Kennedy (2A) —
The Kennedy Trojans track and field team had a successful start to the 2017 2A Track and Field State Championships. Every member of both the boys and girls teams that competed on the first day of the event either placed or advanced past the preliminary round to Friday's finals.
Bishop Mitchell —
The Trojans' most decorated athlete enjoyed the best day among his teammates, advancing to the finals in both the 100 and 200 sprints while earning a state championship on the field.
Mitchell picked up the first of potentially four state championships in his first event at the 2017 state finals, needing just one attempt to do so. The Kennedy senior opened the long jump event with a leap of 20-09.50 on his first attempt, which was enough to surpass Vernonia's Clay Sullivan, who placed second with a mark of 20-09.25 in the finals.
But Mitchell one-upped the field with his third jump in the preliminary round, matching the state meet record of 22-05.50 set by Central Linn's DiSean Hernandez in 2015 to enter the final three jumps of the competition seeded first.
Mitchell made one attempt in the finals with a leap of 21-02.25, but had to leave the jumping area to prepare for the 100-meter dash. When Mitchell returned to the long jump pit, the rest of the field had concluded the competition and his preliminary mark was still the top distance, so Mitchell passed on his final two attempts.
Based on the two prelim heats on Thursda, Friday's finals in the 2A 100 competition will be as exciting as they come. Mitchell clocked a personal-record time of 11.13 to win his preliminary heat with ease, but his finish eclipsed by the smallest of margins by Delphian senior Colin Koenig, who won the first heat with a PR of his own at 11.12
Mitchell set another PR in his second sprint of the day with a time of 22.58 in the 200 to lead the preliminary field by nearly half a second. Mitchell's time shaved off 0.06 from his previous best set at the season-opener in April.
His closest competition in Friday's final will be from Regis senior Brendon Woodcock, who was the only other sprinter to put up a sub-23 time at 22.96.
The Kennedy senior walked away with a trip to the podium in his first and only trip to the state championships to end his track career with the Trojans.
Kliewer set a new PR of 43-04.50 on his second throw of the day to punch his ticket to the finals in the 2A shot put. He eclipsed his mark by a quarter inch on his fifth throw, putting his final mark of the day at 43-04.75 to finish in seventh place to earn two points for the team.
Monroe's Cristian Garcia won the event with a throw of 48-00.
Rendon punched his ticket to Friday's finals in the 400, finishing third in his heat with a time of 54.39. Overall, Rendon's finish put him in sixth heading into Friday. Weston-McEwen's Jacob speed won the prelims with a time of 51.79.
The Kennedy junior is making her third trip to the state championships, but this was the first time the Trojans' top distance runner was competing in the 3,000.
Cantu finished the race with a PR-time of 10:39.94 to place third overall behind East Linn Christian rival Sydney Nichol (10:35.36) and Bandon's Sailor Hutton (10:24.26) who won her third consecutive title in the event.
Cantu and Nichol's rivalry dates back to the cross country season, where the Kennedy distance runner bested Nichol in the 5K state championships last fall. But Nichol proved to be the stronger runner at Thursday's 3K. The two, along with Cantu's teammate Alejandra Lopez, stayed in a tight pack for the first 6.5 laps, but Nichol made a burst on the final lap to put distance between herself and the Kennedy teammates to finish in second.
Cantu's finish earned six points toward the Kennedy girls' team score.
Lopez made her second straight trip to the state finals in the 3,000, putting up a PR-time of 10:42.03 to finish fourth and earn five team points for the Trojans.
It was a marked improvement for the Kennedy sophomore, who started the event strong, leading the field after the first lap. But Lopez was quick to yield her lead to Sutton and fall into the pack behind with Cantu and Nichol.
The two outdistanced Lopez by several lengths on the final lap, but Lopez's time carved off more than 10 seconds from the PR she set at the district championships and was more than one minute better than the finish she had at last year's state finals, where she finished just outside of the podium in ninth place.
The Kennedy junior made a second straight trip to the podium in the javelin competition, though slightly lower than last year.
Frey placed 7th with a throw of 98-07 in the meet's opening event on Thursday to give the Trojans two points. She had placed fourth as a sophomore in 2016.