Micah Perry had been workshopping all week how to get off to a fast start in the 110-meter hurdles and avoid stuttering steps that was keeping his times from being elite.
On Saturday, May 15, there was no signs of a jittery start, as the Barlow High School sophomore exploded out of the blocks en route to a winning time of 14.88 — a personal record — in the Mt. Hood Conference district track and field meet.
"I was moving," Perry said while surrounded by congratulatory teammates celebrating his win. "The race felt amazing — I got up to speed right away and cleanly cleared that first hurdle."
This is the first year Perry has been able to wear the Bruin jersey in track and field after missing his first year, and said it was special to get that kind of result during such an important meet.
"It feels wonderful to finally be competing out on the track alongside my teammates," Perry said.
The Bruins hosted the Mt. Hood meet, bringing together the elite competitors across all the schools on the eastside.
In the team competition it was the Central Catholic boys who won with a score of 174 points, followed by Barlow (107) and Sandy (106). For girls, Barlow claimed the top spot with 156 points, followed by Central Catholic (131) and Clackamas (106).
The running results were dominated by Central Catholic with its athletes winning 15 of 20 events.
For the boys, Rams sophomore Stryder Todd-Fields won the 100 meters with a personal record of 11.18, while senior Liam Shores claimed both the 200 meters (22.51) and 400 meters (49.57 personal record). Shores also ran anchor on the 4x400 relay that won in 3:26.86.
Central Catholic sophomore Wes Shipsey had to take a moment after winning the boys 800. He only had 40 minutes to recover after winning the 1,500 meters in 4:05.74, and at the starting line he felt gassed.
"I was nervous with that close of a turnaround," Shipsey said. "But I took my time to recover and knew I would be running alongside my teammate."
Shipsey ran with junior Julian Kingery for the first time all season — Shipsey tends to stick to longer distances — but from the gun they were attached at the hip and pushing one another. With tired legs, it was the exact spur Shipsey needed.
"I'm really happy with my time, all of my teammates are running well," he said.
Shipsey won the 800 with a PR of 1:56.99, while Kingery came in second with a PR of 1:57.26.
For the girls, Central Catholic junior Elliott Bush won the 100 meters in 13.53; freshman Ella McGillis won the 800 meters in 2:23.22; and senior Emma Smith won the 1,500 meters with a personal best of 5:05.55. That 1,500 was a fast race for the entire field, with 11 runners setting PRs.
Though the Rams drew much of the spotlight, Clackamas sophomore Emelia Puerta took first in both the girls 200 (26.81) and 400 (59.75).
Gresham's Andrea Goulet thought she had scratched.
The Gopher senior hadn't heard any sound from the board as she flew on her fifth attempt of the girls long jump competition. But the clean attempt had Goulet jumping again — this time with joy into the arms of her coach. Her jump was a personal record of 15 feet, 1 inch and gave her the victory by a single inch over Reynolds freshman Naomi Coffee.
"I'm really happy to have a jump like that," Goulet said.
This has been a special year for Goulet after missing out on her junior season.
"I wanted to make this count," she said. "I'm going to miss competing and everyone on this team."
Girls shot put was a duel between two friends — Sandy sophomore Sydney Brewster and Barlow junior Grace Lam Tiang. The pair met while playing volleyball, and in between throws they would congratulate one another and talk shop.
"We have been friends for a while now, so it was fun to compete," Brewster said.
Lam Tiang came close, tossing a PR of 37-0 1/2, but Brewster held on to the victory with a throw of 38-4 1/2. Brewster also won discus with a PR of 138-5, while Lam Tiang took second in javelin with a PR of 115-1.
Barlow junior Alina Estrada won high jump, clearing 4-10; Barlow senior Reanna Maroon won pole vault with a PR height of 12-2; and Bruins sophomore Allie Perez had a PR win of 30-10 1/2 in the triple jump.
It was a slow start for the eventual winner of the boys long jump. Barlow junior Dakota Pillster was off on his steps but said seeing the other competitors putting up big distances inspired him.
"This was the first big meet of the year, all the others have been dual meets with fewer competitors," Pillster said. "I started slow, but the competition got in my head and I pushed myself."
Pillster claimed victory with a PR jump of 19-7, half an inch better than second-place Sandy junior Simon Smith.
The Sandy boys looked strong in the throws, sweeping both the shot put and discus. In shot put senior Nicholas Olsen won (53-5 PR); junior Elias Martinez took second (47-10 PR); and senior Tanner Brewster finished third (46-11).
Then in the discus it was Brewster winning (156-8 PR); Olsen in second (133-4); and freshman Lander Marak in third (127-4 PR).
Brewster also won javelin with a toss of 175-5.
For an entire list of results from the Mt. Hood Conference Championships, visit bit.ly/3uUwsXI.
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