EUGENE — Sophie Fisher was gauging her own stamina as she trailed the two leaders just ahead in Saturday’s 5A 1,500 final.
Her strategy played out: tag along behind the frontrunners and then push the pedal with whatever she had left.
No one could match the Crescent Valley High sophomore’s gas tank as she pulled away for an unexpectedly easy win in a personal-best 4 minutes, 39.32 seconds at the OSAA track and field state meet at Hayward Field.
“I wanted to kind of go out a little conservatively, and then just see what I had for those last couple laps,” said Fisher, who was third in Friday’s 3,000. “I had a little something and it felt great.”
Fisher made her move with about 600 left and steadily gained ground to better her previous PR by more than four seconds.
Summit’s Fiona Max, the 3,000 winner, was second in 4:43.15. Teammate Taylor Vandenborn was third in 4:46.79.
With similar season-best times to the others, Fisher knew she had a chance at victory.
“But I knew I was going to have to try as hard as I could,” she said. “I was kind of expecting more having to kick as hard as I could at the finish to try to win in it.”
The win completed a breakthrough season for Fisher, making her first state meet appearance.
“It’s definitely a little bit of a surprise. I’ve been working hard and this track season I’ve been taking it a little more seriously,” she said of the jump, adding that last year she did track for fun but has started to tap into her potential.
Teammate Jordyn Edewards finished her high school career with third place and a PR in the 100 hurdles (15.34) and eighth in the 300 hurdles (48.59).
She also ran legs on the Raiders’ 4x100 relay (10th) and 4x400 relay (seventh). Edewards set two 100 hurdles personal bests in the meet.
“I was feeling great. I wish I didn’t hit a hurdle,” she said of the final. “But these girls are great competitors and I’m glad I got to race against them at state. They pushed me so hard.”
Corvallis senior Sydney Montesi had better results in mind but still managed to tie her 10-6 pole vault personal best and finish sixth.
A two-time state qualifier, she wanted a new PR but said her form wasn’t where it needed to be.
Montesi had been clearing higher bars in recent practices but was still satisfied with her accomplishment.
“These last couple weeks have been super fun and just excited for state,” she said. “It was fun to know that I was going to come.”
Corvallis senior Ellie Harding had a busy day, placing sixth in the discus (119-4) while also competing in the triple jump and shot put. Lebanon’s Morgan Hopkins was eighth in the shot put (35-7).
AJ Sandvig didn’t have much to celebrate Saturday based on results, but that’s not how the Crescent Valley High senior saw it.
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Sandvig was just a few steps from potentially winning a 400 state title when his legs gave out. He crashed to the track just before the finish line, leaving some bloody road rash on his left shoulder. Sandvig took eighth (56.97).
Later, as the favorite in the 800, he got passed late and took second in a personal-best 1:54.72.
“Before today I probably would have been upset knowing that I didn’t win a state championship in high school,” said Sandvig, who was second in the 800 and fourth in the 1,500 in 2017.
“But knowing that I gave everything I had and things didn’t go my way, I’m happy for the people who won. I can only take away good things from today and feel good about it.”
He finished the day with the anchor leg on the Raiders’ 4x400 relay (3:28.68), helping his team to seventh.
Sandvig was neck and neck at the end of the 400 final with Central’s Isaac Burgett, who edged Sandvig for the district title.
“I was just there and my legs just exploded,” Sandvig said. “There’s nothing that I could really do. I put myself in position where I wanted to be, I just couldn’t finish it out.”
Sebbie Law of Corvallis was fifth in the 400 (51.69).
In the triple jump, Logan Whittaker’s latest big PR gave the South Albany senior more than 30 inches of improvement in the last two meets.
His mark of 43-7¼ Saturday was good enough for fifth.
“I don’t really know. It just kind of happened,” Whittaker said of what made the difference. “I just went at it.”
Later he was fourth in the high jump as he tied his 6-4 PR, getting back to that height for the first time since he originally set the mark in early April.
Lebanon senior Tanner Acosta was eighth at 6-0. He was happy to return to state after missing last year.
“It was nice to get back here,” he said. “I love the atmosphere. Everyone around you, yelling and cheering.”
Kyler Alley exceeded his own expectations with a fourth-place finish in the javelin at 166-0.
The Lebanon senior had four throws beyond his previous PR of 155-10.
“I surprised myself today by a lot,” he said. “I had no idea I could pull out a 166. That was amazing.”
Alley credited Hayward’s big-meet atmosphere, as he was able to not “get too antsy, just nice and calm.”
Tiffany Forrest found herself getting consistently high marks late in the season, and it helped her move up four spots on the girls triple jump podium.
The West Albany junior topped out at 36-4½ to take fourth despite not feeling well the previous few days. Forrest’s training helped carry her past 36 feet for the fifth straight meet.
“I feel like I’m really consistent, which is good,” she said. “Toward the beginning of the season I was looking at 35s, and then I started getting 36s and I stayed there.”