Six athletes and two relays had victories and 19 athletes and four relays had top-three finishes for Philomath High School’s track teams in Saturday’s Junction City Invitational.
In a unique scoring system used by the meet’s organizer, Philomath’s girls finished first while the boys were third — exceptional finishes considering that head coach Joe Fulton strayed from his typical lineup and moved athletes around into events that they normally wouldn’t compete in.
Warriors sophomore Janice Hellesto provided a highlight for the girls with the fourth-best long jump in school history and sixth-best 100-meter dash. Hellesto won the long jump with a distance of 16 feet, 10 inches (Cathy McNeely holds the school record with an 18-1 in 1996) and sprinted to a time of 12.86 seconds, which was a very close second in the 100 (Maggie Ross has the school record with a 12.34 in 2019). Both performances rank third in Class 4A so far this season.
Juniors Ahnika Tryon and Madison Juhl both broke into those all-time school charts as well with their performances. Tryon, who only just joined the track program a couple of weeks ago, had a throw of 117-1 in the javelin for eighth all-time for PHS. Juhl’s 108-0 in the discus ranks seventh on the all-time list for that event.
Philomath had two other individual victories at the meet with sophomore Adele Beckstead’s 5:04.99 in the 1,500 and sophomore Anneka Steen’s 5-0 in the high jump.
The 4-by-100 relay took first place by 1.63 seconds in 50.25 with junior Ellie Morton, sophomore Natalie Dunn, senior Ingrid Hellesto and Janice Hellesto. The time ranks No. 8 on the school’s track charts.
In addition to Janice Hellesto’s second in the 100, seven other performances were good for second or third place — Beckstead in the 800 (second, 2:30.43)
Morton in the 200 (third, 27.75), Ingrid Hellesto in the 100 hurdles (second, 17.23), senior Abigail Brown in the shot put (second, 28-7.75), freshman Ana Candanoza in the 1,500 (third, 5:10.54), sophomore Petra Hernandez in the 300 hurdles (third, 51.45) and Dunn in the high jump (third, 4-8). Those marks by Beckstead, Candanoza and Dunn were personal bests.
The 4-by-400 relay with sophomore Brooke McDaniel, sophomore Melea Lattin, Hernandez and Morton finished second in 4:33.36.
The girls scored 1,753 points to Junction City’s 1,652 — the top teams among the 15 competing. The scoring system awarded points to everyone competing and varied based on how many entrants were in a particular event. The maximum number of athletes allowed per school in each event was three.
The host school won the boys’ portion of the meet with 1,605, followed by Churchill in second (1,558) and Philomath in third (1,344). Fourteen teams had athletes in the competition.
Senior Ben Hernandez had the team’s lone individual victory with a 4:14.17 in the 1,500. The other victory was turned in by the 4-by-100 relay with freshman CD Nuno, senior Nixon Mooney, senior Brody Bushnell and sophomore Warwick Bushnell with a time of 44.90.
Other second-place finishes were logged by Nuno in the 400 (53.92), junior Simon King with a PR in the 800 (2:03.97), freshman Leo Pausch in the 3,000 (9:51.23), freshman Josiah Peters in the javelin (138-5), senior Micah Matthews in the high jump (6-0) and the 4-by-400 relay with King, Hernandez, Nuno and senior Mateo Candanoza (3:39.11).
Warwick Bushnell (800, 2:05.12) and senior Seth Arthurs (triple jump, 39-9.25) had third-place showings. The Arthurs jump was a PR.
Philomath will compete again in a few days with an appearance Tuesday at a Cascade meet, which will also include Newport and two small private schools.