Nelson, Clackamas girls track teams battle in regular-season finale
Rivalries are big.
Even when they're brand-new.
So when the Clackamas girls track team welcomed Nelson (and Central Catholic) to Clackamas High School on Wednesday, May 4, the Cavaliers and Hawks just flat got after it.
While the Mt. Hood Conference is not keeping team scores or win-loss records this year, Nelson and Clackamas each took their turns in the spotlight. The Hawks won six events and finished second five times, while the Cavaliers took five events, placed second in seven others and finished third 10 times.
Clackamas and Nelson will compete in the MHC district meet, set for Tuesday-Wednesday, May 10-11, at Barlow High School. Field events start at 3 p.m. and running events at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, while on Wednesday, field events start at 3 p.m. and running events at 5:30 p.m.
The Cavaliers won all three jumps against the Hawks and Rams, their efforts led by senior Deshanae Norman, who took first place in both the high jump and long jump. Norman topped the long jump by almost 3 feet with a mark of 17-4 1/2, then came back later in the day to take the high jump at 5-6.
Despite her success, Norman — she's tied for the state's best high jump at 5-8 — struggled with pain in her feet during the meet.
"I felt good because the weather was good but … my feet hurt," said Norman, who is still working her way back from hip surgery. "I cleared 5-6 on my first jump. It was OK, but my feet hurt. I had (a chance to) jump at 5-8, but I just scratched because my feet hurt too bad."
Other Clackamas winners included: junior Regina Diaz-Garcia in the 800 meters at 2:35.30; the 4 x 400 relay team of freshman Addison Patton, Diaz-Garcia, junior Lilly Van Dalen and junior Erin Taylor at 4:30.38; and senior Delaney Neal in the triple jump at 31-6.
Nelson, meanwhile, got two wins from junior sprinter Emelia Puerta, wins from three additional individuals and its 4 x 100 relay team. Puerta did her part in both the 100 and 200, first taking the 100 with a time of 12.66, then coming back later to top the 200 with a personal record of 26.13.
"I feel pretty good. It was a pretty good race," she said after her 200. "It was nice to have warm weather for the first time all year. I was trying to PR in my 100, but I didn't quite hit that so, hopefully, this gets a PR."
Sophomore Rachel Hardy did her part in the 100 high hurdles, hitting a couple hurdles along the way but still winning the event at 17.74.
"I was nervous at first, but then I realized I was mostly running by myself," Hardy said (there was only one additional runner in the final). "I was a little surprised in my performance because I have done better, but there's always room to learn. … But it feels nice to finally compete in some nice weather."
Other Nelson winners included: the 4 x 100 team of freshman Grace Bach, freshman Maniah Marcella, freshman Sophia Gradwahl and Puerta at 49.95 (Nelson's 4 x 100 team holds the best mark in the MHC this spring); freshman Yazmeen Williges in the shot put with a mark of 36-10.50 (she has the MHC's second-best mark in 2022); and freshman Lila Gerlach in the pole vault with a PR of 8-3 (the MHC's best mark this spring).
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