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Sunset's Coon, Jesuit girls track place high at state

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset senior Taylor Coon tried to battle past Oregon Citys Becca Houk in the 200-meter dash, but couldnt get past the Pioneer at the finish lineat the 6A State Championships on Saturday.

Half a second won’t haunt Taylor Coon for the rest of her athletic lifespan.

The Sunset sprinter set school records, broke old personal best times and unloaded every shred of energy left in her chamber at the 6A girls’ track and field state championship at Hayward Field. Coon’s athletic legend was already legitimized as an all-state soccer defender on two state runner-up squads and last season after winning the 200-meter dash at the state meet.

However, half a second was all that separated the ultra-cutthroat Coon from state glory — not once but twice — first in the 100-meter dash, then in the 200 on Saturday afternoon — her final day ever competing on the track as an Apollo. When the dust settled on Coon’s career, the Sunset star was stuck with a second place in the 200, a third in the 100 and a ninth place finish in the 4x100 relay, though the senior said she had little to complain about.

Coon hoped to place in the top four in the 100 (12.09), which she did. Sore from running two races earlier in the day, Coon still broke her lifetime personal record in the 200 (24.80). In the 100, Coon, Oregon City’s Becca Houk and Hillsboro’s Hannah Dean were within a step of each other at the tape with Houk scraping by just hundreths of a second ahead.

“There was nothing else I could give,” said Coon. “I could barely walk after the race, which to me means I gave everything I had.”

During the 200, the defending state champ couldn’t help herself.

Already duped in the short relay and 100-meter dash earlier in the day, the Sunset sprinter charged down the last 100 meters of the 200-meter dash with Houk, taking a tenuous lead on the backstretch. Houk, however, hammered ahead of Coon who was surprised to be step-for-step with the Pioneer.

“It was mostly a mental game for me because I’m used to passing people on the curve,” said Coon. “(Houk) stayed with me on the entire curve, so I knew I needed to pull it out on the straight. Trying to give 100 percent on the curve and the straight is pretty difficult. It was close.”

Running in lanes four and five, Coon and Hock jostled for position over the last 10 meters as the former Apollo all-state soccer defender nudged the frightened Pioneer with a little elbow to the ribs. Coon backed off the physical contact at the last second, though, and Hock crossed the line just .006 in front of Coon for the win.

“A little bit of soccer came out in me there,” said Coon with a smile. “Most of the time when someone’s ahead of me and I can’t get there in soccer, it turns physical. I noticed I veered into her lane, but I was like ‘No, no I better not’. I was about to nail (Houk) over just with the frustration, but I held back. I was just frustrated with myself. But, I didn’t feel like I could give anymore.”

Thanks in large part to Coon’s four-event day, the Sunset girls tied for fifth as a team with 36 points. Riley Prillwitz, Kasey Stavig and Maddie Thom joined Coon on the short relay. Thom, Stavig, Coon and Nicole Griffiths ran on the 4x400 relay that won Metro, but didn’t place at state. Senior Charlotte Corless placed third in the 3,000 (10:15) and 10th in the 1,500 (4:47). Griffiths was fourth in the 1,500 after winning Metro and ninth in the 3K (10:31). Fellow sophomore Audrey Huelskamp was sixth in the 1,500. Reigning discus state champion Savannah Sharp was unable to defend her crown, placing seventh on Saturday (116-10), but took third place in the shot put (38-05).

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit freshman Claire Corbitt and Sunset's Taylor Coon helped their respective relay teams take fifth and sixth at the 6A State Championships on Saturday.

The Jesuit girls’ track and field squad upheld its Metro title with a sound third place showing at state. Freshman 800-meter Chloe Jensen (2:16) and junior javelin thrower JoJo Ananouko (132-07) each took third in their respective events. Senior Kathrina Slater cleared 10-06 in the pole vault for fourth place. Dylan Hite (3,000) and Chloe Smith (400-meter dash) both placed fourth in their events. Smith said while the team performed well, she wasn’t too impressed with her own personal times.

“It was just one of those rough days,” said Smith. “I really wanted to get second in the 400, but it just didn’t happen. I wish I could redo the race, basically. If I could redo the start I’d be really happy.”

Abby Wachter was fifth in the 100-hurdles and seventh in the 300 hurdles. Freshman Claire Corbitt finished seventh in the high jump and anchored the Crusaders’ 4x100 relay.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit freshman Chloe Jensen placed eighth in the 800-meter dash at the 6A State Championships on Saturday. The Crusaders took third as a team.

“My back had been bothering me after the first day, but I pulled through for my team,” said Corbitt.

Westview’s Reed Richardson broke her personal record by more than two feet in the triple jump on Saturday, taking fourth overall with a top 37-03 mark. Additionally, senior teammate Hannah Lautenbach — who competed alongside Richardson and took eighth overall (36-02) — was a big benefit for the junior.

“I’m just really happy I got fourth,” said Richardson. “I wasn’t really expecting to PR by so much, but it was really nice and I loved having a teammate out there. Two years in a row I’ve had someone there to help me and keep me positive.”

“It calms your nerves because you have someone there for you,” added Lautenbach. “It means a lot to me, especially being my senior year.”

The good competition and warm weather were helpful, Richardson and Lautenbach said, as was the large grandstand of knowledgable Hayward fans watching just a stone’s throw away.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Lautenbach. “It’s such a great experience competing here. There was a lot of adrenaline. It’s a lot different than competing at school meets. No one really watches us jump because our pit (at Westview) is in the corner. The (Hayward) pit in front of everyone was different, but a lot of fun.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview's Reed Richardson set a new personal record by more than two feet in the triple jump to take fourth place at the 6A State Championships on Saturday.

Southridge standout hurdler Natalie Leckey placed higher than she was seeded in each of the 100-meter (fifth place) and 300-meter hurdles (sixth place) finals on Saturday. Leckey had to work through a lot of injuries including a pulled quad that was heavily wrapped in both final heats and an ankle that’s been sore for most of the season. Yet, the mentally-stout Skyhawk pushed through the pain. There was nothing she wanted more than to be at Hayward, facing off with the best.

“I gave myself no other option but to compete,” said Leckey. “If I gave myself the option of cracking under the pressure, then I’d crack under the pressure, so I couldn’t do that to myself. You’re never going to run a perfect race. Your body will never be 100 percent, so you just have to work with what you have and do what you want to do.”



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