Sherwood team captures the gold in the 4 x 400 relay at the Class 5A state meet

by: DAN BROOD - WE DID IT -- Sherwood's (from left) Emil Eriksson, Hunter Pfefferkorn, Cole Nixon and Cristian Morris celebrate following their winning performance in the 4 x 400 relay Saturday at the Class 5A state meet. EUGENE — A few weeks ago, a group of runners on the Sherwood High School boys track and field squad thought they just might have the makings of a pretty good relay team.

Well, it turns out they were right.

Wow, were they were ever right.

But they were more than just pretty good — they were championship good.

And they proved it to the entire state.

The Sherwood combination of seniors Emil Eriksson and Cristian Morris and juniors Cole Nixon and Hunter Pfefferkorn capped off a big meet for the Bowmen teams as they ran to first place in the 4 x 400-meter relay event at the Class 5A State Track and Field Championships, held Friday and Saturday at Hayward DAN BROOD - BIG DAY -- Sherwood junior Elyse Cuthbertson finished second in the discus event and third in the shot put Saturday at the state meet.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Nixon said after the team received its championship medals. “We’ve chased this for a year and we came together as a team.”

“I’m out here for these guys,” said Morris, who recently came back from an early-season hamstring injury. “We had a dream and we made it come true.”

The victory in the relay race helped the Sherwood boys tie for fourth place in the team standings at the state meet, earning the team a trophy, with 41 points. In addition, the Sherwood girls took seventh place in the team standings with 71 points.

“I think that’s the highest combined finish for out teams in my 20 years here,” Sherwood coach Terrel Smith said. “We’re very proud of the kids and how they competed here. I’m very happy.”

While the Sherwood squads had plenty of highlights at the state meet, the state championship run in the 4 x 400 relay likely topped them all.

“We discovered, two or three meets ago, that we could be a good 4 x 400 relay team,” said Eriksson, who is a foreign exchange student from Sweden.

by: DAN BROOD - UP AND OVER -- Sherwood High School senior Zach Milligan clears the bar during the high jump event at the state meet. Milligan, and his younger brother, Ben, placed second and third, respectively. “We came in with confidence,” Nixon said. “We were strong the last couple of meets. Crescent Valley had us sweating, but we gave it everything that we had.”

Morris ran the opening leg for the Bowmen, and he had the team in the hunt for the top spot at the end of the first 400 meters. Eriksson took over from there, and he took off.

Eriksson battled Crescent Valley’s Jonathan Condrey for the lead throughout the first part of the leg, but the Sherwood senior took off over the final 100 meters to give the Bowmen a sizable advantage.

“That was a great feeling,” Eriksson said. “I gave it everything I had. Down the last straightaway, I really kicked it.”

Nixon, running the third leg, kept the Bowmen in front. The Sherwood team then felt good, giving the baton to Pfefferkorn for the final DAN BROOD - FAST AT STATE -- Sherwood senior Jessica Imbrie finished fourth in the 400-meter dash and second in the 200 Saturday at the Class 5A state meet.

“He’s our fastest guy,” Eriksson said with a smile.

Pfefferkorn crossed the finish line in a time of 3 minutes, 24.78 seconds, putting the Bowmen a half second ahead of second-place Summit.

“It was a great moment,” Pfefferkorn said of crossing the finish line in first place. “Our last race turned out to be our best. It was a real happy moment.”

“It was amazing,” Morris said. “All the hard work we put in came to a conclusion. We’re all best friends and we gave it everything we had.”

In addition to running the anchor leg for the winning relay team, Pfefferkorn also placed third in 400 in a time of 50.87.

“This is my first year of doing track, and that felt great,” he said. “I think it got us up for the 4 x 400.”

Morris sprinted to seventh place in the 100 in 11.23.

The Sherwood boys team also got a boost from senior Zach Milligan and sophomore Ben Milligan. The brothers placed second and third in the high jump competition. Zach Milligan was second with a height of 6 feet, 6 inches and Ben Milligan took third with a mark of 6-5.

“It was a good experience, jumping with my little brother at state,” Zach Milligan said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.”

“It was really cool,” Ben Milligan said.

by: DAN BROOD - TROPHY TIME -- The Sherwood High School boys track and field team claimed the fourth-place trophy at the state meet.“The biggest thing is that we push each other,” Zach Milligan said. “I don’t want to lose to my little brother. Getting second in state is cool. I thought I’d get third.”

“I was happy with third, especially as a sophomore,” Ben Milligan said. “I was just expecting to place.”

Also for the Sherwood boys, senior Logan Smith took fourth place in Friday’s shot put competition with a throw of 49-1.25.

“That means a lot to me,” Smith said. “I put in a lot of hard work for three years with the end goal of placing at state. This is huge for me.”

Sherwood senior Cody Thompson ran to 10th place in the 800 in a time of 2:02.10.

Junior Elyse Cuthbertson helped lead the way for the Sherwood girls at the state meet.

First, in Saturday’s discus competition, she placed second with a mark of 120-1. Later in the day, Cuthbertson placed third in the shot put with a toss of 37-10.

by: DAN BROOD - VICTORY-- Sherwood junior Hunter Pfefferkorn celebrates after the Bowmen won the 4 x 400 relay.“It was a good day,” Cuthbertson said with a smile.

Cuthbertson’s mark in the discus bettered her own personal best by three feet and it also set a new Sherwood school record.

“I’m happy to end the season with that,” she said. “Next year will be good. I’m looking for more PRs. I’m going to push myself harder.”

Sherwood senior Jessica Imbrie sprinted to second place in the 200 in a time of 25.73 and she also ran to fourth place in the 400 in a time of 57.87.

Also for the Sherwood girls, senior Emily Sackinger cleared 9-6 to take sixth place in the pole vault event, freshman Payge Cuthbertson took eighth place in the javelin with a throw of 107-1, sophomore Rebekah Quaglio placed 11th in the preliminaries of the 100 high hurdles in a time of 17.14 and sophomore Mikala Otto took 13th place in the long jump with a distance of 15-2.75.

Summit swept the Class 5A boys and girls team state championships.

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