West Albany High senior Alyssa Walls will look to add to her lengthy list of track and field accomplishments at this week’s Mid-Willamette Conference district meet at Lebanon’s Heath Stadium.
A five-time state qualifier for the 6A state meet the past two seasons, Walls is seeded second in the girls shot put, discus and javelin based on season-best marks entering the meet, held Wednesday and Thursday.
The competition in Wednesday’s shot put final, featuring the top two 5A marks this season, should be intriguing.
Walls will challenge Lebanon senior Morgan Hopkins, the 2017 state champion and this spring’s state and conference leader with a personal-best 40 feet, ¼ inch, which is almost six inches better than the meet record of 39-6½.
Walls has thrown 37-11½ this season and has a 38-2½ PR.
She’s seeded second and Hopkins third in the discus, where the top five competitors’ season-best marks are within eight feet of each other. That group includes Crescent Valley freshman Sierra Noss.
The top two placers in each event automatically qualify for the state meet, May 24-25 at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham. Others who meet qualifying standards or are selected as wild cards based on their district results also advance.
North Salem is the runaway favorite for the girls team title. West Albany is expected to challenge Silverton for second. CV is a distant fourth in a form chart using season’s best times and marks.
Walls, headed to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix to continue her athletic career, has been training with the Oregon City-based Super Throwers Track Club the past three years.
She believes that has helped her “a lot.”
“It definitely makes me realize that there’s other people not only in the state but our region or the country, that are working just as hard or harder than I am,” Walls said. “It pushes me to be better and achieve what I can achieve.”
Bulldogs coach Bryan Wadlow says Walls and West sophomore Aidan Paul, one of the top boys throwers in the state, have shown a dedication and commitment to get better.
Walls signed with Grand Canyon in the offseason, which she says eased her mind and allowed her to focus on the spring season.
“I think she’s just kind of embraced this should be the funnest season and she kind of just relaxed, which I think has been hugely beneficial for her,” Wadlow said.
Corvallis freshman Madeline Nason is the top seed in the 3,000 meters and second in the 1,500. She’ll be challenged in both races by Crescent Valley’s Sunitha Black, seeded second in the 3,000 and third in the 1,500. The 3,000 times for Nason (10 minutes, 23.98 seconds) and Black (10:30.76) are second and third best, respectively, in 5A this spring.
West Albany has two top seeds in Brooke Donner (pole vault) and Tiffany Forrest (triple jump). Forrest’s season-best 36-9 is second in 5A this spring.
Teammate Emily Stefan is seeded second in the 200 and fourth in the 100.
Corvallis’ Wendy Hare is seeded second in both hurdles races. CV’s Jada Foster is seeded second in the long jump.
Paul has put a shadow on the 180-foot mark in the discus all season, surpassing 170 in six meets. His 176-6 PR, set April 27 at the Centennial Invitational, is second among all classifications in the state this spring.
He’s also seeded second at the district meet in the shot put.
Crescent Valley’s Kaimana “Bubba” Wa’a will have his hands full trying to place in the top two in the shot with Silverton’s Ben Willis (56-10¼ this spring) and Paul (54-2) ahead of him.
Wa’a has a season-best mark of 50-4½. But he threw 53-9½ in 2018, which is beyond the 52-5 automatic standard this spring.
Wa’a and the Raiders look to have a battle with Dallas and North Salem for second in the team standings. Silverton is a strong favorite for the title.
South Albany’s Hayden Watts had two big triple jump PRs earlier this month and is the top district seed at 44-0, good for second on the 5A season list.
He’s also seeded fifth in the 100 and long jump and runs on the fourth-seeded 4x100 relay. Teammate Eli Nafziger is seeded second in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump.
Crescent Valley’s Ryan Bracht (pole vault) and Corvallis’ Sebbie Law (400) are seeded first in their respective events. Law is also second in the 200. CV’s Erik Ventura is seeded second in the high jump, fourth in the 200 and sixth in the long jump. He’s also part of the short relay.
In the javelin, five area athletes — CV’s Ryan Terwilliger and Brock Bresser, West’s Mitchell Morse, Nathan Monasky of Corvallis and South’s Nathaniel Young — will be what looks to be a six-man chase for second place. The season-best marks for those six are separated by less than 11 feet.
Young is tied for the second-best mark in the pole vault.
CV’s Luca Greeven is seeded second in the 110 hurdles and West Albany’s Chase Reynolds second in the 100. Reynolds also has a leg on the Bulldogs’ third-seeded 4x100 relay.
Lebanon’s Alex Solberg is seeded third in what should be a tight 3,000 final including Silverton’s Haile Stutzman and Dallas’ Trevor Cross.