WALLA WALLA — Track and field athletes in Oregon open up their respective state meets today at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene. By Saturday night, McLoughlin, Weston-McEwen and Helix athletes will have concluded their competition.
In Washington, Walla Walla High sends a contingent of 54 to Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco for the Greater Spokane League/Mid-Columbia Conference regional meet today and Saturday, with the top two in each event heading to Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma for next week’s state meet.
And Southeast 2B schools DeSales, Waitsburg-Prescott, Walla Walla Valley Academy and Dayton head to Moscow, Idaho, today and Saturday to hash out state qualifiers at the University of Idaho.
Those advancing join Pomeroy athletes at Eastern Washington University in Cheney next week for the state meet.
Pomeroy’s boys team finished second at the 1B district meet at Whitworth University on Tuesday, with Shawn Weisner winning the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, Cole Mayfield the high jump, Memo Morfin the pole vault and the Pirate 4x100 relay claiming victory to highlight their boys state contingent.
On the Pirate girls side, Skylar Smith took the pole vault, and the 4x400 relay was second to standout at their district meet.
At Oregon’s state meets, Mac-Hi sends Kristi Childers in the 100 and 200, Susana Romero-diaz in the 1,500, Tristan Warne in the 110 and 300 hurdles, and Aaron Lefore in the shot put and discus for the Class 4A meet.
Pioneers coach Stacie Lieuallen said Lefore set a new school record in the discus at the district meet and has high hopes at state.
And Warne “is a contender to score well, or even win, a championship in both” of his hurdles, she said.
Joining the Pioneers in Eugene are 1A athletes from Helix and 2A athletes from Weston-McEwen.
Madison Carlin leads the TigerScot girls with state berths in the 100, 200 and long jump, as well as teaming with Ali Schroeder, Melanie Sederburg and Betsy West in the 4x100 relay.
West also competes in the state 100 and 300 hurdles, and Sederburg in the pole vault.
On the W-M boys’ side, Clayton Gaines qualified in the shot put and discus, and Shaw Broncheau in the triple jump.
For the Grizzlies girls, distance runner Ana Goodwin is competing in the 1,500 and 3,000.
Macey Tullis joins her in the 1,500, Bethany Newtson goes in the 800 and MaKenzie Mize qualified in the discus.
On the Helix boys side, Jerome Rochelle is the top seed in the shot put, and Dusty Bennett heads to Eugene in the triple jump.
For the 4A Blue Devils, the regional meet is the highlight of the season, according to coach Eric Hisaw.
“It’s probably the most fun meet all year long,” he said. “We build for it all year, and hopefully we’re rested and the best we can be.
“The mental aspect plays a big part,” Hisaw said of the regional meet. “We have a lot of young kids going, and it’s a good chance for them to see state-caliber athletes.
“Our whole goal is to get as many kids to state as we can, and then get to the podium.”
Wa-Hi’s boys 4x100 relay won the district meet without Darnell Handcox, who was out with a pulled muscle.
“Hopefully, everybody will run (at regional), and our 4x400 relay has a good shot,” Hisaw said.
Handcox’s injury is the wildcard as he tries to advance in the long and triple jumps.
“It depends on how healthy he is,” Hisaw said.
In the sprints, Stuart Gillin and Ethan Gardner have “a real chance in the 100 and 200,” Hisaw said. “They’ve been there before and done that, so they won’t be in awe.”
Rob Thonney won the 300 hurdles at the district meet.
“He’s got a real shot at that,” Hisaw said. “He hasn’t run a clean, perfect race yet. If he gets it right, he’ll be right in the hunt.”
Leading the Blue Devil girls are throwers Katarina Tonhdavong (a district winner in the shot put and discus), Madi Doepker (runner-up to Tonhdavong in both the discus and shot, as well as third in the javelin) and Maddie Sirmon (a second-place finisher in the javelin, and fourth-place finisher in the shot and discus).
Hisaw said Tonhdavong “had a really good (district) meet last week. And she was a state placer (second in discus) last year, so she understands big moments. She’s rested and has a good shot.”
Sirmon, who won the javelin by over 2 feet at last year’s state meet, and Doepker “both throw well,” Hisaw said. “They have already thrown past the state qualifying mark. I expect great things from them.
“We’ve ridden those three all year long.
In the triple jump, Miranda Doyle is “6 to 8 inches out of being in the top two,” he said. “Anything can happen, she’s had a really solid year.”
Hurdler Colleen Gibbons finished second in both the 100 and 300 last week, and sprinters Kendall Davis (third in the 100, sixth in the 200) and Hannah Moeller (fifth in both the 100 and 200) have been running their best times the last couple weeks, Hisaw said.
Distance runner Courtney Cox is in the top three in the 3,200, and top six in the mile, her coach said.
“She’s running as fast as any of the girls,” Hisaw said. She’s got a great shot.”
Wa-Hi’s contingent was whittled from 94 at the district to the 54 headed to regional.
“It should be a great time both days,” Hisaw said. “We’re looking forward to it.”