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More Hayward Field Magic for Nathan Wachs of Redmond, who outduels Summit’s Collin Moore to repeat as 5A high jump champion

“I was like, I’ll be fine if he makes it, because I’m rooting for him. But you know, if he misses it, I’ll be all right.”

By René Ferrán 

EUGENE — Nathan Wachs returned to Hayward Field on Saturday confident about his chances of repeating as Class 5A high jump state champion. 

Yes, the Redmond senior had to go against Summit’s Collin Moore, who won the 6A title last spring and had just beaten Wachs at the Intermountain district championships a week earlier.

But that meet was at Summit High, where Wachs had bad luck all season, losing all three encounters with Moore and the rest of the Storm’s high jump contingent.

Away from Summit, though, Wachs had beaten Moore, Isaac Knapp and Owen Lahey — the Storm’s trio of state qualifiers — at the Jesuit Twilight Relays in late April, jumping a personal-best 6 feet, 5 inches, that day.

And he’d achieved his previous PR of 6-4 on Hayward’s magical apron.

“I’d beat them at Twilight, so that was my only goal,” Wachs said. “They were the guys I had in my head.”

Throughout Saturday’s competition, Moore enjoyed the lead, clearing his first two heights on his first jump while Wachs struggled, needing two attempts at 6-0 and three at 6-2.

Then, at 6-3¼, the tables turned — Wachs made it on his second try, and Moore needed three jumps. Now, Wachs had the tiebreaker as the duo skipped the next two heights to go straight to 6-6.

Wachs missed his third try, leaving Moore with a do-or-die jump.

“I was like, I’ll be fine if he makes it, because I’m rooting for him,” Wachs said. “But you know, if he misses it, I’ll be all right.”

When the bar dropped, making Wachs a repeat champion before heading to Eastern Oregon to play receiver and (maybe) compete in track — he finished fourth in the 400 meters and ran a leg on the sixth-place 4x100 relay — he acknowledged having mixed feelings.

“Yeah, it feels good to be a two-time state champ, but last year, I won with the final jump, and this year, I won with, like, misses,” he said. “So, I’m not saying it’s any less exciting. But last year, I got the ultimate adrenaline rush at the end.”

Nathan Wachs of Redmond Rene Ferran