EUGENE — Maggie Ross set the tone for the Philomath High girls early Saturday, anchoring the Warriors’ 4x100-meter relay with a come-from-behind effort for the win.
Ross did it in her individual races later on as well, taking second in the 100 and 200 with personal bests in both while helping Philomath to a third-place finish in the 4A girls division at the OSAA track and field state meet at Hayward Field.
The Warriors scored points in 10 different events, including a win in the 4x400 relay to finish the meet.
Philomath got its 52.5 points a little differently than coach Joe Fulton expected.
Madison Bushnell wasn’t expected to place in the 800 but set two PRs on her way to sixth (2:24.59).
Ross finished the 100 in 12.39 and later the 200 in 25.51. Her runner-up 200 was a surprise.
“Maggie Ross was amazing today. She rose up like a giant,” Fulton said of the sophomore who broke her own school record in the 100 and is now within one-one hundredth of the 200 mark.
Ross was all smiles after her 200.
“I wasn’t expecting to get second in the 2, so that was really great,” she said. “I’m glad I had great people to race against to push me. That was helpful.”
Sweet Home senior Bethany Gingerich capped off her stellar season with a win in the 300 hurdles. Her time of 44.48 moved her from ninth to third on the 4A all-time list for the event.
Gingerich was also second in the 100 hurdles in a personal-best 15.77.
This from an athlete who had never competed in hurdles before the 2018 season.
“I’m proud of myself. I keep impressing and amaze myself. My goodness,” Gingerich said. “Holy cow. I had no idea I’d be hurdling at state, let alone a state championship.”
She later ran a leg on the Huskies’ sixth-place 4x400 relay (4:10.59).
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Ross had plenty of help in leading Philomath to its team trophy.
Melia Morton was third (1:00.36) and Hannah Bovbjerg eighth (1:01.41) in the 400. They ran on both relays along with Phaedra Hinds-Cook, a state qualifier in the 100 and 200.
Hannah Hernandez was seventh in the 1,500 (4:56.52) and ran on the long relay. Lily Bogard tied for sixth in the pole vault (9-6) and Sadiemay Gullberg was eighth in the shot put (34-6½) and discus (110-9).
Bovbjerg said this year’s state meet experience with the team was better, happier and more competitive.
The Warriors finished 7.5 points back of team champion Marshfield and nine ahead of fifth-place Valley Catholic. The top four teams get a trophy.
Fulton reminded his athletes that performing well was important because of what it meant for the trophy implications.
“’We need those points if we’re gonna score,’” Bovbjerg recalls her coach saying, while also thinking “‘I’ve gotta get it, I’ve gotta get it.’ The team aspect is really what pushes you.”
Fulton got some nerves while watching the 4x100 relay.
Ross avoided the tendency to take off for the handoff in the exchange zone when other runners were arriving around her, though she still had to slow down to get the baton from Bovbjerg.
“She got the stick to her and then you saw what happened,” Fulton said, while also noting that Bovbjerg still had to yell at Ross to slow down. “(Ross) was fired up, because she knew we were supposed to win that race. She wasn’t going to be denied. She dug in.”
Sweet Home’s Noah Dinsfriend came away happy but also disappointed, reaching a personal-best 40.15 and a third-place finish in the 300 hurdles.
“I’m happy with it. It’s the best I’ve done,” he said. “I was hoping for a bit better. Gotta roll with the punches.”
Dinsfriend said he felt sluggish at the start but still managed to take an early lead. He got passed before making a late move.
“I started catching them at the end but then got off a step and it got in my head,” he said.
Philomath’s Logan Hannigan-Downs was fifth in the 400 (personal-best 51.16) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (41.95).