Not only does Molalla have several representatives headed to the state track and field meet, it has district champions in its midst as well. Most notably were the co-most valuable male athletes of the Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) district meet, seniors Tanner Nauta and Nick Lucas. All of this took place at North Marion High School this past Friday and Saturday, May 10-11.
Nauta claimed first place in a number of different events. In the 100-meter dash he took first with a time of 11.35 seconds, edging Gladstone's Alfred Dorsey by less than two-tenths of a second. In the 200-meter dash, Nauta took first place with a time of 23.25 seconds, this time edging another Gladstone athlete, Abran Leal, by one-tenth of a second.
Nauta was also part of the district champion 4x100-meter relay team with seniors Michael House, Nick Lucas, and Jose Uribe. That team took first with a time of 43.56 seconds, a time that was .06 seconds away from being the Molalla school record.
To round out his ridiculously successful day, Nauta took first place in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 1.5 inches (21'1.5").
"It's a really amazing feeling," Nauta said. "In my last three years of high school, I've always gone to state for a team event, like the 4x100, and this year I'm finally making it for an individual event. I feel a lot better about myself. Knowing that I was so close last year, and that I got first this year, it's a big step up for me."
For the other male MVP of the meet, Nick Lucas, the results were no less impressive. After winning a very competitive high jump event against Madras senior Allen Jackson and Gladstone junior Tucker Hall with a personal best 6' leap, Lucas took first place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.75 seconds.
"I've been wanting to hit six feet since my sophomore year, and I'm stoked that I got it," Lucas said. "I love the high jump because it didn't feel like a competition, it was really buddy-buddy and everyone was encouraging each other. I loved tying Tucker. We've been head to head all season, and I'm glad he got it. We tied with Allen, too. I'm super lucky to have gotten first."
In the 300-meter hurdles, Lucas again claimed the top spot with a time of 41.47 seconds. That time was actually slightly slower than his prelim mark of 41.21 seconds, a personal record.
Senior Katie Sandberg will be competing at the state track meet for the third consecutive time, and this time, she will have added a third event to her resume. Sandberg qualified her sophomore year in the shot put; her junior year in the shot put and javelin; in 2019, she'll be going in the shot put, javelin, and discus.
At the TVC meet, Sandberg took first place in the shot put with a heave of 38'3", her best of the season, and just 5.5 inches shy of her personal best. She also took second place in the javelin with a throw of 113'7", only behind Estacada's Makaelyn Jennings. In the discus, admittedly her least favorite of the three, Sandberg took second place with a throw of 90'2". That throw in the finals pushed her into the state meet, as her prelim throw of 87' would have left her in third place.
"I am so honestly surprised because I came in ranked third, and discus has never really been my favorite," Sandberg said. "I came in and I said, 'If I have a really good day, I could get second, so I have nothing to lose.' Being a senior, you know it's your last meet and you go out with a bang. You have nothing to lose, and I'm so, so happy that it all worked out."
Senior Emma Andrews finished first place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.17 seconds, edging Gladstone hurdlers Brianna Lewis and Charlie Hill who posted personal bests. In the 300-meter hurdles Andrews again made the cut for state, this time with a second place finish and a time of 48.90, a personal best.
Andrews was also a part of the 4x100-meter relay team that snagged second, alongside senior Sarah Phillips, junior Lydia Jeffries-Call, and freshman Annika Molina with a time of 51.57 seconds.
Sophomore distance runner Paige Gump will also be making the trip to the state meet. With personal best runs in the 800 and 1,500, Gump posted times of 2:38.06 and 5:16.99 respectively to claim second place in both. Gump was also a part of the second place 4x400-meter relay team, along with senior Madelyn Burgi, junior Lydia Jeffries-Call, and junior Kelsey Childress.
Freshman Elizabeth Grandle dabbled in the hurdling events, doing well enough to place top five in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, but her strongest events were the high jump and the long jump. "Lizzy" took first place in the high jump with a leap of 5', a personal best, and four inches higher than Estacada's Peyton Dyson. In the long jump, Grandle took second place with a jump of 15'10.50". Had Madras's Olivia Symons not taken first with a leap more than a foot greater than her prelim jump, Grandle would be a dual league champion.
Sophomore Noah Roth may not have earned a district championship in the distance running events, but he will be making the trip to the state meet with his fellow Molalla competitors. In the 1,500 and 3,000 meter races, Roth posted personal best times to snag second place in both events. In the former, Roth ran 4:29.21; in the latter, he ran 10:11.93.
Michael House will not just be joining his 4x100-meter relay team at the state meet, he'll be headed down for an individual event as well. House claimed second place in the 300-meter hurdles behind teammate Lucas with a time 42.20 seconds, a season best mark. House nearly qualified in the 100-meter hurdles as well, but was bumped to third place by Gladstone senior Osvaldo Rodriguez.
Molalla's boys' team ultimately came in second place with a point total of 149, while the girls claimed third with 135 points.
Full finals results are below:
1. Tanner Nauta – 11.35
7. Niko Boehm – 12.27
1. Tanner Nauta – 23.25
6. Jose Uribe – 24.35
3. Jose Uribe – 52.01 (PR)
8. Caleb Hohbach – 55.85
3. Brendon Perla – 2:11.97
6. Clay Sperl – 2:18.54 (PR)
10. Enrique Martinez Vivar – 2:24.50
3. Brendon Perla – 4:34.06 (PR)
4. Noah Roth – 4:39.42 (PR)
10. Kadyn Eves – 4:59.92
2. Noah Roth – 10:11.93 (PR)
8. Kadyn Eves – 10:55.95
13. Koby Wade – 12:11.93
1. Nick Lucas – 15.75
3. Michael House – 16.65
1. Nick Lucas – 41.47
2. Michael House – 42.20
1. House, Lucas, Nauta, Uribe – 43.56
4. Boehm, House, Uribe, Hohbach – 3:43.39
3. Luke VanSmoorenburg – 40'6.5" (PR)
3. Luke VanSmoorenburg – 121'1"
7. Gabriel House – 115'11" (PR)
9. Chase Martin – 103'6" (PR)
8. Luke VanSmoorenburg – 132'1"
1. Nick Lucas – 6' (PR)
1. Tanner Nauta – 21'1.5" (PR)
6. Niko Boehm – 18'8"
7. Blake Olsen – 37'10.25" (PR)
5. Lydia Jeffries-Call – 13.76
4. Sarah Phillips – 27.94
7. Lydia Jeffries-Call – 29.08
3. Madelyn Burgi – 1:06.38
2. Paige Gump – 2:38.06 (PR)
2. Paige Gump – 5:16.99 (PR)
1. Emma Andrews – 16.17
4. Elizabeth Grandle – 16.91
6. Kaityn Curry – 18.02
2. Emma Andrews – 48.90 (PR)
4. Elizabeth Grandle – 52.10
2. Phillips, Jeffries-Call, Molina, Andrews – 51.57
2. Burgi, Jeffries-Call, Gump, Childress – 4:28.11
1. Katie Sandberg – 38'3" (SR)
2. Katie Sandberg – 90'2"
2. Katie Sandberg – 113'7"
1. Elizabeth Grandle – 5' (PR)
2. Elizabeth Grandle – 15'10.5"
6. Sarah Phillips – 15'
7. Hannah Allegretto-Wolf – 14'11.75" (PR)
3. Hannah Allegretto-Wolf – 31'8.5"
The state meet will be held Friday and Saturday, May 17-18 at Mt. Hood Community College.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.