TIGER BOYS CHAMPS, GIRLS SECOND
La Grande's boys' team win in the District 7/Greater Oregon League Meet last weekend in Ontario was not a surprise. But the margin of victory certainly put a smile on the faces of head coach Duane Smiley and assistants Joe Brogdon, Julianna Looney and Brett Baxter.
Favored to take the title, the Tigers ran away with it scoring 205.5 points. Burns was a distance second with 121, followed by Baker with 105.5, Ontario 98.5, Riverside 60.5 and McLoughlin 54.
"It was a pretty dominating performance by our guys," Smiley said. "They really stepped up...They did it all at the right meet."
Hampered by an injury to Crystal Kevan, the La Grande girls still earned second place led by a pair of titles by junior Hayley Oveson. Burns was first with 163.5 points. LHS had 127.5, Baker 114, Ontario 93, McLoughlin 72 and Riverside 67.
The top two finishers in each event qualified for this Friday and Saturday's OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires Track and Field State Championships in Eugene. No LHS athlete finished third or lower who could have advanced by meeting state qualifying standards did so.
A number of Tiger boys had an outstanding meet, including senior Rick Anderson. He won the 200- and 400-meter dashes with times of 23.66 and 50.99 (tied personal best). Anderson ran a leg for LHS's first-place 400 relay (44.59) and anchored the Tigers' 1,600 relay team, which was second (3:36.02).
Jason Karrels was a double champion at district. He was first in the triple jump (41-11) after winning the long jump and placing second in the high jump Friday.
Kelly Burgess, Nathan Humphreys and Raage Sofe were joined by Anderson on the winning 400 relay team.
Godfrey, Chase Miller, Humphreys and Anderson had a season-best time in the 1,600 relay.
The LHS quality depth gave the Tigers a 1-2-4 finish in the 100. Raage Sofe won it (11.52), with Kelly Burgess second (11.57) and Humphreys fourth (11.77).
Sofe ran to second in the 200 (23.90) and Burgess placed fifth. Sofe was third in the 110 hurdles (16.63), where Joe Hibbert placed fifth and KC Harris seventh.
Max Beach ran to third in the 1,500 (4:38.89) and Jake Moncrief was fifth.
In the 400, Miller was fourth and Michael Godfrey seventh.
Godfrey was fifth in the 800 with little recovery time after the 400.
"That's a hard double to run," Smiley said.
In the javelin, Justin Hamill was fourth, Tom McKinney fifth and Kevin Bomberger sixth.
Harris placed fourth and Hibbert was sixth in the 300 hurdles.
Logan Joseph earned fifth in the shot put and Jeff McClay was eighth. Joseph, Hamill and McKinney scored for LHS in the discus Friday.
"The throwers really came through big time," Smiley said.
Oveson, who won the 3,000 Friday, made it two victories by taking honors in the 1,500 Saturday. Her time was 4:59.73.
Another distance win came from Jacque Wiseman in the 800 (2:26.52, PR).
Friday, Kevan pulled a hamstring running a leg of the 400 relay that came in fourth. Smiley said Kevan's season is over due to the injury.
Kirsten Johnson filled in admirably for Kevan on the LHS 1,600 relay, which earned second place (4:22.82) and a state berth. Melisa Abesa, Wiseman and Oveson handled the other legs of the race.
Johnson was third in the 1,500 and Wiseman fourth (5:04.58, PR).
Cora Beach also had a good district meet. She placed second in the 100 hurdles (16.94) and 300 hurdles (50.66), and was third in the 100 (13.36).
Abesa was fourth in the 100 and fifth in the 200.
Mandy Hillecke and Callison Timm tied for fourth in the high jump (4-6), and Lacy Ward was seventh. Hillecke was fifth in the pole vault.
Jennifer Butler placed fifth in the discus. Lacy Ward was seventh and MaeLee Morris eighth in the 800, both with PRs.
In the javelin, Butler was seventh and Hillecke eighth. Katrina Orton placed seventh in the triple jump and eighth in the long jump.
"It was those little points that kept us ahead of Baker," Smiley said. "Those sevenths and eighths were big."