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SPEEDER: Adrianís runner had more than a 20-yard lead on Imblerís Mikaela Martin when the anchor leg of the 4x400-meter relay started Saturday. It wasnít enough to keep Martin from winning the race. BRAD MOSHER / The Observer
Imbler anchor runs down Crane leader in stunner
A 20-yard lead in the anchor leg of the girls 4x400 meter relay wasn’t enough — at least for Crane.
Imbler’s Mikaela Martin made sure of it. The freshman had already made a big splash in Saturday’s 1A District 4 track championships at Eastern Oregon University.
She had won the 800 meters (2:40.36) and placed second in the 400 meters (1:04.24).
But her biggest race was in the final event, the 4x400 meter relay.
Her teammates wanted to beat Crane, a team that won the event in last year’s state meet.
But by the end of the third leg, Crane had a dominant lead of more than 20 yards, so the lead runner was already into the curve when Martin got the baton from Cecily Magee.
Martin started running the leader down. She cut the lead by almost half by the time she entered the back stretch. By the time Martin hit the final curve, she had almost overtaken Crane’s anchor runner. And when the Imbler runner entered the final straight, she was pulling away to a 4:29.21 victory. That was about a 12-second improvement over Imbler’s previous best relay time this season.
The dramatic rundown stunned Imbler coach Heidi Bowers. “I got so excited, I cleared it (the stopwatch). It had to be under 60 seconds,” she said after the race. It was also fast enough to put Imbler No. 4 among the 1A top-10 times. Kelcie Wiley and Kathryn Woodward started the first two legs of the relay. Wiley had already won the 400 meters (1:03.64) and placed second in the 200 meters (28.33).
Imbler also won the girls team title, beating Crane again, thanks to a pair of double winners.
Demetria Thompson got two wins, in the discus (102 feet 8 inches) and shot put (35-2.5). Angela Stafford won the 1,500 meters (5:40.51) and 3,000 meters (13:04.03).
Among other winners getting the pass to the state championship meet in Monmouth Friday were Jamie Murchison of Cove staying unbeaten in the 1A javelin throw with a 131-2 effort and Kate Jones of Powder Valley.
The Badger senior won the 100-meter hurdles in 16.59 and then added the 300-meter district crown with a 49.55 effort. Both efforts rank Jones second in the 1A going into state.