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‘I’ve been waiting for that jump for two years.’ It all comes together for Wilsonville’s Caroline de la Motte at 5A track championships

“I set some high expectations for myself and just really wanted to end with my best.”

By René Ferrán 

EUGENE — Caroline de la Motte knew she was capable of jumping a personal best Saturday in the Class 5A long jump at the OSAA track and field state championships.

Whether the Wilsonville junior could win a state title? That was more up in the air.

When defending champion Breanna Raven of Thurston struggled on the Hayward Field runway, consistently landing two feet short of her PR of 19 feet, 6 inches, it opened the door for someone to steal the title.

And steal it, de la Motte did by going 17-6¾ on her final attempt, moving from fifth place into the lead. Raven, who had led at 17-4 before the final round, fouled on her final jump, leaving de la Motte atop the standings.

“I wouldn’t have put it past her to pop a huge jump,” de la Motte said. “It was just a crazy feeling knowing I would end up first. It’s amazing. I’ve just been waiting for that jump for two years. So, it feels really good — my PR and beating my school record.”

Caroline de la Motte photo Rene Ferran

De la Motte finished second to Raven in Friday’s triple jump, which provided more fuel for Saturday’s competition.

“I felt really good about that, but I wanted to do better,” she said. “I set some high expectations for myself and just really wanted to end with my best.”

De la Motte’s previous personal best came at the Jesuit Twilight Relays, when she went 17-4 to finish second behind Oregon City’s Sophia Beckmon on a day when the senior came within an inch of setting the national record, going 22-4.

Saturday, it was Raven — who moved to No. 5 on the all-time state list when she won the Midwestern district title a week ago — who provided the motivation de la Motte needed.

“Breanna is an amazing jumper, and having her out here, just to keep pushing me, is amazing,” said de la Motte, who was a defender on Wilsonville’s state champion soccer team in the fall. “I didn’t think that I would be up here, but I feel so blessed.”