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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation June 20, 2018

5/23/2018 8:16:00 AM
Outlaws track girls win district, finish eighth at state
Anna Bartlett nudges Kate Bowen by one five-hundredth of a second in the 1,500 meters for 4th in the state final. photo by Jerry Baldock
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Anna Bartlett nudges Kate Bowen by one five-hundredth of a second in the 1,500 meters for 4th in the state final. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Charlie Kanzig

On the heels of winning its fourth consecutive Sky-Em District championship, the Outlaws girls track and field team placed eighth at the state meet May 18 and 19 at Hayward Field in Eugene.

With a total of 15 entries in a total of 11 events, Coach Jeff Larson thought his team might be in the running for a top-four finish, but it was not meant to be as the Outlaws had a mix of strong performances along with some unexpected disappointments.

The two-day meet at Hayward Field got underway on a positive note Friday morning, May 18 as sophomore Kate Bowen raced to a third-place finish in the 3,000 meters. Bowen stuck with the leaders through 2,000 meters, but got gapped by eventual winner Linnaea Kavulich of Scappoose and runner-up Solace Bergeron of Tillamook. Bowen, the school record-holder, finished in 10:36.95.

"Kate ran a great race," said Assistant Coach Josh Nordell. "She did all she could to stay with those girls. They are all top-notch runners."

It was redemption for Kavulich who finished second in last fall's state cross-country meet to Bergeron.

Friday's other bright spots came with Ryliereece Morgan finishing third with a season best of 5 feet 2 inches in the high jump and her seventh-place finish in the long jump at 16 feet 7 inches. Samantha Silva just missed scoring with her ninth-place finish at 15 feet 11 inches.

A week after setting the school record in the 100 meters, Mandi Calavan and fellow senior Erynn Ricker failed to qualify for the final. Ricker finished 10th and Calavan 12th, striking a blow to scoring opportunities for the Outlaws.

Ella Cole, battling illness, narrowly missed the finals, finishing in the ninth position in the 400 meters (1:03.89).

The Outlaws had two entries in the girls' pole vault, but neither Ricker nor frosh Shelby Larson made opening height. However, the day brightened with a fourth-place finish by the 4x100 meter relay team of Calavan, Ricker, Morgan and Brook Robillard which clocked their second-best time of the year at 50.31

Senior Anna Bartlett had a furious finish in the 1,500 meters to nip teammate Bowen as the pair placed fourth and fifth in 4:52.75 and 4:52.80 respectively. Kavulich of Scappoose won the race in a time of 4:39.83.

"Anna's kick was unreal," said Nordell. "And what a great double for Kate."

Bartlett paid a price for her career-best 1,500 as she struggled to eighth place in the 800 in 2:31.54.

Calavan chipped in two more points for the team in the 200 with a seventh-place finish in 26.48, and Morgan made another trip to the podium as well with a sixth-place finish in the triple jump thanks to a personal record of 35 feet 4.5 inches.

Marshfield took home the team crown with 60 points. The other trophy teams included Astoria (55), Philomath (52.5) and North Valley (50). Sisters finished with 34 points.

A week earlier, The host Outlaws stormed to the team title as they seemed to thrive under the home field advantage.

Eight Outlaw girls qualified in a total of 11 different events. The top two finishers in each event at district, along with athletes who meet automatic qualifying standards earn the right to compete at the OSAA Track and Field Championships scheduled for May 18 and 19 in Eugene.

The Outlaws scored big from the outset on the first day of competition May 10. Ryliereece Morgan secured the first state meet qualification as she battled with two other athletes in the high jump competition that resulted in three girls punching their tickets to state.

Morgan finished second after clearing 5 feet 1 inch. The winner, Matelyn Ladd of Cottage Grove, had a season-best of 5 feet 3 inches and Emilia Carpenter of Elmira met the automatic qualifying standard by jumping 5 feet even.

Another sophomore, Kate Bowen, cruised to victory in the 3,000 meters, clocking 11:03.71. Her season-best of 10:19.88, which set a new school record, ranks second in the state among 4A girls.

Runners Natalie Sitz (11:59) and Emma Parkes (13:15) also came through with big points for the Outlaws in the 3,000, finishing fourth and seventh respectively.

Morgan was back in action and ended up battling her own teammate to win the long jump competition. Samantha Silva took the lead early in the competition with a lifetime-best of 16 feet 5.5 inches, which met the automatic state qualifying mark, but Morgan came back with a mark of 16 feet 8 inches to claim first.

"What a great day for Samantha and for us to get two jumpers on to state," said Larson.

Saturday began well for the Outlaws as Erynn Ricker, Shelby Larson, and Abi Busick swept the top three places in the pole vault, sending Ricker and Larson to state.

When running events started the Outlaws really began to flex their muscles, sweeping to a season-best time of 50.06, second best among all 4A teams. The foursome included Ricker, Mandi Calavan, Morgan, and Silva.

The Outlaws went 1-2 in the next two events to take total control of the team race. Kate Bowen led throughout the 1,500, and Anna Bartlett found one last surge to get by Anika Thompson of Junction City, as the pair finished in 4:55.05 and 4:56.93 respectively.

The school record in the 100 meters fell to Mandi Calavan in the next event as she exploded to a time of 12.48 seconds. Erynn Ricker also ran a career-best to finish second in 12.68.

Ella Cole punched her ticket to state in the 400 meters following her second-place finish in 1:01.80, a personal record. Anna Bartlett qualified with a win in the 800 meters (2:28.84) for her second personal record of the day.

Calavan followed up with a second-place finish in the 200 meters where she got pulled to a second school record of 25.81 seconds.

"Mandi had an amazing day, setting not one, but two school records," said Larson. "And, Erynn Ricker scored 26.5 points by herself to give her a total of 117 district meet points in the past four years. Those two seniors really come ready to compete."

When the running events ended, the Outlaws had qualified athletes in everything but the two hurdles races and the 4x400-meter relay, in which they placed third.

The final qualifier for the Outlaws came in the triple jump, where Morgan finished second with a mark of 34 feet 5 inches, just 1.25 inches behind the winner, Kennady Laing of Elmira.

The Outlaws had plenty of winners, but the team score came from the depth of the rest of the team, according to Larson.

"It truly was a team effort to score that many points," he said. "I am so pleased with the entire team's effort."

Some of the other scorers for the Outlaws included Amy Hills and Emma Horner, who finished fourth and seventh respectively in the 300 hurdles, Meaghan Greaney, who picked up sixth-place points in the discus, and Hills and Alexa Stewart who went seventh and eighth in the 400.

"That's four district titles in a row for us, which is very gratifying," said Larson.

Teams from the 4A, 5A, and 6A classifications all compete in Eugene May 18 and 19 at Historic Hayward Field, making it a track and field smorgasbord for fans. The 1A, 2A, and 3A levels compete on May 17 and 18, also at Hayward Field.

With a large number of qualifiers headed to Hayward Field, Larson believes his squad could be in the hunt for a top-four finish.

"It's going to be fun to see our kids compete against the best teams in the state," said Larson.

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