Ingrid Hellesto, left, qualified for the Meet of Champions in both hurdling events and as part of both relays. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Philomath High School’s boys and girls track and field teams will have good representation at Saturday’s Meet of Champions in Sweet Home.

The deadline to enter the meet was Tuesday and coach Joe Fulton said 39 entrants from the Warriors qualified — many of those in multiple events. Along with those athletes, Fulton said there are plans to also take four alternates to the meet.

The meet accepts the top 18 field entries and top 24 track entries and each school can only have one relay team in those events. There are specific standards in place for each event.

The girls have several entries seeded among the top three — Janice Hellesto (first, 200; third, 400);  Anneka Steen (first, high jump; third, triple jump); Natalie Dunn (first, 400); Ingrid Hellesto (first, 300 hurdles); and Adele Beckstead (second, 1,500; second, 3,000).

The 4-by-100 relay has the best time entering the meet with an entry participant list, which includes alternates, that shows Ellie Morton, Ingrid Hellesto, Dunn, Janice Hellesto and Petra Hernandez. The 4-by-400 relay also has the top time and that entry list includes Steen, Ingrid Hellesto, Dunn, Janice Hellesto, Melea Lattin and Brooke McDaniel.

Other entrants include Morton (100, high jump, long jump), Dunn (200), Brooke McDaniel (400, 3,000, triple jump), Hanna McDaniel (400, 3,000, pole vault), Ana Candanoza (800, 3,000), Lattin (800, 1,500), Maggie King (800), Alexa Eckhold (800), Lucy King (1,500), Kateri Pindell (1,500, 3,000), Ingrid Hellesto (100 hurdles), Hernandez (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles), Ariana Boutilier (300 hurdles), Madison Provance (shot put), Madison Juhl (discus, pole vault), Ahnika Tryon (javelin), Madison Schaffer (pole vault), Steen (long jump) and Aspen Russell (triple jump).

Others could get in if athletes ahead of them scratch in certain events.

For the boys, individuals sitting in the top three heading into the meet include Micah Matthews (second, pole vault; third, 110 hurdles; third, 300 hurdles; third, high jump); Warwick Bushnell (first, 100; second, 200), Ben Hernandez (first 1,500; third, 800), Mateo Candanoza (first, 3,000; third, 1,500); and Nixon Mooney (second, 400; third, 200).

The 4-by-400 relay is seeded second with Simon King, Hernandez, Mooney and the Bushnell brothers entered.

Others qualifying include CD Nuno (200, 400, long jump), King (800, 1,500), Brody Bushnell (800), Tiernan Bovbjerg (800), Leo Pausch (1,500, 3,000), Jesse Erickson (1,500, 3,000), Lukas Dunn (1,500), Kellen Houchin (3,000), Seth Arthurs (300 hurdles, triple jump), Josiah Peters (javelin) and the 4-by-100 relay (Nuno, Brody Bushnell, Mooney, Warwick Bushnell, Preston Luscher, Teddy Benbow).

Although the meet is at Sweet Home, it is being co-hosted by Cascade. It’s scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. with the field events. The track events are scheduled to get going at 1 p.m.

Following the Meet of Champions, the full squads for the boys and girls will be back in action April 29 at Junction City.

Mason Stearns has the baseball team’s top batting average heading into this week at .390. (File photo by Andy Cripe/Philomath News)

Baseball, softball stats

Heading into Wednesday’s games, Mason Stearns and Logan Matthews had the top batting averages among the regulars who have at least 15 at-bats. Stearns entered this week with a .390 average (16 for 41) with Matthews coming in at .355. Brayden Shenk had the top on-base percentage (.481) and slugging percentage (.579).

In other stat categories, Caleb Babcock and Stearns share the team lead for doubles with three apiece; Silas Pittman has a team-high two triples; Shenk and Ty May each have one home run; Grant Niemann has drawn 11 walks; Stearns has a team-high 13 runs scored; and Chad Russell leads in RBIs with 11.

On the mound, Stearns has a 3-0 record and also one of the team’s two saves (the other by David Griffith). Babcock has a 0.72 ERA with 9-2/3 innings pitched; Griffith comes in at 1.17 (12 innings pitched) and Stearns at 1.81 (19-1/3 innings pitched). Shenk has the most strikeouts with 24.

In softball, Kaylie Kohler has the top batting average (.464) and on-base percentage (.559). Others with batting averages include Ahnika Tryon (.394), Grace Bennett (.364), Jenae Traglia (.364), Presley Reichhuber (.355) and Mia Bennett (.346). Tryon has a team-high .636 slugging percentage.

In other categories, Reichhuber leads in doubles with four; Tryon has three triples; McKenzie Hauck has two home runs; Tryon and Grace Bennett each have nine RBIs; Traglia has a team-high 12 runs; and Elizabeth Morales-Marquez and Kohler each have six walks.

Among the pitchers, Tryon has a 7.13 ERA (17-2/3 innings pitched) and Morales-Marquez is right behind at 7.16 (29-1/3 innings pitched). Morales-Marquez has a team-high 31 strikeouts.

Olivia Hernandez stands atop the medal stand Sunday in Spokane, Washington, after winning the 75-pound weight class in the 12U girls division. (Photo provided by Sal Hernandez)

Wrestling champion

Philomath fifth grader Olivia Hernandez was crowned champion in her division at the USMC Women’s Freestyle Nationals Sunday in Spokane, Washington. Hernandez won the 75-pound weight class in the 12U girls division.

Hernandez won the national championship with a pin over Washington wrestler Vanessa Torres in 1:22.

There were three youth wrestling divisions at the meet with 8U, 10U and 12U.

The meet featured champions from 12 different states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.

Other champions from Oregon included Hope Johnson (10U girls, 80 pounds) and Taylynn Stratton (12U, 120 pounds).

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at

Brad Fuqua

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.