Hanson steals the show at 2A track meet
There's going out on top and then there's what Katie Hanson pulled at Union High School.
The Gervais High School senior went above and beyond even her lofty expectations at the 2A state track and field championship showcase on May 22, winning three individual state titles to help the Cougars girls team place third in the standings at the 2021 state meet.
"The girls performed exceptionally well, and Katie, in particular, had a career day," Gervais track coach Dave Castle said.
Hanson took home state titles in the 200-meter dash, the 400 and the long jump, and joined teammates Judith Santos, Izzy Boyd and Lilly McCargar for a second-place performance in the 4x100 relay to help the Cougars score 43 points and earn a third-place trophy at the state meet that was held in place of the OSAA championship event.
The team's third-place finish ranks only behind the Cougars' runner-up teams from 1971, 2000, 2001 and 2002 for the best finishes in program history. In fact, the team's 43 points are higher than two of those second-place teams from 1971 (36 points) and 2000 (41.3).
Most of the team's points at Union came as a result of Hanson's career performance, netting 32 points en route to being named Girls Top Athlete at the state track meet.
"All Katie's hard work during tough times in a pandemic paid off," Gervais Athletic Director Tim Bowman noted in an email to staff, media and fans. "With the help of Tucker Brack she worked on her strength, endurance, speed and quickness every morning they were allowed to meet at the school. When she couldn't be at school, she took weights and cones home and worked out on her own."
Hanson's lone event victory in the field came in the long jump in her first time competing in the event at a state meet. Her mark of 15-feet, 11.5 inches was four inches shy of the personal record she set at districts the week prior, but enough to beat out runner up Dylainee Carmony of Salem Academy by five inches.
In the running events, Hanson picked up her first title in the 200. It was her second attempt at the event at a state meet, having placed 12th overall as a freshman when Gervais was part of the 3A classification. This time around, Hanson left little doubt, using a PR-time of 26.31 to beat out Delphian's Natalia Goodman by nearly half a second for the state title.
Hanson's time set the facility record at Union High School and may have broken a Gervais school record as well. According to the Gervais track program's record books, the top girls 200 time was set by freshman Jackie Bashaw in 1995 when she clocked an automated time of 26.30, just one-one hundredth of a second faster than Hanson. But that was set at a national Junior Olympic event in California and not officially part of the 1995 spring athletic season in Oregon.
Hanson's second running title and third of the day was much more clear. Looking to defend her 2019 state title in the 400, Hanson blew the competition out of the water, posting a time of 58.40 to beat runner-up Klaira Flatt of Toledo by more than five seconds.
Hanson's time vaulted her into first place in the school's record book, breaking a 43-year old mark of 58.84 seconds set by Elaine Kostrikin at the 1978 AA state meet.
Hanson rounded out her day with her teammates in the 4x100 relay, beating out the Regis team by one-one hundredth of a second for second place with a time of 53.22 seconds.
Each of the other relay members — Santos, McCargar and Boyd — competed in their own individual events at Union, as well as senior Araceli Vasquez.
McCargar and Vasquez each took part in the javelin competition, with Vasquez placing 13th overall with a throw of 96-00, while McCargar earned a fifth-place medal with a mark of 110-11.
McCargar added another medal finish in the 100, placing eighth overall with a PR-time of 13.78.
Santos placed 16th in the 800 with a time of 3:06.54, and Boyd placed 11th in the high jump after clearing 4-04.
State champion hopeful Brian Limage had his trophy aspirations dashed early at the meet after suffering a pulled hamstring while running in the 100-meter finals.
Limage was near the front of the pack in the event final when he appeared to lose his stride 60 meters into the race and slow down. The Gervais senior still managed to finish the race in 11.54 to place fourth overall, but was unable to compete in the 200 and 400 races.
"It was a big disappointment, but he had an outstanding season otherwise," Castle said. "He will go on to have a great collegiate career."
The Gervais boys were also represented at the state meet by sophomore Javier Rodriguez, who placed 14th in the 800 with a time of 2:13.54.
Gervais senior Katie Hanson has been no stranger at the state track and field meet, having qualified in three years and earning medals in a variety of events.
Long jump - 1st
200 - 1st
400 - 1st
4x100 relay - 2nd
400 - 1st
800 - 4th
Triple jump - 9th
4x100 relay - 5th
200 - 12th
400 - 6th
4x100 relay - 10th
4x400 relay - 3rd
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