Tigard frosh Patera sprints to pair of district titles
OREGON CITY — Talk about a sparkling debut.
Tigard High School freshman Riley Patera, competing in her first-ever Three Rivers League track and field championships, sprinted to a pair of titles at the meet held May 15 and May 17 at Pioneer Memorial Stadium.
"I'm really excited about it," Patera said after she ran to victory in the 400-meter dash. "I really wanted to win as a freshman. And I was running against a lot of girls that I've known for awhile, and that also helped. They're all super nice, and I was excited to run against them."
Patera will next be competing at the Class 6A state track and field championships. The top two finishers in each event at the district meet, as well as those competitors, or relay teams that better state qualifying standards, or earn wild-card bids, advance to compete at the Class 6A state meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham.
Patera should have plenty of momentum going into the state meet following her two wins at the TRL district meet.
She picked up her first title in the 400, where she had a personal-best winning time of 56.93 seconds.
"I thought it was really good," Patera said. "I got out strong and held the speed, and I kind of got tired a little bit, but, for the most part, it was pretty good. I was so excited. That was a good PR (personal record)."
Later in the meet, Patera sprinted to victory in the 200 in 25.46.
Patera now is looking for good things to happen at the state meet.
"I'm super excited," she said. "I want to run a 55 (in the 400). I'm going to have to train hard this week, and get ready for it."
In addition to the two individual victories, Patera will also be competing in the 4 x 400 relay at state. In the district meet, she teamed with freshman Avery Alderman, junior Steffani Rodriguez and junior Peyton Green to finish second in that race in a time of 3:59.15.
Also for the Tigard girls, sophomore Avery Croxton finished second in the triple jump with a mark of 36 feet, 6.75 inches, giving her a bid to the state meet.
For the Tigard boys, junior Josh Burns sprinted to second place in the 200 in a time of 22.31, giving him a trip to state in that event.
"It was pretty good," Burns said. "My coach told me that I had a good start, and I think that's what did it for me. I'm happy with it, state qualifying, that's what I was shooting for. I used every last bit of energy I had."
Burns also earned a state bid in the 100 with his third-place mark of 11.06.
"I definitely want some PRs," Burns said of the state meet. "I'm excited to compete with the best."
Also for the Tigers at district, junior Hunter Gilbert took second place in the 300 intermediate hurdles in a time of 39.15. Sophomore Lincoln Woodhouse was second in the 3,000 with a mark of 9:02.46. Junior Jaaron Kletzel earned a state berth with his third-place time of 14.89 in the 110 high hurdles. Senior Luke Ness, who recently returned from injury, took third place in the high jump by clearing 6-3, which was good enough to get him a berth to state.
Tigard's 4 x 100 relay team of Burns, Kletzel, sophomore Matthew Otness and junior Max Lenzy earned a state bid with its third-place mark of 43.34.
The Tigard boys finished in fourth place in the team standings at the district meet with 86.5 points. The Tiger girls finished in fifth place with a score of 76.
Tualatin won both the boys and girls district team titles.
On Friday at the Class 6A state meet, the first field event is set to start at noon, and the first running event begins at 2:15 p.m. On Saturday, the first field event starts at 11 a.m., and the first running event begins at 1:30 p.m.
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