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Senior stars are standouts in the sprints, jumps, anything the Wildcats need

TIMES FILE PHOTO - Westview senior Colleen Uzoekwe won three Class 6A state championships last year.

Colleen Uzoekwe can do anything in the track and field realm and not just compete but excel in any event she so chooses.

The Wildcat senior seemingly came out of nowhere last spring, exploding for the Westview girls' track and field program and becoming an instant all-time sensation. She won Class 6A titles in the 100-meter dash and the 200, making her the fastest girl in the state on top of taking Metro League titles in both said events. Her supple athleticism carried over the jumps too, where she won a state crown in the high jump and qualified for state in the long jump. Uzoekwe scored the most points (38) of any athlete from all classifications at the OSAA Track and Field Championships. She won the female athlete of the state meet and the Prep Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year in June as voted on by the Oregon Sports Awards voting panel. Blessed with natural athletic gifts and traits, Uzoekwe committed herself to weight room last winter, going through a brutal three-month training regimen that yielded record-smashing springtime success.

Uzoekwe and all of her Westview teammates deserve an encore, yet the coronavirus has, unfortunately, put the senior's swan song on hiatus. Per Governor Brown's announcement regarding statewide school closures, the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) extended the suspension of interscholastic practices and contests for sports and activities for all member schools through April 28 due to the spread of COVID-19.

All athletes and coaches involved are actively doing their best to socially distance themselves and follow the protocols suggested by Brown and her team of advisors. There are no practices, team organized activities or anything of the sort at the moment. Schools are completely closed. That includes football fields, baseball and softball fields, tracks and other athletic facilities. Athletes must work out on their own and find creative ways to stay fit. If anybody understands this situation is much more serious than a squeezing in some sort of spring season, it's Westview head coach Rebecca Martin. Martin's husband's family lives in Italy, where citizens are under lockdown except for purchasing food and medical supplies. Flattening the curve in the United States is crucial, of course. But Martin emphasizes with all of her athletes, especially those such as Uzoekwe, whose head coach was trying to coax into running the grueling 400 meters this spring in addition to her top events.

"Colleen is a phenomenal athlete with a bright future in Track & Field in the years to come," Martin said. "We are hoping (the season) will happen for the sake of our athletes. Our focus is to have our athletes make it to the State Championship level. Our community's (and state/world) health surpasses the need for a Track & Field season, however, I know this is very difficult for young teenagers to comprehend."

Martin said Westview has many talented new athletes and talented returning athletes this season. The coaching staff believes it will be very competitive in the boys' 4x100m and 4x400m relays (including Denzel Pinto) as well as in the boys' and girls' 100m, 200m and 400m (including Denzel Pinto).

"We want to get as many individuals and relay teams to States as we can if we have a season," Martin said.

Senior Emma Baughman is a dogged competitor in the 400 meters and 4x400m relay.

"Emma never gives up-ever," Martin said.

Junior Trejan Flennaugh competes in the 800 meters and 4x400m relay. Flennaugh was injured last season but is "making a roaring comeback" according to Martin.

Senior Wayne Jamison is the defending Metro League district champion in the long jump. He'll also compete on the Wildcat 4x100 relay.

"Wayne's calm personality always keeps him in the hunt," Martin said.

Senior Kojo Manu runs 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay.

"Kojo is always a strong competitor," Martin said.

TIMES FILE PHOTO - Westview senior Wayne Jamison won the Metro League distirct title in the long jump last year.


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