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Oregon high school state track and field preview: Storylines, favorites, what to watch (girls)

A classification-by-classification look at this weekend's OSAA girls track and field state championships

By René Ferrán 

A classification-by-classification look at this weekend's OSAA girls track and field state championships

Photo (2022) by Leon Neuschwander 

OSAA state championships

Where: Hayward Field, University of Oregon, Eugene 

When: Thursday — 3A/2A/1A Field Events, 10 a.m.; 3A/2A/1A Running Events, 12:30 p.m. Friday — 6A/5A/4A Running and Field Events, 9 a.m. 3A/2A/1A Field Events, 2:30 p.m.; 3A/2A/1A Running Events, 4 p.m. Saturday — 6A/5A/4A Field Events, 9:30 a.m.; 6A/5A/4A Running Events, 12:30 p.m.

Class 6A

2023 district champions

Lincoln (PIL); Jesuit (Metro); Sherwood (Pacific); Nelson (Mt. Hood); Tigard (Three Rivers); West Salem (Central Valley); Grants Pass (Southwest)

Returning 2022 champions

Lake Oswego (team); Mia Brahe-Pedersen, Jr., Lake Oswego (100, 200); Josie Donelson, Jr., Lake Oswego (400); Autumn Dobbs, Jr., Lincoln (1A 400); Sydney Brewster, Sr., Sandy (Discus); Kyeese Hollands, Sr., Central Catholic (Javelin); Nicole Prall, Sr., Lincoln (Pole vault); Rhys Allen, Sr., Willamette (5A pole vault); Sophia Beckmon, Sr., Oregon City (Long jump); Anika Sukumar, Sr., West Linn (Triple jump)

What to watch

Team race

Lake Oswego won its first state championship last spring, and while the Lakers didn’t win the Three Rivers district title — Tigard edged them by 17 points — their top-end talent makes them the favorite to become the first team since Jesuit (2016-18) to repeat as champion.

Brahe-Pedersen has broken the state record in the 100 and 200 this spring and now has taken aim at the national high school records. Donelson is the state leader in the 400 (ranking in the state’s all-time top five) and is No. 2 in the 300 hurdles, and sophomore Ana Peters won the state cross country title in the fall and will contend in the 1,500 and 3,000. All three ran on the state-record-setting 4x400 relay at district, and the Lakers are also an overwhelming favorite to win the 4x100.

Can Hayward Magic come through for Beckmon again?

Hayward Field has been very, very good to Beckmon over the years. She has won two Nike Outdoor Nationals titles, went over 20 feet for the first time of her career in winning the OSAA title last spring, and finished second at the U.S. Under-20 Championships.

This season, she’s jumped 22 feet, 4 inches — just one inch off the national high school record. Anyone want to bet against her finding one more inch this weekend?

Trio targets 40 feet in triple jump

The triple jump boasts three individuals who’ve gone over 39 feet this spring — Sukumar and juniors Elizabeth Graham of Tualatin and Maleigha Canaday-Elliott of McDaniel. Sukumar took over the state lead with her Three Rivers district-winning jump of 39-8¾, and she came through in the clutch last spring at Hayward when she went a personal-best 39-11½ to win the title. All three will vie to join the three previous jumpers in state history to go over 40 feet legally.

Hollands returns with rare double in her sights

Hollands returns to Hayward Field with unfinished business. Last spring, she arrived as the top seed in the discus and javelin, hoping to become the third 6A girl to win both titles (and first since 1992), only to struggle to a fifth-place finish in the discus after winning the javelin. The order of events remains the same this season — the javelin on Friday, the discus on Saturday — and with the state’s top marks in each, she’ll look to make history before heading to Texas Tech in the fall.

Distance chaos beckons with wide-open fields

Last year, Lake Oswego junior Kate Peters came within three-tenths of a second of breaking the state record in the 3,000. Injuries sidelined her this spring (although she’s set to return next month at the Brooks PR Invitational in Renton, Wash.), leaving the 3,000 and 1,500 races wide open. Her younger sister, Ana, won the state cross country title in November, but she lost to Tualatin’s Lauren Ayers in both races at the Three Rivers district meet. Throw in a bevy of Jesuit runners, Southridge’s Erin Cosgrove in the 3K, Lincoln’s Sophia Malinoski and Central Catholic’s Ella McGillis in the metric mile — then pull names out of a hat.

Class 5A

2023 district champions

Wilsonville (Northwest Oregon); Thurston (Midwestern); Crescent Valley (Mid-Willamette); Summit (Intermountain)

Returning 2022 champions

Crescent Valley (team); Breanna Raven, Sr., Thurston (200, long jump, triple jump); Haley Blaine, Jr., West Albany (1500); Emily Wisniewski, So., Crescent Valley (3000); Zowie Nunes, So., Ridgeview (Javelin); Clara Bennett, Sr., Crater (High jump)

What to watch

Team race

It came down to the final race last year, and Crescent Valley eked out a one-point win over North Salem for its first state championship. While the Vikings moved up to 6A this fall, in their place comes Summit, which dominated the 5A ranks by winning every title from 2007-18 before moving to 6A. The Storm dominated at the Intermountain district meet and advanced 29 athletes to state, giving them plenty of opportunities to score points all around Hayward Field.

That’s so Raven: Thurston senior bids for three-peat

Raven won three titles last spring but will have to fend off South Albany freshman Pharalynn Dickson, who took over the 5A lead in the 200 with her victory at the Mid-Willamette district meet. Raven is more of a favorite to sweep the horizontal jumps — she has gone 2 feet farther than her nearest rival in the long jump and ranks No. 5 in state history, although Wilsonville junior Caroline De la motte is within a foot of her season best in the triple jump.

Wisniewski in a class by herself in 3K

Wisniewski has steadily dropped the 5A state record this spring, going 9:38.54 last weekend at the Mid-Willamette district meet to move to sixth on the all-time state list. Breaking the meet record of 9:50.94 shouldn’t be too difficult; however, if she is to become the fourth girl in state history to break 9:30 this weekend, she’ll likely have to follow Kate Peters’ strategy from a year ago and set a blistering pace by herself.

NWOC reunion in shot put ring Saturday afternoon

The top three shot putters in the field hail from the Northwest Oregon Conference — state leader Ofeina Pulotu of Parkrose, district champion Yazmeen Brown of Milwaukie and Wilsonville junior Avery DeVincenzi. They’ve each gone over 40 feet this spring, with Brown the latest to do so at the district meet.

Kleinke achieving heights never seen before in state

Churchill freshman Addison Kleinke has lived up to the hype she accumulated during middle school, when she won a national age group title as a seventh-grader and cleared 13-6 as an eighth-grader. She broke the state high school record this month, clearing 13-1 at the Grants Pass Rotary, and would love nothing more than to reset the mark in front of the hometown fans.

Class 4A

2023 district champions

Scappoose (Cowapa); Crook County (Tri-Valley); Philomath (Oregon West); Junction City (Sky Em); Henley (Skyline); La Grande (Greater Oregon)

Returning 2022 champions

Philomath (team); Daphne Scriven, Jr., Marshfield (Discus); Lanie Cox, Sr., Henley (Triple jump)

What to watch

Team race

Philomath qualified 19 entries in its bid to repeat as state champion — most among the six district titlists. La Grande advanced 18 in hopes of winning its first state title, while Henley (which won the last of its eight titles in 2009) brings 16 to Hayward Field.

Track events

Philomath sophomore Janice Hellesto won the 400 state title last spring but dropped the event this spring to run the 100 and 200, where she’ll face stiff competition from Scappoose junior Alice Davidson and Ontario sophomore Isabella Chiara. La Grande has a chance to sweep the distance races, with freshman Brooke Perry the top seed in the 1,500 and 3,000 and sophomore Cecilia Villagomez Edvalson ranked No. 2 in the 800. Another freshman, Sydney Baker of Mazama, is the 4A leader in the high and low hurdles.

Field events

The only overwhelming favorite among the seven field events would be The Dalles senior Zoe Dunn in the triple jump, who finished second at 5A last spring and is three feet clear of the field. She also has the top mark in the long jump among four 17-footers. Sophomores Abby Behrman of Estacada and Kalina Saechao of Cascade will battle with Scriven in the discus and shot put.

Class 3A

2023 district champions

Oregon Episcopal (District 1); Banks (District 2); Amity (District 3); Sisters (District 4); Coquille (District 5); Nyssa (District 6)

Returning 2022 champions

Nyssa (team); Coquille (2A team); Sidney DeBoer, Sr., St. Mary’s (200, triple jump); Dakota Hyland, Jr., Pleasant Hill (400); Autumn Murray, Sr., Cascade Christian (100 hurdles, long jump); Sierra Samhammer, Jr., Cascade Christian (300 hurdles); Trinidy Blanton, Sr., Coquille (2A javelin); Caroline Mauro, So., Catlin Gabel (High jump)

What to watch

Southern Oregon rivalries abound, with Cascade Christian teammates Murray and Samhammer squaring off in the hurdles as the top two seeds and DeBoer and Murray renewing their duel in the long jump. The jumps are where Nyssa hopes to rack up points in its title defense — eight of its 14 qualifiers are in those four events — while Coquille also sends 14 as it looks to win a title a year after moving up from 2A.

Class 2A

2023 district champions

Kennedy (District 1); Blanchet Catholic (District 2); Oakland (District 3); Weston-McEwen (District 4)

Returning 2022 champions

Portia Binford, Sr., Delphian (100); Celia James, So., Salem Academy (400); Nevaeh James, So., Enterprise (300 hurdles); Hallee Hughes, Sr., Willamina (3A discus, javelin); Olivia Boyd, Jr., Gervais (High jump)

What to watch

With 2022 champion Coquille moving up to 3A, the title race is wide open this season. Enterprise, which won the championship in 2019, features James (the state leader in the 300 hurdles and long jump) and freshman Owyhee Harguess (state leader in the 400). Gervais has the Boyd sisters — Whitworth signee Izzy as the district champion in the shot put and triple jump and Olivia as the top seed in the high jump among her four events. Besides the three other district champions, watch for Bandon and Nestucca to contend.

Class 1A

2023 district champions

Damascus Christian (District 1); North Douglas (District 2); Sherman (District 3); Crane (District 4)

Returning 2022 champions

Damascus Christian (team); Addy Martin, So., Adrian (100, 200); Ava Mai, So., Damascus Christian (300 hurdles, long jump); Ella Randall, So., Pine Eagle (Shot put); Sophie Hulke, Jr., Sherman (Discus); Kortney Doman, Jr., Crane (High jump); Julie Roth, Sr., North Lake (Triple jump)

What to watch

Damascus Christian has the breadth and depth to go for a seventh state title, with Mai and senior Sierra Hale leading 19 entries to Hayward Field. Crane’s bid to unseat the Eagles will be led by the Doman sisters (Kortney and Leslie), while Adrian will have to pile up points on the track between Martin and middle-distance specialist Presley Speelmon because the Antelopes do not have one qualifier in the field events.

Meet the state's best track and field athletes:

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Girls sprinters

Boys distance runners

Girls distance runners

Boys jumpers

Girls jumpers

Boys throwers

Girls throwers

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