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Senior Quinn Greene embraces role as leader on Lake Oswego's young girls track squad: ‘They’re capable of anything and everything’

“It’s not that hard to be a leader with these girls. We’re all super motivated and all super connected as a team.”

By René Ferrán | Photo by Taylor Balkom 

Quinn Greene had waited four years for her chance to run at Eugene's Hayward Field in a Class 6A track and field state meet. 

The Lake Oswego senior entered the meet as a contender to score points in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles behind state record-holder Harley Daniel of Oregon City.

More important, she served as a leader for a young sprint corps that included wunderkind sophomore Mia Brahe-Pedersen and her classmates, Josie Donelson and Riley Ha. 

“It’s not that hard to be a leader with these girls,” Greene said. “We’re all super motivated and all super connected as a team. So, as a senior, I try to bring the light and the fun of it all. I didn’t get to experience this stuff that I wanted so bad, and I wanted to show them how grateful I am.”

In her first race of the weekend, Greene became the latest victim of Hayward Field’s hurdles, which are heavier than the typical high school hurdle and took down quite a few high hurdlers over the three-day meet.

She picked herself up off the track and clambered across the finish line, then immediately exited down the tunnel in tears.

“As a senior, there’s so many emotions,” Greene said. “I gave myself an hour of feeling upset, of shaking off the pain. I’d had a few big PRs the last few weeks, and I’d been looking forward to showing up for my team.

“Obviously, I was disappointed, but then I realized that the only way I could do that was to give it all in my relays. I got taped up, got mad, and got out there.”

After failing to advance to the 300 hurdles final, Greene arrived Saturday morning ready to help the Lakers’ 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams pursue a couple of state records.

They came close in both, missing by 34-hundredths of a second in the 4x100 (winning in 46.87) and 67-hundredths in the 4x400 — the latter chase interrupted when a previous runner slowed up in front of Brahe-Pedersen as she accelerated after getting the baton for the third leg, forcing her to check up.

That brief halt likely made the difference between breaking Benson’s 19-year record of 3 minutes, 49.97 seconds, and Lake Oswego’s winning time of 3:50.64, which moved the Lakers to No. 3 on the all-time state list.

“I’m just so proud of my team,” Greene said. “I’ve been trying to live in the moment, the last few weeks especially. I think that tomorrow, I will feel a little more of the bitter of the bittersweet.”

Greene also made a point of letting her teammates know she won’t be too far away even after she graduates. 

“They’re capable of anything and everything,” Greene said. “I’ll be watching them the next few years, doing the amazing things that they’re capable of.”

Best photos from Day 2 of 6A, 5A, 4A Oregon high school track and field state championships