EYES ON STATE
With the Oregon West Conference track and field district championship less than a week away, the Woodburn Bulldogs were able to put up their best team performance of the season last week, setting the stage for the coming state qualifier.
Heading into their final regular season track meet of the season, the Woodburn boys and girls teams each claimed victory by a wide margin at North Marion High School on May 1.
Led by victories in six events, the boys team amassed 207 points to outduel the hosting Huskies, who finished runner-up with 141 points, leading the pack of the seven schools present at the meet.
The Woodburn girls team was nearly as dominant, scoring wins in four events to place first with 142.5 points, well ahead of a three-way scrum for second place between Horizon Christian (79), Corbett (78) and North Marion (72).
The victory for the boys team is indicative of the depth of talent that Woodburn has heading into its first 4A state qualifier since dropping down a classification prior to the 2018-19 athletic year.
All six individual event wins for the Bulldogs came from different athletes — three on the track and three in the field.
Senior Raul Prudencio took the top spot in a 200-meter race that came down to a photo-finish, crossing the finish line in a season-best time of 25.01 to just beat out Corbett senior Thomas Eppley (25.08).
The Bulldogs went one and two in the 1,500, as state championship hopeful Giovanni Bravo led the field with a time of 4:44.68, followed behind by fellow senior teammate Aldo Alberto Sanchez in 4:52.22.
It was the lone individual race of the day for Bravo, who has the potential to compete for multiple district titles at this week's state qualifier. Bravo currently boasts the fourth-best Oregon West time in the 800 (2:05.11), the fifth-best time in the 1,500 (4:18.85) and the eighth-best time in the 3,000 (9:44.76).
Woodburn's last victor on the track came from sophomore Trey Doman, who set a personal record in the 300 hurdles with a finish in 47.33, beating out Willamette Valley Christian freshman Eden Eisner by a tenth of a second.
Woodburn saw several other big performances on the track, including a second-place finish by junior Dyontae Navarrete with a PR-time of 12.04, and a fourth-place finish in the event by senior teammate Jesus Rodriguez-Fernandez, who ran a season-best clip of 12.19.
In the mid-distance events, junior Riley Menezes set the pace for the Bulldogs with a third-place finish in the 400 at 56.87, followed just behind by teammates Valentin Valencia (PR 57.61) and Gabriel Arciga Roldan (58.92).
Menezes was a few seconds shy of his PR of 53.14 set earlier in the month, which ranks as the fourth-best Oregon West time in the event this season.
Menezes, Bravo, Prudencio and Navarrete also teamed up to place second in the 4x400 relay, recording a time of 3:49.04.
In the field events, throwers Christian Kurka and Efren Montes took the top spots in the shot put and discus, respectively, while senior Tyson Doman led the field in the high jump.
Doman's final jump of 6-0 was two inches shy of the personal record he set at North Marion in the season opener, and the third time this season he has reached the six-foot barrier. He was followed by teammates Savin Nikiforoff (5-04, 2nd), Andrew Sandoval (4-10, 4th) and Sergio Legarda (4-08, 5th).
Kurka's leading throw of 41-03 in the shot marked the third consecutive meet in which he has broken 41-feet, a span that includes a PR of 45-04.5 set on April 24 that ranks as fourth best among Oregon West throwers.
Montes was just more than seven feet shy of his PR in the discus with a throw of 116-06, though it was the first time this season he has won in the event.
While the boys team relied on its veteran depth to pick up the win at North Marion, the Woodburn girls were paced by a pair of youngsters — freshman Myranda Marquez and sophomore Yahaira Rodriguez.
The pair combined to win four events, with Marquez taking the top spots in the 800 and 1,500 races while Rodriguez scored victories in both hurdles events.
It was the first win of the season for Marquez in the 800, where she finished in 2:42.75 to beat out North Marion's Danielle Christenson (2:48.67) and Dominique Huapeo (2:49.39).
Marquez added a third-place finish in a close 400 race, setting a new PR of 1:08.93 that was two-tenths shy of winner Stephanie Staffenson of Corbett.
She added a victory in the 1,500 in 6:05.36, beating out teammate Alyssa Padilla (6:36.79) as the only other competitor in the event.
Rodriguez picked up a win in the 100 hurdles in 17.86 and followed with a 300 hurdles victory in 53.36. She added a third-place finish in the 100 in 14.02, a half-second behind her previous best of 13.46 that ranks seventh among 4A girls.
She wrapped up the meet with a PR-distance of 15-04.5 to place third in the long jump.
Senior Mar Verastegui led the girls team with a pair of wins, leading the field in the long jump (16-05) and the triple jump (33-08.50). Freshman Olivia Dossey set a new PR in the javelin (93-05) to win the event and help pace the girls to a fourth-place finish.
For the boys, freshman Owen Alvord's PR of 10:42.84 led the field in the 3,000, while senior Jarrett Adair claimed wins in the long jump (18-02) and triple jump (PR 38-05). Freshman Matthew Petrjanos picked up the Huskies' final win of the day, leading the 400 meter race with a time of 56.31.