The Gladstone youth is regional runner-up in the 400, long jump

by: JOHN DENNY - Deshanae NormanDeshanae Norman held her own at the USA Track and Field Region 13 Junior Olympic Championships, held July 5-8 at Summit High School in Bend.

The Gladstone 8-year-old qualified for nationals in two events, finishing runner-up in the Sub-Bantam (ages 7-8) girls 400-meter dash (1:15.68) and in the long jump (10-6-1/2). She was just a couple of tenths off her own state record clocking in the 400 and her effort in the long jump was a personal record by three inches.

“She went out too fast [in the 400],” said Mustang Track coach Fred Crowe. “She was way ahead of everyone. She was on a sub-70 pace, which I don’t think she is ready for yet. She tied up the last 100 meters; the bear was on her back and she ran out of gas....

“We’ve got some work to do before nationals. She’s got to learn how to pace herself.”

Crowe said he believes Norman has the potential to place high at nationals, if she learns to pace herself.

“Hopefully she’ll draw a better heat than she did last year,” said Crowe. “Last year she had the ninth best time but she didn’t make finals because she was in a fast heat. The girls who ended up first and second were in her heat and only two runners from each heat advance to finals.”

Norman wasn’t the only Mustang Track Club athlete to place in the top five at this year’s regionals and qualify for nationals.

Lily Trimble, a 9-year-old from Oregon City, cleared 3-7 and earned runner-up honors in the Bantam girls high jump.

Isabella Vaughn, a 9-year-old from Happy Valley, cleared 3-5 for third place in the Bantam girls high jump, and she placed fourth in the tri-athlon (272 points).

Milwaukie 13-year-old Aaron Scheible scored 985, good for fourth place in the Youth (ages 13-14) boys pentathlon.

The national championships run July 23-29 at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.