EUGENE — McKenna Henke was running a pace that was comfortable and was OK taking the lead deep into the race.
She just couldn’t answer an opponent’s fierce late kick.
The Crescent Valley High freshman pushed hard but couldn’t match Summit’s Olivia Brooks in the 5A girls 3,000-meter final at the OSAA track and field state meet at Hayward Field.
“I knew Olivia would have a really good kick, so I was hoping I could stay with her as long as I could,” Henke said following the late Friday afternoon race.
Henke entered the meet with the fastest 5A time of the season at 10 minutes, 1.81 seconds, which she ran nine days earlier in setting a new Mid-Willamette Conference district record. She finished in 10:04.01, putting her under the previous 5A state meet record.
Brooks had run 10:16.2 earlier in the spring, but she saved her best for last and used a strong last 400 meters to win the race in 9:53.59.
Henke was glad to let someone else take the lead early, then jumped ahead later on. Brooks began pushing the pace with 800 to go, then really turned it on with one lap left.
“The last three laps are usually the hardest for me to keep it up because I don’t have as strong a kick as Olivia, so I’m just going to work on that,” Henke said.
Henke said her legs didn’t feel as good as they did at the district meet and that she was glad to still run a time near her personal best.
Corvallis had two athletes score points Friday.
Senior Rachelle Locey was eighth in the long jump at 15 feet, 3¾ inches. Fellow senior Annika Gabriel tied for eighth in the high jump at 4-10.
CHS senior Camille Miedema qualified for the 100 high hurdles final.
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CV senior Justice Lamer expended everything he had in the 3,000 but came up just short, finishing third with a 15-second personal best of 8:38.67.
Crater junior Walter Vail ran a 17-second PR to win in 8:37.37. Summit junior Alex Martin was second in 8:37.95, also a PR.
Lamer put himself where he wanted to be, in the lead with 400 to go. Vail and Martin just had more left down the homestretch.
“I’m fairly pleased with my time, I just wish it was enough for me to be about a second more,” he said.
Lamer said his strategy was to stay with the frontrunners, kick a little sooner than them and see what happened.
“Maybe I should have pushed it a little harder throughout the middle laps,” he said.
Lamer’s six points got Crescent Valley started in its quest for a team title and the school’s first-ever boys track and field trophy for a top-four finish. Lamer held his ground, as he had the third-fastest time of the season coming into the meet.
Corvallis senior Gabe Schoenfeld was 12th in 9:31.09.
CV senior Christian Stevens was 10th in the discus at 130-2. CHS senior Andrew Iademarco was eighth in the shot put with a best throw of 47-4¼.
CHS junior Hunter Mattson ran the fastest 5A 200 qualifying time (22.44) and made the 100 final. CV freshman Talanoa Hufanga qualified for the 400 final.