Jones also shines as Indians take seventh at the Class 4A state track and field meet

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO - Scappoose senior Linnaea Kavulich was out in front one last time in winning the Class 4A state championship in the 1,500 meters at Hayward Field on Saturday.Scappoose senior Linnaea Kavulich went out in style.

Sophomore Emma Jones continued to emerge in style.

And the Scappoose High girls 4x400-relay team ran a very stylish final race.

All told, the Indians had plenty of highlights in last week's Class 4A track and field championships at Hayward Field.

Scappoose scored 42 points, good for seventh place. The top six: Marshfield (60), Astoria (55), Philomath (52 1/2), North Valley (50), Valley Catholic (43 1/2) and Hidden Valley (43). Sisters was eighth with 34 points.

No one got higher individually on the podium than Kavulich, who completed her Scappoose career in invincible fashion.

She won the state 3,000-meter title on Friday, May 18. The following day, she blitzed the 1,500 field with a personal-best and school-record time of 4 minutes, 39.83 seconds.

"I couldn't have finished my last state meet any better," she said.

As a junior, Kavulich had won the 3,000 and placed second in the 1,500, with times of 10:26.40 and 4:49.81.

This year, she won the 3,000 by nearly four seconds (in 10:25.42) and claimed the 1,500 by almost seven seconds, dominating her competition. Tillamook sophomore Solace Bergeron was the runner-up in both races.

Kavulich's winning 3,000 time last Friday, while smartly unspectacular by her standings, provided some motivation to do something even bigger the next day.

And she did, kicking to a runaway victory in the 1,500 and then taking a few seconds to lay flat on the track so she could catch her breath.

"I was a little disappointed with my time in the 3,000 and felt I'd finished not really giving everything I had, so my goal was to finish the 1,500 exhausted, and I did that," she said.

On the final lap of the 1,500, "honestly, I had no idea where (the other runners were), I was just focusing on going as hard as I could."

Kavulich had set a 1,500 PR and all-time school best on March 20, clocking 4:41.91 in her first try at that distance as a senior. Her other two 1,500 races this year weren't as fast.

"So I wanted to prove I still had it in me," she said. "I'm really happy, and relieved, that I was able to get that new PR."

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO - Scappoose sophomore Emma Jones clears a hurdle on her way to finishing third in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles at the Class 4A state championship in the 1,500 meters at Hayward Field on Saturday.

Jones also had a big two days in the Oregon School Activities Association championships.

She placed third in the 100 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles, with a school record of 15.91 and then a season-best of 46.69.

Jones also nabbed fourth in the long jump, going 16 feet, 9 inches, a PR by 2 1/4 inches. She had finished ninth in the state long jump (at 16-0 1/2) as a freshman.

Jones' best 100 hurdles time coming into this year's state meet was 16.34. She broke that in Friday's 4A prelims, running 16.25. In the finals, she got off to a good start and was able to maintain her pace in front of the cheering main grandstand.

"I was nervous, but really excited and ready to get after it," she said of the 100 hurdles final. "The race felt really good. It felt faster than normal, but I didn't know if it'd be in the 15s, so I was really happy with that."

Kavulich and Jones saved some of their best for last, too.

In the final event of the 4A girls meet, they teamed with sophomore Tess Conway and freshman Leila Jeannis to break the school record in the 4 x 400 relay and match last year's fourth-place finish (which came in 4:08.09 and was the previous school record).

Kavulich, Jones, Conway and Alyssa Spang ran the 4 x 400 legs, in that order, in 2017.

On Saturday, it was Kavulich, Conway, Jeannis and Jones.

"We wanted to aim for 4:08," said Jones. "I knew our first two legs were fast, and then getting the baton from Leila, I could tell she ran a fast leg, too. We're really happy."

The long relay was the last of the memories Jeannis will take from her first foray at state. She also ran on the Scappoose 4x100 team (with junior Sierra Stafford, Conway and senior Lea Brodala); that foursome finished 12th.

"It's been great," Jeannis said, adding that her freshman year of track and field "was even better and more fun than I expected."

The record-setting 4 x 400 unit "started the season fast back in March and continued to work hard and get better each week," Scappoose coach David Harley said. "And they had a great finish."

The 4 x 400 was the capper of a busy weekend for Jones, a high school and club soccer standout who has now made her mark in track with a long prep career still ahead.

"An amazing meet for Emma," Harley said. "But not entirely surprising — she is a terrific athlete and an even better competitor. She knows how to compete at a high level when it matters, and it shows."

The task figures to get more challenging next year, when Scappoose moves up to 5A and joins the Northwest Oregon Conference. But Harley said he expects Jones will rise to the level needed to be successful there, too.

"She will be very competitive in 5A," he said.

That final relay on Saturday at Hayward also fittingly capped an incredible career for Kavulich.

"She rarely lost a race — in league or at state — in four years of high school track … she's a school record-holder in three events," Harley noted.

Kavulich plans to attend Portland State and compete in cross country and track and field for the Vikings. She said she "would love to try steeplechase. I think that would be a fun event. But whatever the coaches want."

Harley predicted good things in whatever winds up running as a Viking.

"She knows what she wants to accomplish in the sport and is willing to work hard to achieve it," he said. "She will be successful at PSU for those reasons and more. I'm excited to see her get even better."

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