There was no shortage of high points for prep athletes in the Democrat-Herald coverage area in the spring of 2017.

Many local athletes put up their best efforts against the best competition in the state and held their own. Each sport had its standout teams and individuals, some more than others.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights from the spring.


Mackenzie Wilson had little to no competition as she left her mark on the 2A record book at the state meet.

The East Linn Christian senior set meet and all-time records in two races and a personal-best time in another to lead the Eagles to a state championship.

“I really wanted to go for first place for my team,” said Wilson, winner of the 100, 200 and 400, with meet records in the shorter two races. “Every point counts. I wanted to get every point for the team. It’s really important to us.”

Wilson started her day by anchoring the Eagles to a win in the 4x100 relay in 50.71, tied for 10th on the 2A all-time list. Maddie Christenson, Sydney Nichol and Dahlia Rickman also ran relay legs.

Then it was on to the 100, where Wilson won the race by nearly half a second and finished in 12.42.

Less than a half-hour later came the 400 final, where Wilson outdistanced the nearest competitor by 1.3 seconds and won in 57.90, good for fourth on the 2A all-time list.

She finished the meet with the 200, in which she started fast and cruised to the win in 25.72.

Nichol, who joined Wilson at Salem’s Corban University this fall, won the 800 in 2:18.6, ninth all time in 2A. The Eagles got runner-up finishes from Rickman in the triple jump and McKayla Horner in the shot put.

Santiam Christian’s Rebeka Preston leapt her way into the record books with a win in the 3A girls long jump. Her winning mark, a personal-best 37 feet, 6 inches that came on her final attempt, is the fourth-best all-time mark in the 3A classification.

Preston, now a senior, also helped her team take third in the 4x100 relay and fourth in the 4x400 relay.

Jefferson’s Mikayla Cordle was third in the 3A girls long jump.

Lebanon’s Morgan Hopkins was the surprise winner in the 5A girls shot put with a huge improvement over her previous personal best.

Hopkins, now a junior, won the competition with a toss of 38-8½ on her final attempt. That was 40 inches better than the PR she had entering state. Three of her tosses at state bested that previous PR.

South Albany’s Tahnisha Manibusan was fourth in the 5A girls discus. West Albany’s Alyssa Walls was sixth in the 6A girls discus.

In boys competition, East Linn Christian’s Josh Miner completed a standout high school career with second in the 3,000 and fourth in the 1,500. His 3,000 time of 8:52.36 is ninth all time in 2A. Teammate Jedaiah Wasson was third in the 800.

Central Linn’s Andre Holmes was second in the 2A boys shot put.

In 3A, Harrisburg’s Alonzo Ranch won the 100 and was second in the long jump. Teammate Zach Phelps was second in the pole vault and Joey Knox third in the high jump. The Eagles were fifth as a team.

Jefferson’s Ahmed Ibrahim was second in the 1,500 and brother Abdi Ibrahim was third in the 3,000.

Scio’s 4x100 boys relay of Bailey Sprague, Brody Foster, Marshall Hull and Trey Reed was third. Zach Watson led the Santiam Christian boys with third place in the 800.

Sweet Home’s Eric Blanchard was fourth in the 4A boys pole vault.

In 5A, Vasiliy Altuhov of Lebanon was fourth in the 300 hurdles. South Albany’s Jose Gomez was sixth in the shot put.


Scio continued its recent stretch of success with a third straight trip to the state semifinals. The Loggers defeated Rogue River and Blanchet in the state playoffs before a 13-4 loss to Dayton.

Shortstop Ashton Phillips, now a senior who has signed to play at Oregon State, was the 3A state player of the year. Teammates Rheanna McDaniel, Kasidee Parazoo and Brooke Young joined Phillips on the all-state first team.

Lebanon made the 5A quarterfinals, beating Eagle Point before a loss to Dallas. West Albany won a 6A first-round game against Roseburg then lost to North Medford.

Central Linn reached the 2A quarterfinals and Harrisburg made the 3A postseason.


Lebanon (5A), Sweet Home (4A) and Santiam Christian (3A) reached their respective quarterfinals.

Lebanon, the 13th seed in its bracket, won a first-round game against No. 4 seed La Salle. Sweet Home won a home game against Newport, while Santiam Christian defeated Cascade Christian.

West Albany lost in the 6A first round.


Lebanon was eighth at the 5A girls state tournament, led by Payton Maricle’s 29th-place finish. Sweet Home’s Haley May was ninth in the girls small-school state tournament.

West Albany’s Anna Schweitzer made the 6A state tournament as a sophomore. Sweet Home’s Jake Hindmarsh was a 4A boys state qualifier.


West Albany sophomore Ceanne Elliott won her second straight Greater Valley Conference title and reached the 6A state quarterfinals.

Teammates Tia Bitz and Trillium Bristow qualified for state as a doubles team.

West’s boys doubles team of Brady King and Andrew Thompson won the 6A consolation bracket. John Workman of Lebanon was a 5A singles qualifier.


Sports Reporter

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