UNION — The Stanfield Tigers owned the boys’ side of the Blue Mountain Conference track and field championships last season in Union, but the graduation of several key runners and throwers has left the door open in 2012.
Based on returning talent, last year’s second placers from Enterprise could take the favorite label for the top spot in this go around at the Union Athletic Complex on Friday, but a large squad from Irrigon might make noise based on sheer numbers.
“I think without a doubt Enterprise and Irrigon are at the top,” Pilot Rock coach Tom Humphreys said. “It gets to this point in the year and it’s all about quantity as well as quality, and that’s something Irrigon really has up there.”
Leon holds the third fastest time in Class 2A track this season in the two hurdles events, running them in 15.94 and 42.04 seconds respectively.
Don’t count Stanfield out completely. Sophomore Nino Castellanos has lightning speed. He ran the 100 meters in 11.34 seconds at the Mustang Invitational this past Friday. That mark is the quickest of any 2A runner this year.
Pilot Rock’s Jason GrosJacques had high expectations this spring after placing second at the conference meet last year in javelin. A injury-plagued senior season has slowed his rise but Coach Humphreys still expects a state qualifying throw. The same goes for Tara Glynn, who placed second at the state meet in the 400 meters but has also dealt with health issues this spring.
The hosts from Union dominated the girls’ action at last season’s district meet and could repeat due to their runners. Katriel O’Reilly and McKenzie Evans are the top distance runners in 2A and both are Bobcats.
Behind that monster, though, the conference silver medal is within almost any teams’ reach.
“Team wise for trophies, I don’t know if anybody has enough to unseat Union,” Weston-McEwen coach Loran Monaco said. “I think we’re in the hunt for the second-place trophy but we have to hit on all cylinders.”
Doing so will require big days from Weston-McEwen’s Carlin sisters, junior McKayla and freshman Madison. McKayla has the fifth best triple jump score in the 2A category this season and has excelled in the long jump as well while Madison will run the sprints.
Makayla Christopher (javelin) and Jaymie Zimmerman (discus) could also work their ways into the state meet at Western Oregon University’s campus in Monmouth on May 18.
Heppner’s squad lacks the numbers that many of these programs boast but a pair of strong upperclassmen lead the girls’ group. Carrie Haguewood and Emma Osmin each rank fifth in 2A in events — Haguewood as a high jumper (5 feet) and Osmin as a long jumper (15 feet, 6.5 inches).
“We probably won’t be placing as a team at districts but we do have some really good athletes that could make a difference,” Heppner coach Laura Winters said.
Field events kick off the meet at 11 a.m. on Friday in Union.
Contact AJ Mazzolini at (541) 966-0839 or email@example.com.