Rams win 268-254 over Cavaliers; Nelson girls tie for third place at 176 points.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Clackamas senior Deshanae Norman (with teammate Delaney Neal to her left) stands atop the awards stand after winning the high jump at the Mt. Hood Conference district track meet at Barlow High School on Tuesday, May 10.Race for race, throw for throw and jump for jump, the Clackamas and Central Catholic girls track and field teams got after it at the Mt. Hood Conference district meet.

In the end, the Rams used their frontline talent — they won eight of 17 district events — to overcome the Cavaliers' depth and ability to win the district title. The MHC district meet was held Tuesday and Wednesday, May 10-11, at Barlow High School.

Central Catholic finished the two-day meet with 268 points, while Clackamas was close behind at 254. The complete team scoring included: Central Catholic 268, Clackamas 254, David Douglas 212, Barlow 176, Adrienne Nelson 176, Reynolds 88, Sandy 76, Gresham 56 and Centennial 12.

Next up, the top two finishers from each event (along with any athletes/teams who hit state qualifying standards and any wildcard selections) will compete in the Class 6A state track and field meet, set for May 20-21 at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene.

"I'm really excited for next week," said Clackamas senior Delaney Neal, who won the triple jump and finished second in both the high jump and long jump. "Especially since this season wasn't my best, to come out like this at the last moment has just been really exciting."

The Cavs shined brightest in the jumps, their efforts led there by senior Deshanae Norman — she won both the high jump and long jump — and Neal, who won the triple jump with a personal-best leap of 32 feet, 7 1/4 inches.

"I just started triple jumping a month ago, so this is super unexpected but exciting," Neal said. "Last year, high jump was my best event, but since that wasn't going as great this year, we decided to switch it up and I'm happy it turned out this way."

Neal added a height of 4-10 to place second in the high jump, and tacked on a personal best of 15-10 to take second in the long jump — in each case, trailing her teammate Norman.

For her part, Norman cleared 5-6 to win the high jump by 8 inches, then soared 17-7 to top the field in the long jump by almost 2 feet.

"It's just district, but winning is always an accomplishment," Norman said after the high jump. "I could have jumped better, but I'm still happy."

The Cavaliers also got wins from senior Jasmine Fletcher in the 800 with a PR of 2:19.15, and from junior Kira Nguyen in the pole vault with a PR of 8-9.

Other top-four finishers for Clackamas were: junior Erin Taylor, second in the 100 high hurdles at 16.04 and second in the 300 intermediate hurdles with a PR of 47.14; freshman Addison Patton, third in the long jump at 15-6 and fourth in the 100 meters at 13.21; the 4 x 100 team of junior Regina Diaz-Garcia, Taylor, Fletcher and Patton, third at 4:18.87; and the 4 x 400 relay team of Diaz-Garcia, Taylor, Fletcher and Patton, third at 4:18.87.

Nelson made its first district meet a keeper, too, winning once, finishing second three times and taking third in another three events.

Junior Emelia Puerta came through to provide her school's first-ever district championship, edging away to win the 100 with a PR of 12.51.

"It was a really good start — one of the better ones I've got over the course of the season — so I was pretty happy," Puerta said. "The David Douglas girl (freshman Nevayah Samuels) held on really tight for a while so she definitely helped me push a little harder to get first."

The Hawks' three runner-up efforts came from: Puerta in the 400 in a PR of 58.74; the 4 x 100 relay team of freshman Grace Bach, freshman Maniah Marcella, freshman Sophia Gradwahl and Puerta at 50.22; and the 4 x 400 team of Bach, freshman Madeline Haggart, Marcella and Puerta at 4:15.55.

Sophomore distance runner Madeline Pizzuti made her mark for Nelson, too, taking fourth place in both the 3,000 and 1,500, setting a PR of 11:29.33 in the 3,000 and another PR of 5:16.55 in the 1,500.

"I feel really good. I ran a really smart face and I'm really proud of myself," Pizzuti said after the 1,500. "My race plan was to go out strong and stay strong throughout the entire race and then pick it up at the end."

Other top finishers for Nelson came from: Marcella, third in the 200 at 27.24; Bach, fourth in the 400 in a PR of 1:03.03; freshman Yazmeen Williges, third in the discus at 123-5 and fourth in the shot put at 36-9 1/4; and sophomore Rachel Hardy, third in the triple jump at 31-8.

Christopher Keizur contributed to this story.

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