Lake Oswego girls finish 13th at state track
There's no doubt about it — there were definitely some high moments for the Lake Oswego girls track and field team at state.
And to be fair, there were a few lesser moments along the way as well.
The Lakers, competing in the Class 6A state meet at Mt. Hood Community College on Friday and Saturday, May 24-25, put together seven top-10 finishes at the event and eventually tied for 13th place with 16 points.
The highlight in the meet for Lake Oswego was unquestionably the performance of its 4 x 100-meter relay team on Saturday. While the Lakers entered the final seeded just seventh in the field, the Lakers — who finished second at state a year ago — knew better.
"I think going in we were pretty underestimated and no one really expected anything from us because we were ranked seventh," said junior Gemma Pleas, who ran the lead leg of the relay. "Our team knew, however, that we had the ability to do very well and way better than that expectation and sort of shock people a little."
The Lakers — Pleas, senior Erica Chiang, senior Sophie Smith and senior Maddie DeBorde — did just that, racing to second in the finals, eventually finishing with a time of 48.66 seconds. West Salem's Elliana Herring, Lucy Jolivette, Elisabeth Goodrich and Sarah Rice won the event with a mark of 48.16.
"I am so happy that our ... team ended up pulling it out and getting second two years in a row," said DeBorde, who will run next year at Long Beach State. "Everything came together so smoothly and I couldn't have asked for a better group of friends to do it with."
"Since Gemma is the only non-senior out of us, this was our last race together after three years with the same team," said Chiang. "So to have three solid handoffs and get second place in state made the race even more meaningful, and we're really happy we got to end on such a positive note."
While the 4 x 100 relay was the unquestioned high point for the Lakers at state, it was hardly the only one.
In the throws, junior Ava David came through with two top-10 performances, finishing fifth in Saturday's discus competition and taking ninth in the shot put a day earlier. In the discus, David was one three top-five finishers from the Three Rivers League, with Oregon City's Anessa Chirgwin taking first at 143 feet, 2 inches, West Linn's Makayla Long finishing second with a 141-9 and David grabbing fifth at 135-11.
"On one (hand), it was much better than I competed last year at state," David said. "However, I did not have a stellar day and definitely had the potential to do better.
"Technically, it was the farthest I've thrown at a state meet, but I'm not entirely satisfied with that given that my mark was 10 feet under my (personal record)."
In Friday's shot put, David — the TRL district champion — placed ninth with a mark of 36-3.25, while North Medford's Jaida Ross won the event at 42-10.
In similar fashion to the results in the discus, the competitors in the shot put saw their marks suffer in the wet conditions.
"The rain was a total bummer," David said. "The 6A girls discus had one of the most stacked fields that the state has ever seen and the rain totally discredited that. It's very hard to get a good throw off in the rain. The winning mark did not do the field justice and I think we would have seen a lot bigger throws had we been competing in better weather. Lots of girls, including me, were throwing (more than 10) feet below their PRs, which is really unfortunate because there was a lot more talent in that field than the results show."
The rain was a constant factor over the two-day meet, and a constant annoyance to competitors.
"Competing in the pouring down rain was not fun," DeBorde said. "I definitely think it affected my performance. I had to start in a puddle for the 100, which was (held) in the middle of my long jump finals. It just makes it harder to stay warm in between jumps and affects your steps. It was hard … having to shift to competing in the cold and rain in the finals."
"We didn't end up beating our record from last year (in the 4 x 100 relay), which we might have been able to do in better conditions," Chiang said. "But overall, we are really proud of what we accomplished today."
"We were hoping it wasn't (going to) rain, but it started to drizzle a bit right before our heat went," Pleas added. "I tried not to focus on that, though, and just focus on running my race."
Results from the Lakers' other events included: the Lake Oswego 4 x 400 team of freshman Jayden Hill, Chiang, freshman Julia Sieber and junior Lily Lines finished seventh overall at 4:00.87; DeBorde, the 2018 state champion in the long jump, finished seventh in that event this year with a mark of 17-5.25, and ninth in the 100 with a finishing time of 12.72; and Chiang finished 10th in the 100 at 12.74, and placed 11th in the 200 at 25.95.
Regarding her finish in the long jump, DeBorde wished that she had done better, but acknowledged that injury limited her success on Saturday. Westview's Colleen Uzoekwe won the event with a mark of 18-04.50.
Lakeridge's lone qualifier to state, freshman Hannah Daniel, ran to a personal best time of 47.65 in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
The complete team scoring included: South Eugene 55, Jesuit 52, Centennial 51, Bend 51, Summit 50, Westview 43, West Salem 32, Sunset 24, Mountain View 24, St Mary's Academy 19, Sheldon 17, Oregon City 17, Lake Oswego 16, Lincoln 16, North Medford 16, Gresham 15, Grants Pass 15, West Linn 14, Benson 12, Madison 11.5, Franklin 10, Mountainside 10, Clackamas 10, Glencoe 9, Roseburg 9, South Salem 8, Tigard 8, Tualatin 7, Beaverton 6.5, Grant 6, Roosevelt 6, Sandy 5, Canby 5, Forest Grove 5, Sherwood 4, McKay 3.
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