Hillsboro schools are sending a bevy of athletes to the state championships this year.

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Liberty's Aidan Maloney clears a hurdle during the 300-meter hurdles event at the Metro League District Track and Field Championships at Liberty High School.The Jesuit Crusaders conquered the Metro League District Track & Field Championships held Wednesday, May 9, and Friday, May 11, at Liberty High School. But while the Beaverton private school hoisted both the boys' and girls' team trophies, there was plenty of hardware to go around for Hillsboro athletes shining both on the track and in the field.

Liberty's Aidan Maloney was one of those athletes, winning both the 110- and 300-meter hurdle events while finishing second in both the high jump and long jump events.

"I'm really honored," Maloney said. "I'm just enjoying the moment. I know it's not going to last forever, so I'm trying to do what I can now and enjoy it along the way."

The Falcon junior — who is also a standout football player at Liberty — decimated the field in both hurdle events, claiming the 110 meters by 0.75 seconds over Jesuit's Zack Jansky and the 300 meters by nearly a full second over Century sophomore Chance Sparks, setting a personal record with a time of 38.27.

"The whole time I just thought, 'Run your own hurdles,'" Maloney said. "You can get caught up in what other people are doing and that can hurt your race. I just focused on what I needed to do for my race, took what coaches told me and everything went to plan."

Maloney, whose father ran track in college, didn't start hurdling until his freshmen year and has since been coached by former Metro League standout hurdler Mark Lowe. He's come to really enjoy the hurdle events and even embraced the nuances of the two different races.

"They're very different," said Maloney. "Getting your mind around the longer distance in the 300s is probably tougher, but more can go wrong in the 110s, because every little thing can make a huge impact on your time."

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Century's Nathan Poff jumps from the blocks in the 400-meter event at the Metro League District Track and Field Championships at Liberty High School.Maloney wasn't the only successful Hillsboro athlete at last week's meet, as all three 6A schools qualified kids for State.

In all, there were 13 automatic qualifiers: on the boys' side, Maloney in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, long jump and high jump; Glencoe's Justin Lazenby in the triple jump, along with Blake Lee and Nathaniel Gong in the pole vault; and Century's Chance Sparks in the 300-meter hurdles, Shane Neal in the javelin and Nathan Poff in the 400 meters.

On the girls' side, automatic qualifiers included Glencoe's Amanda Fassold in the long jump, Gabriella Justen in the pole vault, Madison McGlasson in the 100-meter hurdles, Sydney Larrison in the javelin and freshman Jayda Lee in the high jump, while Century's Nina Mastrantonio qualified by winning the triple jump.

Wild card selections had yet to be released as of Tuesday morning, May 15.

The OSAA State Track & Field Championships will be held Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, at Hayward Field in Eugene.STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Glencoe's Jayda Lee high jumps at the Metro League District Track and Field Championships at Liberty High School.

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