Horizon Christian turns in strong marks at WVL event

by: DAN BROOD - A LEG UP -- Horizon Christian's Blake Phillips is first over the hurdle on his way to winning the 110-meter high hurdles event Saturday at the West Valley League district meet.DAYTON — Blake Phillips hit some hurdles.

It didn't matter.

Hannah Cesario got boxed in.

It didn't matter.

They're both going to the Class 3A state track and feet meet, and they're both going as district champions.

Phillips, a Horizon Christian High School senior, and Cesario, a Horizon Christian junior, each claimed individual league titles at the West Valley League district track and field championships, held Friday and Saturday at Dayton High School.

“I hit a lot of hurdles, but it went pretty good,” Phillips said Saturday after winning the 110-meter high hurdles event.

“I knew they'd box me in,” Cesario said after using a strong finishing kick to take second place in the 800. “I gave it all I got.”

Phillips and Cesario, as well as some of their Hawks teammates, will next be competing at the Class 3A state track and field championships.

The top two finishers in each event at the district meet, as well as those competitors and relay teams that meet state qualifying standards, advance to the Class 3A state championships, which will be held today (Thursday) and Friday at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene.

“I'm really excited about state,” Cesario said. “I hope to do really well there.”

Cesario qualified for the state meet in both the 800 and the 1,500. She claimed the WVL district meet championship in the 1,500 with her time of 5 minutes, 8.57 seconds.

“I was leading the pack, but felt them coming on,” Cesario said of that race. “I was able to pull away.”

In the 800, Cesario was boxed in behind the leaders going into the final straightaway. But, behind some motivation, she was able to come back from behind to finish second with a mark of 2:28.75.

“I didn't think I'd get there,” she said. “But I thought of my mom (Sam Davi), who missed the meet because of work. I wanted to do it for her.”

by: DAN BROOD - RUNNING HARD -- Horizon Christian's Hannah Cersario strides out during the 800-meter run Saturday at the West Valley League district track and field championships.Meanwhile, Phillips was all smiles after he triumphed in the 110 high hurdles in a time of 16.40.

“It was a blessing from God to be able to compete,” he said. “A lot of people don't get that chance.”

Phillips also said that he's looking forward to competing with the state's best at the upcoming Class 3A championships.

“I'm really excited about state,” he said. “Finishing in the top six would be amazing.”

Also for the Hawks, senior Brian Satterwhite is moving on to state in the shot put. He placed second in that event at district with a mark of 43 feet, 7 inches.

Horizon sophomore Matthew Leong took second place in the long jump with a distance of 19-10 to earn a state bid. Freshman Alex Olsen claimed a state-meet berth by placing second in the 3,000 in 9:47.04.

The Hawks' 4 x 100 relay team of senior Mitchell Iliyn, junior Ryan Hobbs, senior Gabe Nielsen and Leong is moving on to the state meet after running to second place at district in a time of 44.82.

The Horizon Christian boys finished in second place in the team standings at the district meet with a score of 118 points. Westside Christian finished in first place with a score of 155.

Westside Christian also won the girls team district meet title.

Today at the state meet, Class 3A field events are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and track events will begin at 1:56 p.m. with the girls 3,000 final. On Friday, field events begin at 2 p.m. and track events start at 4:06 p.m. with the girls 4 x 100 relay.

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