on May 13, 2017 2:39 AM, updated May 13, 2017 5:39 AM
HILLSBORO – It’s nice to be at your best when you need it the most.
That rang true for plenty of competitors at the Northwest Oregon Conference district meet, staged Thursday and Friday at Hare Field. Despite middling weather, scores of participants recorded personal bests or came close to them in their biggest meet to date this spring.
By the time the rain stopped falling – somewhat miraculously, it started only just before the long relays and ended at about the time the boys finished their race – Sandy and Wilsonville were crowned team champions.
The Pioneer boys won seven events and finished second five times en route to rolling up 176 points. They easily distanced themselves from runner-up Wilsonville (112½) and St. Helens (97). Powered by 50-plus points in the three distance races alone, the Wildcats won the girls’ side of the meet with 162 points, followed by Sandy (130½) and host Hillsboro (122¼).
Hilhi’s Daekwon Mitchell was part of what was perhaps the race of the meet, the boys 100, which ended in a thrilling blanket finish among five competitors. Daekwon turned in a personal best of 11.08 seconds to edge the rest, followed by Wilsonville’s Tharen Blood (11.10). Impressively, the next three finishers – Milwaukie’s Jacob Sanders (11.13), Parkrose’s Sam Saryon (11.14) and McGaughey (11.15) – all dipped under the automatic state qualifying standard of 11.19 to punch their tickets to Eugene.
As for Mitchell, he doubled back after his 100 win to take the 200 with another PR (22.53), with his margin over Wilsonville’s Andrew Merrick (22.87) in second much more comfortable than in the 100. He also led off the Spartans’ second-place short relay to qualify for state in three events.
“Obviously I wanted to go to state, but I just wanted to end on PRs,” Mitchell said. “The last two weeks I’ve been PRing in each event. Last week, I finally ran my first sub-23 (in the 200), I ran the 22. And then to carry on this week and get some PRs is pretty good.”
Kobie Mendoza-Daniels, Trevor Fernstrom and Isaiah DiRienzo were the other Spartans on that short relay.
In the 1600 Meter Relay the Hilhi Team of Daniel Popovych, Daekwon Mitchell, Josh Jones, and Imani Jamali qualified as a wildcard entry with a season’s best time of 3:33.76
On the girls’ side, Hillsboro’s Kennedy Taube was the only three-time winner. She repeated in the 100 and won the 200 for a third consecutive time. And after not running on the short relay all season, she also made an appearance on anchor leg for the Spartans, who won in 50.29. Madeline Lambing, Promise Saechao and Reagan Reed filled out that quartet.
Those three victories raised Taube’s career total of district meet titles to 11. They also cemented a comeback nearly a year in the making. Last track season Taube struggled with a kneecap that kept slipping out of place, and she spent the summer rehabbing in physical therapy. She was still wearing a brace to protect the knee during soccer in the fall and stayed away from the short relay almost all of this spring so she wouldn’t have to deal with handoffs.
But she’s clearly getting back to her best now. She posted a PR of 12.33 in the 100, which ties her for second-fastest in the Class 5A ranks in 2017. She also rolled to a 1½-second victory in the 200, improving her Class 5A leader to 25.60 heading into Eugene.
“I knew I had to be 100 percent,” said Taube, who will run for George Fox next year. “Looking back on my times, I am just ecstatic and not even believing that it’s real.”
Boys – 1, Sandy, 176; 2, Wilsonville, 112½; 3, St. Helens, 97; 4, La Salle, 80; 5, Milwaukie, 74½; 6, Hillsboro, 61½; 7, Parkrose, 42; 8, Putnam, 18½.
Girls – 1, Wilsonville, 162; 2, Sandy, 130¼; 3, Hillsboro, 122¼; 4, Milwaukie, 65½; 5, La Salle, 63; 6, Putnam, 47¾; 7, St. Helens, 42; 8, Parkrose, 22¼.
100 – 1, Daekwon Mitchell, Hillsboro, 11.08.
200 – 1, Daekwon Mitchell, Hillsboro, 22.53.
110 hurdles – 3, Kobie Mendoza-Daniels, Hillsboro, 15.26.
400 relay – 2, Hillsboro (Daekwon Mitchell, Kobie Mendoza-Daniels, Trevor Fernstrom, Isaiah DiRienzo, atlernates Imani Jamali and Daniel Popovych) 44.44
1,600 relay – 4.(Daniel Popovych, Daekwon Mitchell, Imani Jamali, Josh Jones alternates Stephen Rufus and Isaiah Dirienzo) 3:33.76
100 – 1, Kennedy Taube, Hillsboro, 12.33.
200 – 1, Kennedy Taube, Hillsboro, 25.60.
100 hurdles – 1, Juliet Raabe, Hillsboro, 16.39.
300 hurdles – 1, Juliet Raabe, Hillsboro, 49.80.
400 relay – 1, Hillsboro (Madeline Lambing, Promise Saechao, Reagan Reed, Kennedy Taube alternates Juliet Raabe and Carissa Ramirez) 50.29
High jump – 2, Savannah Weight, Hillsboro, 4-10.
Long jump – 1, Reagan Reed, Hillsboro, 16-10½.