In a late-season track and field meet that provides a glimpse into how Philomath might shape up for districts and state, the Philomath High School girls put in a strong first-place performance and the boys were a close second behind the host school.
The action occurred Friday at the Wally Ciochetti Invitational at Cottage Grove and the meet, which had qualifying standards and event entry limits, featured a lot of athletes in Warrior uniforms.
The girls had a dozen top-three finishes, including winners in four individual events and both relays, to rack up 136 points. Henley was a distant second with 73 and North Valley third at 62 in the 16-school invite.
Junior Ellie Morton and sophomores Janice Hellesto, Natalie Dunn and Adele Beckstead notched victories for Philomath. Morton had the best mark in her high school career in the long jump by going 16 feet, 16.75 inches for the win. Beckstead had a PR as well in the 1,500 with a time of 5:02.44. Dunn clocked at 59.76 in the 400 and in the 200, Hellesto sprinted a 26.65 to break the tape.
The long relay won its event easily with a time of 4:11.61 — nearly 6 seconds ahead of the runner-up. Sophomore Melea Lattin, senior Ingrid Hellesto, Dunn and Janice Hellesto ran quarters. The short relay had a victory of nearly a second with Morton, Dunn and the Hellesto sisters coming in with a 50.32.
Dunn had a PR time of 27.15 in the 200 to finish second behind Janice Hellesto. Freshman Ana Candanoza ran the 3,000 in 11:07.79 for second place. Ingrid Hellesto had a PR time of 16.91 for second in the 100 hurdles and she also took third in the 300 hurdles at 49.80. Junior Ahnika Tryon was runner-up in the javelin with the best throw she’s ever had in the event at 118-3. Morton placed third in the high jump by clearing 4-10.
Other top-six finishes for the Warriors included Lattin with a PR in the 1,500 (fourth, 5:06.74), Morton in the 100 (fifth, 13.59), Janice Hellesto in the 400 (fifth, 1:01.88), freshman Maggie King in the 800 (sixth, 2:38.99), junior Madison Juhl in the discus (sixth, 99-5) and sophomore Hanna McDaniel in the 3,000 (sixth, 12:01.08).
Cottage Grove won the boys meet with 95 points to edge Philomath’s 88. Henley was third with 82 and Crook County fourth at 79. The Warriors had four wins at the meet — three individual and one relay.
Senior Micah Matthews led the way with victories in both the 110 high hurdles and the high jump. His time of 15.94 in the hurdles was a quarter-second ahead of the runner-up and he cleared 6-2 in the high jump. Matthews also placed third in the 300 hurdles with a PR time of 42.15.
Simon King put in an impressive performance in the 800 with a winning time of 2:01.71, which was a PR for the junior and nearly a second ahead of the runner-up. In the 4-by-400 relay, freshman CD Nuno, King, senior Nixon Mooney and sophomore Warwick Bushnell won in 3:27.98.
Senior Mateo Candanoza settled for second in the 3,000 with a time of 9:01.43, his best mark this season and a few seconds behind Cottage Grove sophomore Carter Bengtson, who broke 9 minutes with an 8:58.93. Freshman Leo Pausch was fifth in 9:51.57.
Bushnell had a third in the 400 in 51.44 and fifth in the 200 in 23.03 — both PR times. Senior Ben Hernandez placed third in the 1,500 in 4:11.93. Mooney came in fifth in the 400 with a 52.22.
Philomath’s 4-by-100 relay placed fifth with Nuno, Mooney, senior Brody Bushnell and Warwick Bushnell running legs for a time of 44.76.
The Warriors will next compete in the Oregon West Conference Championships May 19-20 at Sweet Home. The Oregon West JV meet is coming up on Monday at North Marion.