Gervais' Hanson qualifies for state in three individual events
Gervais sophomore Katie Hanson is once again returning to the state championship track meet after claiming district titles in two events, finishing runner-up in a third and earning an automatic berth as part of the Cougars' 4x100 relay team.
The Cougars' top runner this year continued a stellar second track and field season in which she has won every race in the 400- and 800-meter events — including Saturday's state qualifiers at the Special District 2 Championships hosted at Kennedy High School.
In near 90-degree weather on Friday, Hanson gutted out a tough preliminary 400 meter race. Despite finishing with a season-worst time of 1:06.04, she still managed to place first, and returned to form the next day when she led the field by a nearly five-second margin, claiming the district title with a time of 1:00.35 — less than a quarter second off her personal best.
"I felt like it was a pretty decent…I think it was a PR, so that felt pretty good," Hanson said after the race. "It was a little hot today, but I thought it was pretty good."
She followed with another first-place finish in the 800, claiming the district title in 2:32.01 to outpace the rest of the field by a wide margin and come close to her PR-time of 2:29.37 set the week before.
Hanson is returning to the state meet after competing in the 200 and 400 in 2018. After placing 12th in the 200 at state, she dropped the event in favor of the 800, where she has won all three races she has competed in this season.
Hanson placed sixth at state last year with a time of 1:01.80, which would rank behind all but Friday's preliminary among her times posted this year.
"At state, I'm hoping to, at the very least, make podium. I want to place higher than sixth because that's where I placed last year," she said. "I want to get higher than that."
Hanson added another new event to her state meet itinerary after finishing tied with Kennedy senior Hallie Sprauer for the top mark in the triple jump after both athletes recorded a 33-10.50 mark.
Sprauer got the nod in the tie-breaker, pushing Hanson to second in the final standings. It was the third time the two athletes have gone up against each other in the event in the past month.
Sprauer beat Hanson by a foot at the Trojans' district meet on April 23, and finished above her by 10.25 inches at the Meet of Champions on April 27.
The two will face off one last time at the state meet, where they are seeded third and fourth, respectively among the 12 qualifying athletes.
Finally, Hanson will be joined at state by teammates Dalia Kozina, Ashley Marin Vallejo and Mary Davidson after the quartet qualified in the 4x100 via automatic berth after finishing third at the district qualifier.
The short relay team will make its second consecutive appearance at the state meet after meeting the minimum time to qualify when they finished behind the East Linn Christian team for second place by a scant 0.02-second margin.
On the boys side, sophomore Brian Limage will make his state meet debut after winning the district title in the 400 with a PR-time of 51.75.
Limage entered the district meet as the top-ranked runner in the 400 this season, but put up a season-worst time of 55.30 to finish second in the preliminary heat behind East Linn Christian's Jacob Vandehey (54.09) on Friday.
But Limage left no doubt in the finals on Saturday, beating his previous best by just over a second and finishing ahead of Vandehey (52.17) by margin of several steps.
Limage enters the state meet ranked third overall in the seedings behind Enterprise junior Foster Hobbs (50.34) and Lowell senior Tyson Brasfield (51.38).
2019 2A State Track and Field Championship
The Gervais track and field team will send five athletes in five events to this weekend's state championship track meet in Monmouth.
3:36 p.m. Girls 400m prelims— Katie Hanson
3:52 p.m. Boys 400m prelims — Brian Limage
1:38 p.m. Girls 4x100 relay — Dalia Kozina, Katie Hanson, Ashley Marin Vallejo, Mary Davidson
3:47 p.m. Girls 800m — Katie Hanson
2 p.m. Girls triple jump — Katie Hanson
2:59 p.m. Girls 400m Finals— Katie Hanson
3:07 p.m. Boys 400m Finals — Brian Limage