Kennedy boys, girls shine at Twilight Meet
The annual Regis Community Twilight Meet counts as one of the premier track and field events of the season among the small schools around the Willamette Valley, providing a preview of state championship hopefuls on the eve of the coming district championships.
And with the assistance of ideal weather conditions, the Kennedy Trojans put up the best performance of the day among nearly two-dozen times that saw personal records falling at an incredible pace.
Led by senior Hallie Sprauer, the Trojan girls continued their strong season, taking first place with 90.5 points behind a flurry of top-five finishes to easily outdistance runner-up Westside Christian.
The boys performed nearly as well, as senior hurdler Carlos Saravia paced the team to a second-place finish with 61 points, beating out Clatskanie (60) and falling behind meet champion Dufur (80).
Saravia set personal records in both the 100 hurdles (16.17) and 300 hurdles (41.53), winning both events for the Trojans. The Kennedy senior continues to shine as one of the best 2A hurdlers in the state, rebounding from a junior season that was cut short in 2018 due to separating his shoulder while racing two weeks before the district qualifier.
Saravia's time in the 300 hurdles on Friday ranks as the best 2A time in the state by nearly a full second, and his PR in the 100 hurdles is the third-best time in the state.
Saravia was joined in the winner's circle by Nick Suing, who was his third discus event in his past four meets with a PR-throw of 136-10. The senior thrower added another PR in the shot put ring, tossing a second-place put of 45-04.5 to beat his previous best by nearly two feet.
For the girls, Sprauer was the lone victor, clearing 5-0 in the high jump for the sixth time this season. She added a fifth-place mark in the long jump at 15-03, one of numerous top-five finishes that helped the Kennedy girls capture first place at the meet.
Sprauer was eclipsed in the event by junior teammate Sophia Rodriguez, who was second with a jump of 15-06, while throwers Lilly English (33-05) and Makayla Massey (33-02) finished back-to-back in the shot put in third and fourth place, respectively.
English added another third-place mark in the discus with a toss of 107-08.
Senior Caitlyn Perez claimed second place in the 300 hurdles with a season-best time of 53.45 and was third in the 100 hurdles, setting a new PR of 17.65.
Sophomore Katie Hanson showed no signs of slowing down as she prepares to compete for her second consecutive trip to the state championships.
Hanson was the lone Cougar athlete to win among the boys and girls, scoring victories in the 800 and the triple jump to pace the girls team to an 11th-place finish with 24 points.
Hanson's first win came in the triple jump, where she went head-to-head with defending 2A state champion Isabelle Wyss of St. Paul, winning the contest with a final mark of 34-09.75.
It was not only enough to qualify as the top triple jump distance of the season among any 2A athlete, but also broke the Gervais school record in the event, which she set earlier this season at 33-03.
Hanson barely had time to dust the sand off before being called over to the start of the 800, where she ripped off another PR at 2:29.37, a time that currently ranks as 5th-best at the 2A level.
Additionally, Hanson currently owns the second-best 2A time in the 400 (1:00.15) and third-best time in the 200 (27.19) — the two events in which she qualified for the 3A state meet a year ago.
After a somewhat slow start to the season by her own high standards, St. Paul junior Isabelle Wyss showed that she once again will be a force to be reckoned with at next week's district championship meet.
Wyss finished among the top five in four events on Friday, leading the Buckaroo girls team to a fifth-place finish with 42.5 points.
After more than a month since running the 100 in March, Wyss shaved nearly half a second off her season best in the event, placing second overall at Regis with a PR-time of 13.14.
She added another second-place finish in the triple jump, falling behind Hanson's meet-winning leap with a season-best mark of 34-00 that counts as her best distance of the season. Wyss's PR in the event currently stands at 36-03, which she set at last year's district championship en route to winning the 2A state title with a jump of 35-10.75.
Wyss added a third-place finish in the long jump, leaping to a mark of 15-05 that fell less than three inches shy of the PR she set in the event the week prior. She wrapped up the day with another season-best, this time in the 200, where she placed fourth in 27.39.
Wyss was joined by senior teammate Emma Connor, who was one of eight competitors in the 3,000 meter race to finish the day with a PR, breaking her previous best by nearly 10 seconds with a third-place finish in 12:11.57.
Freshman Rianna Nowlin added a fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles, setting a PR of 54.84 following an eighth-place finish in the 100 hurdles (PR 19.60) earlier in the meet.
For the boys, junior Gianni Grasso competed in a likely preview of the 1A state championship race in the 200, placing second in the event with a PR of 22.97 while edging out Dufur teammates Tanner Masterson (23.10) and Asa Farrell (23.34). St. Paul teammate Jaden Thompson came in sixth in the event with a time of 23.59. All four times currently rank among the top five in the state at the 1A level, with Grasso leading the pack.
Though he did not compete in the event, Grasso also leads the 1A state field in the 400, where his time of 53.00 set on April 12 ranks as just 0.01 better than North Clackamas Christian junior Ian Watt.