Skyler Blair, Metro stars shine on district stage
One couldn't go wrong in selecting the Metro League District Championship Female Athlete of the Meet.
Jesuit's Lena Colson swept the sprints and chipped in on two triumphant relays. Sunset senior middle distance star Kelly Makin repeated as Metro champion in the 800 and 1,500. Each athlete's feats were outstanding and should lead to state greatness at the Class 6A state championship meet. What Southridge senior hurdler Skyler Blair achieved under the bright lights of Liberty High School was not only unbelievable but record-breaking.
Blair shattered both meet records in the 100 (14.17) and 300 hurdles (42.91), winning each event handily while cementing herself an all-timer at the district level on Friday. The record-setting day snatched two more Metro titles and the Female Athlete of Meet award.
"I treated this meet like it was state," Blair said. "I wanted to give it my all in every single event. I worked so hard in the preseason and it's completely paying off now. I'm running the times I wanted to run and never even dreamed I would run in my high school career, so I'm very excited and happy."
Blair tied the state record in the 100 hurdles and blitzed past the field in the 300s, winning the event by almost four seconds. The future University of Utah Ute is nearing the state record in the 300 hurdles and with Hayward Field and even hotter weather on the horizon on Saturday could smash it. Blair said she could feel a breakthrough coming, but didn't know she'd set all-time bests in both races.
"After the 100 (hurdles) I was just amazed," Blair said. "I had no idea I'd get close to that time this year, but then again you never know. In the 300s I knew I needed to run a clean race and that's exactly what I did. I'm very excited to go to state and hopefully I'll run a little faster. That's the goal. I'm going to give it my all like I did today, but I'm trying not to put a lot of pressure on myself (to break the state records). I just want to go out and run my race."
Aloha senior Nyah Songster won her first individual Metro title, running a personal best 57.56 to take top honors in the 400. Songster took second last year and fourth the year before in the 400.
"I've wanted this for so long," Songster said."I want to make the state finals and hopefully place in the top-five or even higher than that."
Songster said she likes to head out fast, "chill out" a little bit on the straightaway and kick it into gear at the 200-meter mark. The Warrior sprinter maintained a solid lead heading into the home stretch and pulled away from Jesuit's Greta Anderson and Ella Nelson.
"I didn't really focus on anybody else, just my own race," Songster said. "It sort of freaked me out (being in the front) because I didn't know where everybody else was. Really, I just had to give my everything."
Songster said she couldn't hear any footsteps around her, but said she wanted to work on the last 100 meters.
"I sort of died there," Songster said with a laugh. "The crowd sure helps with that, along with a lot of practice. I've done so many 400s and you feel that every time, so you just have to push through."
Beaverton freshman Lilly Reynolds has been an instant success with the Beavers this season and put an exclamation point on her opening campaign with a Metro title in the high jump, clearing 5-04. Reynolds had the best mark (5-06) in Metro all season after setting a personal record by more than five inches early in the season. A track athlete in middle school, Reynolds said playing for the Beaverton volleyball team helped improve her explosiveness and enhanced her athletic traits.
"I had nothing to lose, I just went as hard as I could," Reynolds said. "I hadn't met 5-04 in a long time, so I was hoping to meet it. I didn't expect this at all this season, it's been really amazing. I've never jumped at Hayward before, so I'm really excited."
For more on the Metro district meet visit www.beavertonvalleytimes.com.