Justin Rich and Tori Johnson both secure two top-five finishes

by: ESTACADA NEWS: PARKER LEE - Estacada senior Justin Rich lets loose with a throw on his way to a fifth-place finish in the event at the Centennial Invitational.PORTLAND — Estacada senior Tori Johnson was all smiles as she stepped onto the podium at the Centennial Invitational on Saturday afternoon. She was awarded a second-place medal for her performance in the high jump, and she had good reason to be excited about it.

There were more than 40 participants initially, but the high jump quickly thinned out to three – Johnson, Banks’ Amy Hilger and Willamette’s Avery Cottle. All three easily cleared the bar at five feet, one inch and then five feet, two inches. When the bar was raised to five feet, three inches, the three remaining jumpers had a tougher time bending over. Johnson was the first to clear the mark, though, and Cottle and Hilger immediately followed.

It looked like the height of five feet, four inches was going to be the one to doom all three jumpers. Each of them knocked down the bar on their first two attempts, but the final attempt was the best try for all three. Johnson went first and made her approach from the right side. Her jump looked good, however she just clipped the bar on the way down and it wouldn’t balance in place for her. She received applause from the wide contingency of onlookers, then turned her attention to the other two competitors.

Hilger likewise gave a good effort, but made enough contact with the bar to make it fall. Cottle used a shorter running approach and made her best jump of the day. She too bumped the bar, though it somehow stayed in place and she was the winner. Had the bar fallen, Johnson would have had a share of first place.

Later in the day, Johnson sprinted in the 200-meter dash where she finished fifth overall.

Like Johnson, Justin Rich represented the Rangers nicely with a few top-five finishes of his own. Rich started his day in the shot put corner of the venue where he went toe-to-toe with some of the top throwers in the state, as well as a few from Washington.

Rich started respectably and steadily improved. He achieved a top distance of 51 feet, seven inches which put him on the podium with fifth place. Brian Salgado and Ken Onyima from 6A Gresham were the only throwers from Oregon with better tosses than Rich.

Rich moved straight from the shot put pit to the discus platform where he again thrived as he was one of just three competitors to surpass the 160-foot mark. His longest attempt hit the grass at 160 feet, nine inches. That put him five inches behind Banks’ Dallin Shurts and a foot shy of Union’s (Wash.) Bailey King.

Rich’s mark in the discus was his longest throw of the season to date. He is looking to repeat as 4A state champion in the event.

View a photo gallery from the field events at

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