Madras track and field strong going into Tri-Valley championships
With all of the regular season meets out of the way, the Madras track and field teams are going to districts this week — and the team should send a few Buffs to the state championships in Eugene.
Coming into the district meet, which will be held at Estacada High School on Friday and Saturday, May 13-14, the White Buffalos have been on a roll. After splitting their home dual with Crook County, Madras soundly defeated Corbett on both the boys' and girls' sides of the meet.
But in track and field, only two days really matter: the district meet, and the state championships. Everything else is just prelude; however, the season to date suggests that Madras is going to make a strong mark this weekend.
The Buffs currently rank first or second in 13 different events between the boys and girls teams, including seven in which Madras has the best mark in the district.
Here is a look at how Madras stacks up across the different types of events.
Freshman Andres Pineda has had a very strong first season for Madras, and his 200-meter dash time of 24.03 last week against Corbett was not only a personal record, but it was the second-best mark in the Tri-Valley. The only problem: Corbett senior Cole Parker set the top mark in the district in that very same race in Madras, and he has yet to lose a race all year long. Pineda is also fourth in the 100, while junior Wade Simmelink ranks third district-wide.
In one of the most exciting races of Madras' dual against Crook County, sophomore Michael Picard put down the second-best 400 time in the district as he narrowly edged out his fellow teammate, Ethan Nava, who ranks fourth in district. Both will be chasing Corbett's Parker, who also owns the district's best mark in the 100.
On the girls' side, Adelynn Adams is tied for third in the 200 and she ranks seventh in the 100, while sophomore Austin Erwen is sixth in that event. Hannah MacDuffee ranks second in the 400, but she is not competing in that event, putting senior teammate Isabelle Ludi into a top-five position.
After going to state together this past fall as part of the cross country team, juniors MacDuffee and Isaiah Wapsheli are likely to make another trip together next week. Wapsheli and MacDuffee are the current district leaders in both the 1,500 and 3,000 events, and each boast healthy leads on their closest foes.
They both have the best 800 times in the Tri-Valley, too, but neither will be competing in those events. That could make way for freshmen Eben Tapia and Emily Picard to qualify for state, as those two are ranked No. 3 in the district in the 800 — but slide into a top-two spot with Wapsheli and MacDuffee out of the picture.
Ethan Tapia had never competed in the 300-meter hurdles until April 27, when the senior gave it a try against Crook County. In his first race, Tapia became the only Tri-Valley hurdler to break the 45-second barrier in the event. Last week against Corbett, Tapia ran the hurdles again — and went under 45 seconds again. He may have gotten a late start in the 300 hurdles, but Tapia is suddenly the favorite in the event going into districts.
As for the 110 hurdles, junior Johan Poland continued on his quest to break the school record last week when he broke his own personal record with a 17.33 in the Corbett meet. Poland ranks third in the district, though, so he will most likely need to lower his time even more this weekend.
The Madras boys 4x400 relay is the best in the district, with their top mark coming from Nava, Wapsheli and the Tapia brothers, though Picard has taken Nava's spot in the relay the past two weeks.
The Buffs also have the second-best 4x100 foursome, with Ethan Tapia also taking part in this event. Joining him in last week's season-best race were Picard, Pineda and Simmelink.
On the girls' side, the 4x400 team ranks a relatively distant third, but one strong race could send them to Eugene.
Matty Buck ranks top-five in all three throwing events, but she has the best chance of qualifying in the discus. Meanwhile, teammate Illiana Hance is third in the javelin. Last week, Hance became only the third Tri-Valley girl to break the 100-foot mark.
Simmelink is tops in the Tri-Valley in the long jump, and he is tied with teammate Diego Arthur, a freshman, for the second-best triple jump mark in the district.
Tobias Byrd, a junior, is second in both the pole vault and the high jump, too. He set a new PR in the pole vault last week by hitting the 12-foot mark for the first time.
Briann Ellis ranks second in the girls pole vault and third in the high jump, while Adelynn Adams and Sierra Adams rank fifth in the long jump and triple jump, respectively.
The Tri-Valley Championships begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 13, with finals on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.
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