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Freshmen, seniors combine to take the Crusaders back to the Metro winners' circle

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit freshman Madison Hawkins was the anchor leg of the Crusader 4x100 relay that took first overall.

Veterans and rookies, the old guard and the new kids on the block.

The Jesuit girls track and field team leaned on a tried and true mixture of star power from the likes of freshmen Madison Hawkins and Chloe Foerster, and seniors Eva van Hameren, Jordyn Turner and Sara Sanders to take home yet another Metro League crown.

Leaning on a well of district finalists cobbling together points the Crusaders finished first with 185 while Sunset (136), Mountainside (115) and Westview (104) took second, third and fourth, respectively. Beaverton (69.5), Aloha (22.5) and Southridge (15) rounded out the district's top-seven teams.

"We have so many different people who do so many different things and they can help you and teach you," Hawkins said. "You have so many role models to look up to, seniors who have been in your position, who know exactly what to do. They're there for you, they're nice to you and treat you well. They're my older sisters."

Westview actually had as many first place medalists (five) as Jesuit and Sunset wasn't far behind with four. The difference, as it normally is whenever Jesuit is involved, was the breadth of depth spanned across all facets of the sport. Turner won the shot put, van Hameren took first in the 300 hurdles and Sanders took top honors in the javelin. The short and long relays came through with clutch victories over Mountainside, who looks like the next program ready to emerge and challenge Jesuit's reign one day soon. But Jesuit had a district finalist in every event and upwards of three or four athletes in each final. In any numbers game, the Crusaders win. They have the biggest team in Metro with a talented pool of standouts to pick and choose from.

Entrusted with important roles at such a young age, Hawkins and Foerster rose to the occasion. As the anchor leg of Jesuit's 4x100 team facing Mountainside's top-timed quartet of underclassmen, Hawkins put the hammer down and preserved the Crusaders' lead over the homestretch to win the event in 49.68 seconds. Hawkins was the only freshman amongst a seasoned group that included van Hameren, Ana Mueller and Alisha Lowe.

"It was an amazing opportunity for me," Hawkins said. "I just had to give my all to the team and not give up. I knew Mountainside was going to catch up, but I just had to keep pushing because it was anyone's race. We knew we were going to get it if we put our minds to it."

Forester was clutch, winning the 800 (2:10.95) over teammate Molly Grant and setting a personal record in the process. Grant and Forester helped close down the meet by running key legs on the Crusaders' 4x400 relay along with Ella Nelson and Greta Anderson.

At Jesuit, there is no ageism. Talent, times and marks win over everything. Freshmen are welcomed in with open arms and treated as equals.

"The people at Jesuit are amazing, it's just a great environment to be around," Hawkins said. "I love it. You build a whole family bond with one another. I had a lot of nerves starting out, but in the end,, it's so worth it."

For much more on the Metro League district meet, please visit

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit freshman Chloe Forester and sophomore Molly Grant took first and second in the 800 meters.

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