaton Green tried out the 1500 for this first time this season and for only the second time in his career, and notched a solid time of 4:19.16, giving evidence to his growing strength as a middle distance runner.
Freshman Sam May continued his pursuit of going under 2:10 in the 800 as he ran another personal record with a time of 2:13.76.
Two other freshman phenoms made their mark in the meet as Ethan Hosang and John Peckham placed second and sixth respectively in the 3000 with times of 9:25.05 and 9:30.45.
"They are proving they can run with anyone," said Larson.
Sisters snagged medals in both relays as well, finishing eighth in the 4 x 100 meter relay (46.42) and fifth in the 1,600-meter relay (3:36.49).
Sophomore Garrett Kersavage cleared the bar in the pole vault at 12 feet for the first time in his career on this way to finishing fifth in the event.
The boys placed seventh among the total of 17 teams with 38 points. Crook County took top honors with 94 points.
"This is the closest thing to the state meet that our kids can experience as far as depth and quality of athletes from our 4A division," said Larson. "It's tough to make the podium, but it really offers kids a chance to test themselves."
The girls scored in 13 of the 17 events and picked up a number of personal and season bests along the way to finish second as a team with 78.5 points. Philomath amassed 107.5 points to take the crown.
Ryliereece Morgan did her part for the team, picking up wins in the high jump (5 feet 2 inches) and in the long jump (17 feet 3 inches). In addition she took third in the triple jump (34 feet 6 inches) and ran on the fourth place 4x100 relay team with Samantha Silva, Erynn Ricker, and Mandi Calavan, (51.73).
Calavan also took fourth in the 200 (27.19) and fifth in the 100 (13.18), while Silva picked up a point by finishing eighth in the long jump with a personal best of 15 feet 10.5 inches. Ricker finished seventh in the 100 (13.26).
Shelby Larson set a personal best in the pole vault at 9 feet to place fourth, and Gracen Sundstrom scored with eighth place at 7 feet 6 inches. Brooke Robillard cleared 4 feet 10 inches in the high jump for the first time and placed sixth.
Ella Cole and Amy Hills both ran personal bests in the 400 meters (1:03.43) and (1:05.62), scoring in fifth and eighth places.
The distance runners brought in some points thanks in part to a personal record for Natalie Sitz who ran a huge personal best in the 3,000 where she placed third in 11:42.48. Kate Bowen (4:56.42) and Anna Bartlett (5:11.64) placed third and fourth respectively in the 1500, and Bowen also scored in the 800 by finishing sixth in 2:26.23.
Other scorers included Kendra Sitz in the 100 hurdles (17.83) and the 4 x 400 meter relay team of Bartlett, Cole, Calavan and Alexa Stewart, which finished eighth in 4:24.08.
"This meet was indeed a great tune-up for District," said Larson. "The great competition in every single event brought out the best in our athletes."
The Sky-Em District meet serves two purposes in that team champions will be established and state qualifiers will be determined. The top two individuals and relay teams, along with any athletes who meet automatic qualifying marks (which is quite rare), advance to the OSAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene May 18 and 19.
Day One on Thursday starts off with field events at 11:00. Running events begin at 1:00 and are largely preliminary heats as the only running final on Thursday will be the 3000 meters. Day Two on Saturday is similar with field events kicking off at 11 a.m. and running finals starting at 1:25 p.m. Because it is a Sky-Em District Championship, there will be an admission fee at the gate.
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