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Emma Gates of Cascade joins exclusive group of 6-foot high jumpers, wins Jesuit Twilight Relays title

The University of Arizona signee is knocking on the door of Rachel Proteau's state record of 6-1.

By René Ferrán | Photo by Taylor Balkom 

Three times Friday afternoon on the west end of Cronin Field, Emma Gates faced a do-or-die jump.

The Cascade senior had already wrapped up the title in the girls high jump at the 20th annual Jesuit Twilight Relays, fending off a challenge from Tualatin’s Kyra Bakke.

Gates also had the meet record in her champions’ backpack after clearing 5 feet, 8 inches, on her second try to finally put away Bakke, who took second with a personal-best 5-7 on her third jump.

Then, first at 5-10, Gates needed three attempts to make an outdoor season best.

Next came three cracks at 6-0¼, which would make her just the fourth Oregon girl ever to go over 6 feet outdoors. Her first two tries were solid but ended with the bar crashing to the mat.

As she toed her mark for that third attempt, she put aside the worsening conditions for one final try at history.

“I’ve been thinking that hopefully, that 6-foot jump (indoors) up in Washington wouldn’t be the best I was going to do this season,” Gates said. “My other meets, the weather has been pretty nasty, so I came at it just hoping for the best today.”

She approached from the left side, curled toward the bar, and soared over the bar, scraping it on the way by. As she landed on the mat, she looked up at the swaying bar, “and I was like, ahhh!” she said.

When it finally stopped and the crowd roared, “I was just like, yes!” she said. “It feels really good to get over 6 feet.”


Gates then took three tries at 6-1¼, which would have broken the state record of 6-1 set nine years ago by West Albany’s Rachel Proteau. The other 6-foot jumpers are Sheridan’s Joni Huntley, an Olympic medalist who was the first to do so in 1974, and Chiloquin’s Shari Collins in 1981 and 1982.

While the University of Arizona signee fell short of Proteau’s record, Friday’s leap buoyed her confidence with district and state on the horizon.

“This is a really good sign,” Gates said. “I like that this season, I’m peaking at the end, because I tend to not do that. I would peak at the beginning, so one of my goals has been to be more consistent. I’m really happy that I got this 6-foot jump today.”

Gates’ performance would have put her on the podium in the boys competition, which was won by junior Nathan Wachs of Redmond. He was the only one of five jumpers to clear 6-4, making it on his second attempt to vault from fifth to first in the standings.

Girls High Jump Podium

1, Emma Gates, Sr., Cascade, 6 feet, 0.25 inches.

2, Kyra Bakke, So., Tualatin, 5-7.

3, Catherine Phillips, Fr., Mountainside, 5-2.

4, Alison Calvin-Stupfel, Sr., West Salem, 5-2.

5, Lucille Leasure, Fr., Oregon City, 5-2.

6, Karina Cooper, Fr., Camas, 5-2.

7, Alexa Anderson, Fr., Tigard, 5-2.

8, Isabella Sanderl, Jr., Summit, 5-0.

tie, Reagan Ince, Sr., Tahoma, 5-0.

Boys High Jump Podium

1, Nathan Wachs, Jr., Redmond, 6-4.

2, Kalil Irby, Sr., Southridge, 6-2.

3, Eli Flamoe, Sr., Cleveland, 6-2.

4, Davyon Sanders, Sr., Sherwood, 6-2.

5, Liam Abbott, Sr., Sunset, 6-2.

6, Andrew Beymer, So., Central Catholic, 6-0.

tie, Patrick Monahan, Jr., Bishop Kelly, 6-0.

8, Isaac Knapp, Jr., Summit, 6-0.

Best photos from 2022 Jesuit Twilight Relays

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