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FAST COMPANY: Kayla Rasmussen (center) may have caught her leg on a hurdle during the invitational at Union, but the junior continues to roll up victories in the sprints and hurdle events for La Grande, along with teammate Hailey White (left).
Rasmussen leads Tiger stampede in Ontario meet
Kayla Rasmussen had a busy day Saturday.
The junior from La Grande won the 100 meters (13.15), the 100-meter hurdles (16.61), the 300-meter hurdles (47.03) and ran a leg of the victorious 4x100-meter relay team.
As the district track championships approach, that gives Rasmussen the second-fastest 100 meter time.
She also has the fastest time in the 400 meters, 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles in the district.
Amanda Welch won the 3,000 meter race (11:05.70), beating out teammate Rose Winters (12:12.08).
Some of the other top Tiger marks at the Heinz invitational included Cullen Hancock’s 13-6 clearance in the pole vault and Loran Ackerman’s 41-8.5 leap in the triple jump.
Ackerman won the high jump at 5-10, add it to his triple jump victory. He has a better mark in the triple (42-0.75) and the high jump (6-2), both the best marks in the district.
Leon Fuller placed third in the javelin throw. Fuller’s toss of 160-02 wasn’t enough to beat out McLoughlin’s Pancho Saldana, who had a throw of 189-11.
The Tigers travel to Baker City Friday for the Baker Invitational, then compete in the district championships May 18 and 19 on the Eastern Oregon University track.
Good weather brings out Bobcats’ bests
Weather played a big role over the weekend in the success of the Union track teams in two invitationals, according to the coach.
While rainy weather hampered the Bobcats Friday at the Jo-Hi invitational, better weather in Ontario seemed to bring out the best in his team Saturday, said Union coach Jay Blackburn.
“We had a rough day at Joseph on Friday. The weather was cold and very wet,” he said.
In spite of the weather conditions, the track team had some bright spots. “Baily Poor did win the 200 meters and was second in the long jump. Ken Sipp ran a good 800 meters and placed second. McKenzie Evans was second in the 800 meters followed by Stormy Bullard in third,” the coach said.
“Riley Sheehy ran a good race in the 1,500, placing second. Elizabeth Sheehy was second in the shot put followed by Brooke Stewart at fourth. Stormy Bullard also placed second in the high jump.
“I was very proud of my athletes for there grit and determinations and especially for there attitudes competing in such terrible conditions,” the coach said.
A change of location - and weather - helped the Bobcats Saturday, Blackburn added.
“We had a much better weather day at the Ontario High School Heinz meet,” he said.
Sophomore Katriel O’Reilly starting things off by nearly breaking the Union school record in the 800 meters and beating La Grande’s Jasmine Smith by three seconds.
“Katriel had a monster race placing first in the 800 with a time of 2:24.12 — less than one second off of the school record,” Blackburn added. It also is the second-best 800 meters at the 2A level, less than two seconds behind Hannah Jossi of Portland Christian.
O’Reilly also has the best 2A times in both the 1,500 meters and the 3,000 meters. vAt the district level, O’Reilly leads all three events.
O’Reilly wasn’t the only Union athlete drawing praise from the coach.
“McKenzie Evans ran a great race placing second in the 1,500 meters,” the coach said. She currently has the second-best 1,500 meter and 3,000-meter times in the district.
“Michael O’Reilly ran his best time ever in the 800 meters, placing sixth overall in a stacked field.” It gives him the fifth-fastest time in the 800 meters among the Blue Mountain District athletes. O’Reilly also has the second-best 1,500 meters and the best 3,000 meter times in the district.
“Ethan Black also had a great day placing fourth in the 1,500 meters and posting his best time in the 300-meter hurdles,” he added.
In the field events, Blackburn also pointed to Elizabeth Sheehy who posted her best throw in the shot put (28-4), along with Bullard.
“Stormy had great day in the high jump, placing third overall. Alie Griffiths also had a great day in the high jump with her best jump of the year jumping 4-4,” he said. Bullard has the second-best mark in the district, clearing 4-10.
According to Blackburn, the team’s performances at the Heinz Invitational showed the athletes were getting ready for the district championships. “We had a much better day on Saturday. It was a good day to help prepare our athletes to vault at districts”