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State Meets Recap

The plan last year when we started West Coast XC was to cover Washington, Oregon and California. Last summer we found out that all three states planned to have their state track meets on the same weekend. We thought, why not go to all three?

Thursday, May 25 - Washington State Meet

After teaching a ninth-grade language arts class at Aloha High School in Beaverton, Oregon, I drove up to Mt. Tahoma High School, home of the Washington State Meet.

Rebecca O'Keefe (left) and Anna Callahan (right) of Skyline

The first distance race on the line was the 2A girls 1600-meter final. Sydnee Boothby of Washougal took out the race with a sizable lead. Gradually Jessica Frydenlund of Anacortes closed the lead and won in a time of 4:59.87. The 3A girls 1600-meter race had a similar start at the 2A race as Kalea Hill of Bellevue had a large lead on the field, Julia Couch ran an incredible last lap to catch and pass Hill for the win in 4:52.04. The 4A race looked to be a battle between Skyline teammates Rebecca O’Keefe and Anna Callahan. At Arcadia, O’Keefe and Callahan ran in separate mile races with O’Keefe running the faster time. At the Jesuit Twilight Relay, Callahan edged O’Keefe in the mile. The 4A 1600 saw O’Keefe and Callahan raced together until Callahan pulled away for the win in 4:44.05.

Owen Powell (middle) of Mercer Island

The 2A boy’s 1600-meter race was the Zack Munson of Sehome show from the start to finish as he won in a time of 4:13.64. The 3A boy’s race had 15 boys who ran 4:16 or faster this season in the 1600. The race did not disappoint. Cruize Corvin of Lakes took the race out and then Parker Westerman of Mt. Spokane had the lead with a lap to go. As the finish line approached, it was a three-way battle between Brody Hartley of Walla Walla, Owen Powell of Mercer Island and Vincent Recupero of Bishop Blanchet. Powell took the victory in a time of 4:07.75. We watched Powell win in a similar fashion at the Stanford Invitational on April 1. The top eleven finishers all ran personal or season bests. In the 4A boy’s 1600-meter race, Conner Wirth of Emerald Ridge took the lead and then Isaac Briggs of Rogers (Puyallup) took over with a lap to go and won in 4:13.19.

Afterwards, I headed back home to Beaverton to get ready for the Oregon State Meet.

I had help from Adam, whose son run runs for Arlington, and we had two cameras on the track for the 1600.

Photo gallery for the Washington State Meet 1600 is HERE.

Adam also took pictures from various distance races on Friday and Saturday.

The photo gallery for Washington State Meet 800 and 3200 is HERE.

Friday, May 26 - Oregon State Meet

Emily Wisniewski of Crescent Valley

The next morning, I drove out to Hayward Field in Eugene, OR. This is the second year that the Oregon State Meet was held at the newly configured Hayward Field. The first running event was the 4A girls 3000-meter race. Freshman Brooke Perry of La Grande dominated the race winning in a time of 10:32.23. Emily Wisniewski of Crescent Valley came into the meet with the fastest time in the state for the 3000 and she won her second 5A 3000-meter title in a time of 9:28.52. She set the state meet record and is now ranked third all-time in the state. Lauren Ayers of Tualatin came into the 6A meet with the fastest time of the season and the race ended in form with Ayers winning in 10:01.57.

Tyrone Gorze of Crater

Alexander Garcia-Silver of Marshfield has dominated the 4A level in cross country and track this season. Now he aimed to get the 4A meet record in the 3000. He beat the 4A record by .05 with a time of 8:31.08. Speaking of records, Tyrone Gorze of Crater aimed for the state record held by Galen Rupp, but missed the record by a second. Still, he set the 5A meet record with a personal best time of 8:04.60. It is also the new US #1 in the event. Jacob Nenow of Jesuit won the 6A title in cross country last fall and was the favorite coming into the 6A 3000-meter final. Nenow delivered with an 8:17.07 win. The battle for second came down to Jack Meier of West Salem, Joshua Augustine of Jesuit and Gus Clevenger of Jesuit. Meier won at the line with a time of 8:20.80.

After the 800-meter prelims, it was back on the road to the Portland Airport to catch a flight to Fresno.

Photo gallery of the Oregon State Meet 3000 and 800 prelims are HERE

With all my travel, I was unable to attend the Oregon 1A-3A state meet, but don’t worry because Ellyson and Emmie of St Stephen’s Academy took pictures.

The photo gallery of the Oregon State Meet 1A-3A is HERE

My wife and daughter traveled to Eugene on Saturday and had two cameras on the track.

The photo gallery for Saturday’s Oregon State Meet is HERE.

Saturday, May 27 - California State Meet

Unlike Washington and Oregon which has division races at the state meet, California has on Saturday all the athletes from the different divisions compete in one event.

1600 Meters

Sadie Engelhardt of Ventura

The question for the girl’s 1600 was not whether Ventura’s Sadie Engelhardt would win the race, but what would be her time? Sadie, who won the event last year, took the lead from the gun and raced against the clock. When she finished, the clock read 4:33.45, a new state meet record! Christine Babcock of Irvine held the record of 4:33.82 set in 2008. The boy’s 1600-meter race didn’t have the frontrunner certainty of the girl’s race. Anyone could win the boy’s 1600-meter race. With a lap to go in the 1600, almost the entire field was in a pack led by Alex Lamourex of College Park. The athletes made the turn for the finish, Adreas Dybdahl of Santa Barbara, Ryan Thomas of Torrey Pines and Anthony Fast Horse of Ventura sprinted to the finish line with Dybdahl taking the win in 4:08.64!

800 Meters

Joseph Lighthall of Hughson

MacKenzie Browne of JW North came into the race as the fastest 800-meter runner with a time of 2:03.07 thanks to her Arcadia Invitational win and won the 800 last year at the California State Meet. This year Sadie Engelhardt of Ventura pulled away for the win at 2:07.22. Engelhardt became the first female athlete to win the 1600 and 800 in the same year. Joseph Lighthall of Hughson took the lead with a 400 to go and then hung on for the win in 1:52.06. Ambodai Ligons of Cathedral charged towards the finish and Lighthall held on for the win.

4 X 800

Paige Echsner of Del Norte

For the first time in state history, athletes competed in the 4 X 800. The girl’s race was a rematch from the Arcadia Invitational between Del Norte and JSerra. Del Norte repeated their success from Arcadia to win the inaugural 4 X 800 or 3200-meter relay in 8:55.99. The boy’s 4 X 800 was a close battle with a lap to go between San Clemente, Menlo, Buchanan and Long Beach Poly. Ultimately San Clemente took the win in 7:38.59.

3200 Meters

Matthew Donis of Highland (Palmdale)

Jaelyn Williams of East Lake took the early lead in the girl’s 3200-meter race and eventually the pack caught up to her. Rylee Blade of Santiago (Corona), Payton Godsey of Oaks Christian and Gioana Lopizzo of La Costa Canyon took over the lead and with a lap to go it was a battle between Blade and Godsey. Blade came out victorious with a time of 10:02.19. In the boy’s 3200-meter, the race came down to Matthew Donis of Highland of Palmdale and Jason Parra of Millikan. They battled back and forth and Donis came home with the win in 8:51.37. Seven athletes broke the magical nine-minute barrier.

Photo gallery of the California State Meet is HERE

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