Colson stars, Jesuit girls track takes Metro
The ledger read more like a punishing preseason workout than a district championship pursuit.
On Lena Colson's pre-district title meet to-do list read two relays, the latter being an important second leg on the 4x400 relay, and the 100-meter and 200 dash, both of which she was the season-long favorite.
When it's a dual meet against a lesser foe, such a slate is feasible. Against elite competition on a fast track in warm weather, it's grueling.
Yet the Jesuit senior girls track and field standout sought such a task. What some would see as a chore, Colson viewed as an opportunity. Winning all four races would put Colson in select company, among the likes of the Metro League's most durable and talented athletes to ever grace the district dais.
Colson took the chance by storm and in due course extended the Crusader dynasty by sweeping her four events and leading Jesuit to 177 team points at Liberty High School on Friday. Sunset took second with 127 points. Glencoe was third with 80 points. Beaverton (78), Westview (58), took fourth and fifth. Aloha and Southridge (49 points apiece) tied for sixth and Mountainside took ninth with 14.
"All day at school I was been freaking out about running that many events," Colson said with a laugh. "It was crazy because after every race I was like 'Wow, I'm dead I can't run another one. This is impossible.' I don't know, I just come out and do it. I'm not really sure how it happens."
Colson said she'd been waiting to set a personal record in the 200 for the "longest time" finally did, running a 24.97 to beat fellow senior teammate Isabelle Ford. A runner-up in the 100 the past two seasons, Colson climbed the podium and claimed the unofficial title as fastest Metro female by running a 12.15. Colson, Ford, Alisha Lowe and Gabby Navaro won the 4x100 (48.93). In the 4x400 Colson, Ella Nelson, Molly and Paige Grant had been achingly close to Jesuit's school record and ended up getting it by two-hundredths of a second (3:55.8)
"It's pretty crazy, I honestly wasn't expecting to do as well as I did," Colson said with a smile. "I'm completely surprised, but super pumped."
Jesuit warded off a strong push from archrival Sunset, who controlled the middle and long distances with the star power of Kelly Makin and Lucy Huelskamp. Makin won the 800 (2:11.14) and 1,500 (4:30.94), setting seasonal bests in both events.
"I wanted to pull through for my team one last time," Makin said. "I was starting to get in my feels with this being my last districts and all, but I had a good day. I wasn't super confident in my fitness coming in, so I wanted to hang back (in the race) and see what I could do from there. More than anything I wanted to compete and not worry about the result."
The defending 800 and 1,500 Metro and state champion who's headed to the University of Washington this fall, beat Southridge's Taylor Chiotti in each race on Friday, using the Skyhawk's presence as a proverbial push.
"It's scary having such good competition," Makin said with a smile. "But it makes us all so much better. I have so much respect for Taylor. We've been running track together since fourth grade, never for the same team, but it's always been great. We're such good friends too."
Huelskamp beat Jesuit junior Makenna Schumacher at the tape in the 3,000 (9:48), knocking off the defending Class 6A state champion. Sunset senior Kate Wilson set a new personal record in the javelin (112-01) to take first overall. The Apollos have long been the program closest to knocking Jesuit off its throne and Friday was no different. The spirit of competition between the two programs was tangible, especially in the events that boiled down to Sunset and Jesuit heading down the stretch.
"Jesuit is a such a deep and well-rounded team that covers everything so well," Makin said. "But we had so many great performances and PR's today. When you're teammate is running well, you know you can, too. It's so inspiring. You can ride the wave the team's on of running really well. I love seeing my team succeed and do such incredible things."
Jesuit junior Jordyn Turner won the shot put (37-01) and fellow junior Sara Sanders threw 139-07 in the javelin for first place. Senior Annjolina Wessels cleared 11-11 in the pole vault for her first district title.
For more on the Metro district meet visit www.beavertonvalleytimes.com.