Youth track: Hannah Hernandez

Hannah Hernandez, left, competes in the 1,500-meter run July 9 at the TrackTown Youth League Championships at Hayward Field. Hernandez, who will be a freshman this fall at Philomath High School, placed third in the ages 13-14 division.

While the U.S. Olympic Trials were winding down in Eugene, young athletes participating in the TrackTown Youth League Championships had a few hours in the spotlight July 9 at Hayward Field on the same track where some of the world’s best athletes were competing.

Philomath’s Hannah Hernandez was among those standing on the medal stand with a third-place finish in the 1,500-meter run. Hernandez, who will be a freshman this fall at Philomath High School, covered the distance in 5 minutes, 4.17 seconds while competing in the ages 13-14 division. She finished a little more than 5 seconds behind the event’s winner.

The TrackTown Youth League holds a series of track meets across Oregon open to boys and girls ages 8-14, including young wheelchair athletes. Events include the 100, 400, 1,500, long jump and turbojav (a form of javelin designed for younger athletes).

Hernandez had advanced to the championship meet after competing at a regional event June 18 in Salem. The lone competitor in her event’s age group in Salem, Hernandez came in with a time of 5:18.03.

In all, nearly 300 participated in the July 9 championships.

FOOTBALL WEATHER: The Philomath High football team participated in drills earlier this month at Camp Rilea in Warrenton for the eighth year. Coach Troy Muir and his staff enjoy evaluating talent at the event, which features a good four days of contact and challenge drills.

Philomath usually encounters great weather at the camp but this year’s version got off to a wet start.

“The weather started out a little rough … it was raining,” Muir said. “We’ve never had rain up there for the most part, which is kind of weird for the coast, but it was generally just cloudy and sunny, calm and 65. As the week wore on, it was nicer.”

ROSTER MOVES: The Philomath D1 baseball team has certainly had its share of roster challenges this summer. After wrapping up what could be called the regular season at a tournament in Newport, Les and Bob’s had used 30 different players.

With Philomath missing about half of its roster because of the football camp, coach Levi Webber borrowed players from Santiam Christian to be able to compete in the tournament.

“That’s kind of the fun and the frustration of the summer,” Webber said. “It forces you to play guys in different spots than what they’re used to and we saw some things out of guys. It was a good summer for the most part.”

Many players are multisport athletes and will now be able to take a break from competition.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Philomath High football team’s three nonconference opponents this fall all made the 4A playoffs last season. North Bend, Astoria and Junction City had a combined 19-12 record last year.

North Bend had the most success among those three by reaching the semifinals after playoff victories over Astoria (37-12) and North Marion (37-7) before falling to Scappoose (37-21).

In all, five of Philomath’s eight regular-season games this season will be against teams that made the playoffs last year, including state champion Cascade.

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