TIGERS SEND 15 TO STATE
By C.J. Gish
Observer Staff Writer
Thats the highest number of athletes La Grande has sent to a state track and field meet in years.
The Tigers will have difficulty placing high in their events, but even a few points are better than none Friday and Saturday at the OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 3A State Championships in Eugene.
Eric Griffith has the best chance at a top-four finish in any event. The senior hurdler is seeded third in the 110-meter hurdles and ninth in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
Other than that, well be clawing for mediocrity, La Grande coach Joe Sandoz said. But theres always stuff that happens (at a state meet). Good stuff and bad stuff. Im hoping for the good stuff.
Long jumper Casey Fenwick and pole vaulter David Butler, who both set personal bests at the Greater Oregon League district meet last week, are seeded 12th and 14th, respectively. Fenwicks jump last week was 20 feet, 6 inches. Butler vaulted to 12-3.
The boys 400 relay, consisting of Griffith, Devin Orton, Chad Perry and Geoff Hitchon, is seeded 15th. The 1,600 relay, with Garron Lamoreau running for Orton, is 10th.
We may get into the finals (with the relays) if were healthy and we run well, Sandoz said.
The key will be Orton, who injured his foot while running the anchor leg of the 400 relay at district. The injury kept Orton from qualifying for state in the 200 and 400.
On the girls side, Jessyca Barker is seeded ninth in the 3,000 and 12th in the 1,500.
District champion Kristin Brogdon is in a four-way tie for the fourth seed in the high jump and Sandoz hopes, she might be riding a wave of triumph from district.
Chelsea Malone is seeded 15th in the pole vault.
The 1,600 relay team of Kylee Winkler, Brogdon, Nicole Crow and Malia Anderson is seeded 13th. The 400 relay, with Amanda Timm and Tammy Darval running in place of Brogdon and Anderson, is seeded 16th.
Realistically, were taking two freshmen, two sophomores and one junior in both relays, Sandoz said. It will be a great introduction to a state meet for them.