GRESHAM — Hidden Valley had pulled away for the Class 4A girls track and field team title by the time the 4-by-400-meter relay arrived on Saturday afternoon’s state meet schedule.
But although Philomath High’s chances for a state title had slipped away, the Warriors still had important business to finish by trying to take first in the 4-by-400 for the second straight year.
“Actually, I didn’t think that we were going to win that easily,” said sophomore Melia Morton, who runs the anchor leg. “Valley Catholic has a very, very strong anchor leg and was only a few seconds behind us.”
But the Warriors won by a comfortable margin as Morton crossed the finish line with the team’s time at 4:02.90, nearly 3 seconds ahead of runner-up Valley Catholic.
“I always do better in the 4-by-4 than the open 400,” junior Hannah Bovbjerg said, the relay’s third runner. “Today, I knew there were some teams that were going to be right there close to us. Even though I got the baton in first, it was just about lengthening the gap for Melia because there are some girls who can run that anchor leg really fast.”
Maggie Ross, another junior, came out of the blocks for the 4-by-400.
“I used blocks for the first time for my leg and it was a little bit stressful going in because I didn’t know if I was going to take out too fast,” she said. “At the end, I was able to pass one girl and we ended up in second for that leg.”
Ross handed off to junior Hannah Hernandez, who took over a lead that the Warriors would never relinquish. Hernandez said it was a great way to end the season.
“I love that it takes no thinking whatsoever and you’re doing it for a team and so the whole time you’re just thinking, ‘let’s go, let’s go, let’s go,’” Hernandez said. “It’s great being able to run for your team.”
Hidden Valley took the team title with 97 points with Philomath second at 69.5. Marshfield was third with 51.5, North Valley fourth with 49 and Siuslaw fifth with 48.
Philomath had several top-three finishes, including Ross taking second in the 100 at 12.36 and third in the 200 at 25.27.
“I didn’t get a PR, which is a little disappointing,” Ross said about the 100. “But I was close. You can’t be too sad about that.”
As for the girl that beat her? North Valley’s Baylee Touey won the 100, 200 and 400.
“She’s a monster,” Ross joked. “I think she’s a man.”
Morton placed second behind Touey in the 400 with a time of 58.62. Bovbjerg was fifth in 1:00.41. Morton placed seventh in the long jump Friday at 16-5.
Hernandez led most of the race in the 1,500 but was overtaken in the final 25 meters by Junction City’s Anika Thompson.
“I’m so really proud with myself for that race,” Hernandez said. “In the beginning at state (Friday), I did really not that great in the 3K, I mentally checked out. And I was like, ‘I’m not going to do that in the 1500, I’m going to go for it.’ I was determined the whole entire race and it just happened to be that she beat me. But I PR’d and you can’t ask for more than a PR and knowing that you did your best.”
Hernandez placed sixth in the 3,000 meters Friday in 10:48.74.
The 4-by-100 relay of Bovbjerg, Morton, sophomore Alivia Pittman and Ross placed second behind Hidden Valley with a time of 49.72.
“We beat our record that we set last year, which was really good, and we raced against a very, very good team,” Morton said. “All of our handoffs went really smoothly.”
In the hurdles, Pittman placed fourth in the 300 in 47.55 and eighth in the 100 in 16.48.
“I always thought I’d place in the 1s (100s) but they aren’t exactly my race but I placed and there are ways to improve,” Pittman said. “I really, really enjoy the 300s — those are the ones I like to work at the most.”
In the field events, sophomore Mia Rust placed fifth in the shot put with a 37-7. Senior Sadiemay Gullberg was eighth in the discus with a throw of 111-2. In the pole vault, sophomore Amey McDaniel tied for seventh by clearing 8-6. Senior McKenzie Begley also cleared 8-6 but ended up 10th.
Madison Bushnell qualified for state in the 800 and finished 12th in Friday's prelims at 2:29.70.
Class 4A State Track Meet
Friday-Saturday at Gresham
Team scoring: Hidden Valley 97, Philomath 69.5, Marshfield 51.5, North Valley 49, Siuslaw 48, Junction City 34, Astoria 31, Valley Catholic 29, Marist 27, Gladstone 26, Phoenix 24, Estacada 21, Seaside 20, Sisters 15.5, Ontario 14.5, Cascade 14, Molalla 14, Henley 10, Newport 9, Baker 8, Cottage Grove 7, La Grande 7, Stayton 6, Madras 6, Corbett 5, Klamath Union 5, Mazama 4, McLoughlin 3, Tillamook 3, Sweet Home 3, Banks 2.
Winners & PHS Results
100: 1, Baylee Touey, North Valley, 12.10; 2, Maggie Ross, PHS, 12.36. Prelims — 1, Maggie Ross, PHS, 12:43.
200: 1, Baylee Touey, North Valley, 24.63; 3, Maggie Ross, PHS, 25.27. Prelims — 2, Maggie Ross, PHS, 26.06.
400: 1, Baylee Touey, North Valley, 56.24; 2, Melia Morton, PHS, 58.62; 5, Hannah Bovbjerg, PHS, 1:00.41. Prelims — 1, Hannah Bovbjerg, PHS, 1:00.43; 3, Melia Morton, PHS, 1:00.82.
800: 1, Sophie Long, Astoria, 2:20.58. Prelims — 12, Madison Bushnell, PHS, 2:29.70.
1500: 1, Anika Thompson, Junction City, 4:47.86; 2, Hannah Hernandez, PHS, 4:48.54.
3000: 1, Hannah Rannow, Siuslaw, 10:14.30; 6, Hannah Hernandez, PHS, 10:48.74.
100 hurdles: 1, Sienna Bauer, Phoenix, 14.96; 8, Alivia Pittman, PHS, 16.48. Prelims — 8, Alivia Pittman, PHS, 16.33.
300 hurdles: 1, Gracie Freudenthal, Siuslaw, 45.64; 4, Alivia Pittman, PHS, 47.55. Prelims — 7, Alivia Pittman, PHS, 48.25.
4x100 relay: 1, Hidden Valley (Jaaden Steele, Nyah Kendall, Jenelle Hurley, Jada Hurley), 47.61; 2, Philomath (Hannah Bovbjerg, Melia Morton, Alivia Pittman, Maggie Ross), 49.72.
4x400 relay: 1, Philomath (Maggie Ross, Hannah Hernandez, Hannah Bovbjerg, Melia Morton), 4:02.90.
Shot put: 1, Gretchen Hoekstre, Seaside, 43-8.75; 5, Mia Rust, PHS, 37-7.
Discus: 1, Gretchen Hoekstre, Seaside, 156-11; 8, Sadiemay Gullberg, PHS, 111-2.
Javelin: 1, Makaelyn Jennings, Estacada, 139-11.
High jump: 1, Emma Gates, Cascade, 5-5.
Pole vault: 1, Khaley Aguilar, Marshfield, 11-0; T-7, Amey McDaniel, PHS, 8-6; 10, McKenzie Begley, PHS, 8-6.
Long jump: 1, Ravyn Miranda, Marshfield, 17-5.5; 7, Melia Morton, PHS, 16-5.
Triple jump: 1, Elise Martin, Marshfield, 36-3.25.