Sophomore Mia Brahe-Pedersen leads Lake Oswego girls track to Class 6A state title
The sun was shining, the records were falling, and for the first time ever, the Lake Oswego girls track team was standing on top.
Lake Oswego, competing in the Class 6A state track and field meet at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, broke through to win six of the meet's 17 events and racked up 72 points to beat second-place Oregon City's 62.
In the process, the Lakers won their first-ever state championship in girls track and field, surpassing their previous best when they placed second in the Class 4A state meet in 2000.
Needless to say, the importance of the moment was not lost on the Lakers.
"I'm exhausted, but I don't think I could have had a better two days, honestly," said Lake Oswego sophomore Mia Brahe-Pedersen, winner of the 100 and 200 meters and also a member of the Lakers' winning 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay teams. "I met a lot of great people, and I had a lot of great experiences, a lot of new experiences, and I could not ask for anything more."
"It feels amazing and I'm just eternally grateful to my amazing teammates and coaches because running with these girls has given me such crazy opportunities because of how powerful athletes they are," said Lake Oswego senior Quinn Greene, who ran the lead leg on both of LO's winning relays. "Everyone on our team is just so supportive of one another and we recognize talent and we lift each other up — only lift each other up — and it's the most amazing experience, so a championship like this is just the cherry on top."
"State champion feels pretty good on any day, especially on a day like this at Hayward Field under blue skies," said sophomore Riley Ha, who ran the second leg on the Lakers' 4 x 400 relay. "You can't ask for anything else."
"It's the most amazing experience so a championship like this is just the cherry on top."
— Quinn Greene, Lake Oswego senior
Brahe-Pedersen was in the middle of almost all of the Lakers' success, starting with the 4 x 100 relay on Saturday where she teamed with Greene, sophomore Josie Donelson and senior Dakota Webb-Hawkins to win with a time of 46.87 seconds — just 0.3 off the state meet record.
"We all got together beforehand and we made sure that we were in the zone and ready to go," Webb-Hawkins said. "During the warmups, we just made sure to practice our handoffs … and once the race was going, it was just smooth. After that, it was 'Let's go; let's finish.'"
Brahe-Pedersen left an indelible mark in the 100, first running 11.66 in the preliminaries to break the state meet record of 11.90 held jointly by LaReina Woods of Corvallis from 1989 and Mandy White of Lakeridge from 2007.
Then, in the finals, she broke through for a wind-aided 11.09 that — if not for the wind — would have broken Oregon's all-time state record of 11.29 set in 1968 by former Churchill star and Olympian Margaret Johnson Bailes.
There was more excitement to come from Brahe-Pedersen in the 200, too. In her prelim, she raced to victory in 23.33 to break the state meet record of 24.01 set in 2009 by Kayla Smith of Benson. And in Saturday's final, she was even faster, speeding to first place at 23.25 to set another new state-meet record.
Brahe-Pedersen finished her meet the same way she started it — by winning again — this time with her 4 x 400 team. The Lakers called on Greene, Ha, Brahe-Pedersen and Donelson in the 4 x400 to secure their victory over Oregon City and they responded like champions, powering to first place with a mark of 3:50.64 (beating second-place Jesuit by almost six seconds).
"Ending the meet on such an amazing note with our 4 x 4 — it's very tiring, so ending it where I can really put it all out there was a great way to end the meet," she said. "I'm happy with everything I've gotten."
To say the least, the Lakers got a ton of huge contributions from other athletes, with Donelson breaking through to win the 400 with a personal-best time of 55.71, taking fourth in the 200 with another PR of 24.52 and running on both of LO's winning relays.
"It's been really amazing just going through all my events and ending today with such an amazing team at a time we're so proud of and on such a positive note," Donelson said after the 4 x 400 relay. "It's just great."
Junior Kate Peters did her part, too, stepping up on Friday to win the 3,000 and coming back on Saturday to finish fifth in the 1,500. Peters notched a winning time of 9:25.15 — a new PR — to take the 3,000 over Franklin senior Kaiya Robertson (9:28.72), then led the 1,500 part of the way before placing fifth at 4:28.51.
"I felt really good about my race today," she said after the 3,000. "I love running at Hayward Field. It is so much fun. Such a nice, cool stadium. It makes running feel easier. I'm glad I did my part today."
Other Lake Oswego competitors at state were: freshman Ana Peters, eighth in the 1,500 at 4:35.55 and 10th in the 3,00 at 10:03.93; junior Casey Moran, sixth in the discus at with a PR of 124 feet, 0 inches; senior Katelyn Howard, sixth in the pole vault at 11-3; Webb-Hawkins, eighth in the triple jump at 35-2; and senior Julia Sieber, who failed to clear a height in the high jump.
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