And it was more than just team champions and individual state titleists that made it special.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - West Linn sophomore Ryan VandenBrink (left to right), sophomore Gabe Howard and junior Drew Talavs stand for the national anthem before the start of the Class 6A state championship on June 7.The superlatives never seemed to stop in the 2022 high school spring sports season.

From across Clackamas County, there were local champions in tennis — three of them, in fact, including Clackamas sophomore Lauren Han in Class 6A girls singles, La Salle sophomore Aidan McBride in 5A boys singles and La Salle freshman Kennedy Harris in 5A girls singles.

There was another area state champion in boys golf, with La Salle junior William Koch taking top honors in the 5A boys tournament.

At state track, meet records fell like rain, there were enough individual champions to fill Hayward Field and the Lake Oswego girls won their school's first-ever team championship. Individual champions from local schools included: Lake Oswego sophomore Mia Brahe-Pedersen (Class 6A 100 and 200 meters); Lake Oswego sophomore Josie Donelson (6A 400); Lake Oswego junior Kate Peters (6A 3,000); Oregon City senior Harley Daniel (6A 100 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles); Oregon City junior Sophia Beckmon (6A long jump); West Linn junior Anika Sukumar (6A triple jump); Clackamas senior Deshanae Norman (6A high jump); and Wilsonville senior Chase Hix (5A javelin).

In lacrosse, both the Lake Oswego girls and Lakeridge boys played their way into 2022 state championship games before falling short.

And there was more excitement on the baseball and softball diamonds, too, with the Oregon City and Wilsonville softball teams both taking second during the best seasons in school history, while West Linn stormed to the big-school state championship in baseball for the first time in 40 years.

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - The Lake Oswego 4 x 400-meter relay team of (left to right) Josie Donelson, Mia Brahe-Pedersen, Riley Ha and Quinn Greene pose together after helping secure the Class 6A state championship at the end of May.

Then there was the weather. If you want superlatives, our spring season weather was there to provide. In my own experience, the spring of '22 was the wettest, coolest, windiest — let's be honest, lousiest — in my 33 years of covering high school sports.

Most spring seasons, one of my main concerns is making sure that I have a full container of sunscreen in my car before I head out to events. That wasn't really a problem this year. Instead, my main concerns this spring were ensuring that I had my rain gear and my camera's rain cover and my umbrella and my hat and my waterproof notebook.

One week, the Northwest Oregon Conference golf tournament at Glendoveer was canceled due to the amount of snow on the course.

That's how bad it was.

There was one more superlative worth mentioning, too — the length of the season. From start to finish, the '22 spring season lasted three months and 11 days — exactly 100 days. Because some of the baseball and softball state championships — originally scheduled on June 4 (the last competition day of the season) — were rained out and reset three days later on June 7, the 2022 campaign was one of the longer spring seasons on record.

Under normal circumstances, the extra three days added to the season wouldn't have been a big deal, but in '22 they were. Why? Because — for those of us with short memories or just a powerful desire to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror — the 2021 spring season lasted just six weeks and 2020 was canceled completely.

And for that — just for giving our high school athletes the chance for full seasons for the first time in three years — the length of the 2022 campaign was the greatest superlative of all.

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