Grant Union junior Kaylee Wright won three state titles to help her team to second place at the 2A OSAA Track and Field State Championships in Eugene.
The Grant Union girls scored 65 team points behind Monroe with 80. Central Linn came in third with 59. Grant Union led the competition until the second-to-last event when Monroe pulled ahead.
Wright won in all three of her individual events.
She set a new state record in javelin. She beat the state record she set as a freshman by 7 feet, throwing for a mark of 138-06, for her third consecutive state title in the event. She placed first in high jump at a height of 5-03 and first in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.75.
She also placed second as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team alongside Sydney Brockway, Trinity Hutchison and Sierra Cates with a time of 51.22. The winning team from Central Linn had a time of 51.20.
“There was a lot more competition than previous years,” Wright said. “We all pushed harder. That’s how we perform better.”
Grant Union head coach Sonna Smith said she was impressed by Wright’s efforts this year.
“She has consistently done the work she needs to do to be ready to compete at a high level,” Smith said. “She finished district with a hamstring strain and rehabbed all week to be ready for state, and it paid off.”
She said Wright was close to becoming 2A Athlete of the Meet.
Wright had one second place and three first-place finishes, the same as the winner, but Wright had fewer overall points because relay athletes split their points four ways with the other runners on their team. Wright beat the other athlete in the 100, the only head-to-head meeting between the two.
“Kaylee came out on top,” Smith said. “For us, that makes her the superior athlete in our eyes.”
Hutchison, a junior and returning triple jump champ, placed second in the event this year with a distance of 34-04.25. Isabelle Wyss of St. Paul placed first with 35-10.75.
Hutchison also placed fourth in the long jump with a distance of 16-03.5.
She said she was a little sad this would be their final year competing at Hayward Field before it’s renovated.
“It has such a history behind it — getting to compete on the same track as the Olympic trials,” she said.
Brockway, also a junior, placed third in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.59. Kyndal Martin of Monroe placed first with 15.01, and Kailey Martin of Monroe placed second with 16.57.
Brockway also placed seventh in the long jump with a distance of 15-09 and seventh in the triple jump at 32-05.75.
Freshman Abby Lusco placed sixth in discus with a distance of 105-07. Catylynn Duff of Culver won with 146-01.
The girls said they missed having team member Jozie Rude, a senior, with them and dedicated their performances to her.
“Even without her, we did our best for her,” Cates said.
Rude suffered a season-ending injury at the district competition after she placed first in shot put and pole vault. She scored 21 points at state last year, behind only Wright with 28, in the team’s second-place finish. Rude was seeded higher in three of her events this year.
“There is a good chance, if she would have been full strength, we would have come away with the state championship,” Smith said. “The athletes we took outdid or equaled their seeding going into state, so they did an outstanding job.”
For the boys this year, senior Duane Stokes placed fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 40-05.25. Alex Lindsay of Heppner placed first with 41-11.00.
Sophomore Mason Gerry placed eighth in javelin with a distance of 142-05. Ethan Burns of Enterprise won with 162-06.
Gerry also placed 10th in long jump with a distance of 17-07.75. Tyreece Gardner of Reedsport won with 21-00.5.
Sophomore Drew Lusco placed ninth in discus with a distance of 113-06. Kirkland Scott of Regis won with 136-04.
Junior Tanner Elliott placed 12th in the 800 meters with a time of 2:18.84. Josh Snyder of Bandon won with 2:00.31.
Freshman Jordan Hall placed ninth in the preliminaries for the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 18.15, one place outside of qualifying for the finals.
This will be the final year for Grant Union to compete at the historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.
After the NCAA championships in June, it will be torn down and rebuilt for the World Championships to be held in 2021.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for our state athletes to get to compete at this historic track venue, one of the top in the nation,” Smith said.