Oregon City's Kylie Griffin wins girls' high jump, ties meet record
When the girls' high jump bar reached 4 feet, 10 inches in Tuesday's finals of the Mt. Hood Conference track and field championships at Gresham High School, there were six jumpers still standing.
At 5-4, there were four.
At 5-5, there were two
And at 5-6, there was one -- Oregon City sophomore Kylie Griffin.
Griffin cleared 5-6 on her third attempt to not only set a new personal best, but she also tied the district meet record set by Sandy's Kathleen Pelchar in 2010.
"I was fairly confident," Griffin said. "I started off a little shaky, but then I realized what I needed to do and I pulled through. I was like, 'I need to do this today. And I need to do it right now.'"
Griffin's "shaky" stretch came when she missed on her first attempt at 5-0 and again on her first attempt at 5-2, which temporarily dropped her into fourth place behind defending champion Savannah Proske of David Douglas, Madison McHone of Centennial, and Destiny Ogbeama of Gresham.
"My steps were a bit off and few pieces of the puzzle were missing, but I just put it all together after that," Griffin said. "I was just really taking my time, thinking out each jump."
McHone and Ogbeama both missed at 5-4, leaving Griffin and Proske to decide a winner.
Jumping into a bit of a headwind, Griffin cleared 5-5 on her second attempt, while Proske missed three times, confirming the order of finish.
The top four all cleared the state qualifying standard of 5-2, so all four advanced to the OSAA Class 6A track and field championships beginning Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene.
"The competition was amazing," Griffin said. "I didn't think I was necessarily the favorite. I just came in with a positive attitude and hoping for the best because there's a lot of other good girls, too.
"My last few jumps, right before I jumped the wind really picked up, so I tried to wait for it. But the weather was great and I'm glad it didn't start raining until after we were done jumping. That was nice."
Griffin is currently tied with Metro League-champion Lily Reynolds of Beaverton for the season's top mark among Class 6A high jumpers, while South Eugene's Taylor Chocek had cleared 5-5 and five others have cleared 5-4.
Oregon City's Anessa Chirgwin also earned a berth into the state meet after winning with girls' discus with a personal best of 136-11, shattering her previous personal best of 124-11.
Chirgwin, seeded second behind defending champion Angel Aluesi of Centennial, was in second place and trailing Aluesi by more than four feet when she unleashing her winning throw on her fifth attempt. Aluesi settled for second place at 136-4.