Madras track qualifies four for state meet on Day 1 of districts
The first day of the Tri-Valley Conference Track & Field Championships were held in Estacada on Friday, May 13, with four Madras athletes already having qualified for the state championships next week in Eugene.
Madras juniors Hannah MacDuffee and Isaiah Wapsheli each left the competition in the dust to win their respective 3,000 events by wide margins. Both set new personal records in the event, with Wapsheli knocking more than 35 seconds off his PR time by dipping below the 10-minute mark for the first time and finishing in 9:40.12. MacDuffee, meanwhile, clocked in at 11:56.32, which was her first time breaking the 12-minute barrier. In addition to their success in the 3,000 event, both MacDuffee and Wapsheli are favorites to win the 1,500 as the Tri-Valley Championships wrap up on Saturday, May 14.
"Our 3,000 meter runners were awesome," said Madras head coach Mike Dove.
In the field events, the White Buffalos also saw two jumpers qualify for state on Friday. Briann Ellis continued a strong senior campaign by matching her PR height of 7-06 in the girls pole vault and taking second in the event behind Sophie Bergkvist of Corbett. On the boys' side, junior Tobias Byrd tied for the second-best high jump with a leap of 5-06 and won a tiebreaker over Corbett's Cole Weien by virtue of having fewer missed attempts.
One more Buff nearly qualified in the long jump, too. Andres Aguilar placed third in the long jump with a PR leap of 19-10.75, but he fell a quarter inch short of the second-best mark. While there is one more spot at the state meet available to the best third-place mark in every event across all six 4A districts, Aguilar will not earn the wild card after a Phoenix High School athlete logged a 20-05 to take third in the Skyline Conference meet on Friday.
A number of other Madras athletes also placed top-eight in the events that went final on Day 1. Wade Simmelink took fourth (19-02) in the boys long jump, while Steve Gonzalez set a new PR and placed sixth (18-06) in the same event. The Buffs also had two seventh-place finishes in throwing events, including Johan Poland in the javelin (119-06) and Hayden Heath in the shot put (34-01, PR). Talise Wapsheli was fourth in the girls 3,000 (12:49.76), Adelynn Adams placed fifth in the long jump (13-09.25) and two Buffs placed in the discus, with Matty Buck taking fifth (77-07) and Arellya Scott earning sixth (70-08).
In the team scoring — which is far from complete, with fewer than a third of the total events finished — Madras currently ranks second on the girls' side and third on the boys. The Buffs trail only Estacada among the girls teams, and by just three points at 37-34. Corbett is not far behind at 30 points, while North Marion (21), Molalla (19) and Gladstone (8) will all be playing catch-up on Day 2. The Estacada boys team has an even stronger lead, scoring 59.5 points on Friday as compared to 43.5 for second-place Molalla. Madras' 36 points are good for third place so far, while Corbett (24) is one point ahead of North Marion (23) for fourth and Gladstone (9) sits in last place.
As for preliminary races on Friday, Adams advanced to the girls' finals in both the 100 and 200. In the boys' short-distance races, Madras will have three finalists in the 100 (Simmelink, Michael Picard, Andres Pineda), two in the 200 (Pineda, Damian Fuentes) and three in the 400 (Ethan Nava, Picard, Aguilar). The Buffs also put three athletes — Poland, Ethan Tapia and Tommy Alvarez — into the finals for the boys 300 hurdles.
The Tri-Valley Conference Track & Field Championships resume Saturday morning at Estacada High School, with events starting at 11 a.m.
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