Our Thoughts…4A Girls State Track

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John L. Braese

The Philomath girls returned home with a 4A state track and field title this season with La Grande taking the runner-up spot. The Tigers return a strong team of young student athletes led by state champion in both the 1500 and 3000 races, Brooke Perry. The sophomore-to-be dominated the distance races and saw teammate Cecilia Villagomez Edvalson run second in the 1500 race and also take second in the 800 meters. Also an incoming sophomore, Mattie Wolcott returns after running fourth in the 400 meters.

Wolcott will also be back in the third place 4-by-100 relay team that includes returnees Kylie Brown and Kayle Collman with only a replacement needed for the graduated Lexi Price. If La Grande needs anything to take home a state title, picking up a few points in a field event or two would help as the Tigers failed to place in any field event at the state meet.

Pendleton tied for 16th in the team standings with Astoria this season. Like La Grande, the Buckaroos return the majority of the team next season. Junior-to-be Nessa Neveau will again be in the javelin event after placing second at state. Graduation did take away Chloe Gray in the discus, but Neveau was only one spot behind Gray in sixth. The Buckaroos failed to qualify a distance runner for state and the sprint events are also a current weakness.

Both Baker and Ontario, 4A Greater Oregon League competitors, tied for 19th in the team standings. Graduation did take Jozie Ramos and Brooklyn Jaca from the Baker squad but sophomore-to-be Claire Bachman could be the Bulldog answer in the sprint events. A top five finisher in the pole vault, junior-to-be Sofia Kaaen should again be a lock in points for the event. Like Pendleton, Baker had no qualifiers in the distance events for the state meet.

To improve in the team standings, Ontario needs to find some help for incoming junior Isabella Chiara. Responsible for all the Tiger team points, Chiara finished second in the 100 meters and third in the 200 meters. Sophomore-to-be Jackie Herrera could make a move in the 400 meters after finishing the state meet in tenth.

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