The Philomath High School girls track and field team opened the season Saturday on a high note with a dominating performance at the Mark Dean Invitational in Tillamook. The Warriors piled up 140 points to easily outdistance runner-up Astoria’s 85 in a meet that included athletes from 15 schools.
Editor’s Note: Mark Dean Invitational officials rescored the April 2 meet for the boys the update moved Philomath into second place. Banks won with 98, Philomath was second with 91 and Glencoe was third with 90. A previous version of this story was updated to reflect those scoring changes. Philomath High School’s Micah Matthews won…
“We knew our freshman girls were talented but what they did in our first meet exceeded our optimistic expectations,” PHS coach Joe Fulton said. “This has the makings of a very good girls track and field team.”
No one athlete really dominated with points, either. Not counting the two winning relays, 11 different Philomath athletes had top-four finishes in individual events.
In the sprints, freshman Janice Hellesto won her first-ever high school 200-meter dash with a time of 26.73 seconds — more than a second faster than the runner-up and best time so far this season in Class 4A. Hellesto also placed third in the long jump (14 feet, 7.5 inches).
Another freshman, Natalie Dunn, was the winner in the 440-yard dash with a time of 1:02.89 (third-best in 4A). Junior Ingrid Hellesto took first in the 880 with a 2:29.77 (third-best in 4A). In the field events, senior Emery Boutilier won the pole vault by clearing 8-4 (fourth-best in 4A).
The 440-yard relay of Dunn, sophomore Ellie Morton, senior Haviland Eves and Janice Hellesto took first place by covering the oval in 52.34 seconds, winning by nearly a second and a half over the runner-up foursome from Astoria. That time ranks third in the state.
In the mile relay, freshman Aneeka Steen, Ingrid Hellesto, Dunn and Janice Hellesto were winners with a time of 4:14.09. The race wasn’t even close with the Warriors winning by 13.51 seconds. The time is the best in 4A so far this season.
Back in the individual events, Eves, Steen and freshman Melea Lattin each had second-place finishes. Eves ran a 13.90 in the 100, Steen came in with a 1:04.54 in the 440 (fifth-best in 4A) and Lattin had a 2:31.32 in the 880 (fifth-best in 4A).
Other top-four finishes included freshman Petra Hernandez in the 100 (third, 14.10), senior Kaeleigh Houchin in the 1,500 (third, 5:36.84), Morton in the 400 (fourth, 1:10.57) and freshman Hallie Morrison in the 3,000 (fourth, 12:32.41). Morrison’s time ranks 10th statewide in 4A.
Just outside of the top four was a fifth-place
Sophomore Madison Juhl had the fifth-best discus throw in the state so far this season with a mark of 95 feet — the top five all from this same meet.
Philomath easily won the meet even without one of its top point scorers in senior Sage Kramer, who was participating in an all-star basketball game.
One note on the distances — Tillamook High’s track features six lanes and 440 yards and every race except the four that started on the regular finish line were measured in traditional metric distances. Events that were run in yards include the 440 and 440 relay (0.3 seconds slower), 880 (0.7 slower) and the mile relay (1.2 slower) instead of 1,600 meters.
Philomath will compete Thursday in a triangular with Newport at Sweet Home.