James McCahon, struggling with tendonitis, two others win
Forest Grove is sending a small but strong contingent to the Class 6A state track and field meet, which begins its two-day run Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene.
'We're going to go down there and compete and have some fun,' Vikings coach Scott McCahon said.
Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski is returning to state for a second consecutive year after winning both the 800 meters and the 1,500 to highlight the Vikings' performance at the Pacific Conference district meet, staged this past Thursday and Friday at Hare Field in Hillsboro. The Forest Grove boys finished fifth in the team standings with 78 points, while the girls were eighth with 21. Newberg (139) and Hillsboro (118.5) won the boys and girls district meet titles, respectively.
'Geremia's been running well all year, and we just wanted to get him qualified in the district meet,' McCahon said.
Just a sophomore, Lizier-Zmudzinski has posted some of the best middle distance times in Oregon this season. At the district meet, he ran 4 minutes, 10.53 seconds in the 1,500 to turn back Glencoe's Jacob Stafford (4:14.66) for his first district title at that distance. Then, he fended off Stafford's teammate Ryan England, 1:58.67 to 1:59.10, to pull off the double. Lizier-Zmudzinski enters the state meet with the fourth-fastest time in Class 6A this season in the 800 (1:55.22) and the third-fastest in the 1,500 (3:56.40).
As for Forest Grove's other two state qualifiers, 'Tyler (Shipley) and James (McCahon) ... ran competitive races, and we're real excited to get those two in,' McCahon said.
Shipley, a senior, finished second to Hillsboro's Bo McCullough in the 3,000 at districts (9:15.29) and will be making his first appearance at the state track meet after placing 40th at the state cross-country meet this past fall. James McCahon, will be competing in his specialty, the 300 hurdles, in which he placed sixth at state in 2011.
McCahon was second to Sean McGetrick in the intermediate hurdles at districts. His time of 39.46 marked the first time he has dipped under 40 seconds and is currently the fifth-best time in Class 6A. He also placed fifth in the 400 and ran a personal best (51.86). McCahon's senior season has been one of perseverance, as he struggled with tendonitis in his foot earlier on.
'He's peaking at the right moment,' Scott McCahon said of his son, who, like Shipley, battled injuries earlier in the season.
While Shipley, James McCahon and Lizier-Zmunzinski weres were the only Vikings to advance to the state meet, Scott McCahon walked away from districts pleased with his teams' performances.
'Overall our kids ran really well, and a lot of PRs, a lot of kids did more than expected,' McCahon said.
Other boys who scored points included Ryan Milligan, who was third in the pole vault; Seth Berdhal, fourth in the 3,000; Harry Armstrong , fifth in the high hurdles; Paul Schot, fifth in the long jump; Tate Sully, fifth in the shot put; Tim Hutchuns, fifth in the discus and sixth in the shot put; Patrick Lash, seventh (tie) in the pole vault; and Zac Collins, eighth in the triple jump. The Forest Grove short and long relays took seventh and fifth, respectively.
Shannon Hammond led the girls team with a tie for fourth in the high jump and a fifth-place effort in the triple jump.
'She's had a great year,' McCahon said of Hammond, a sophomore. 'She's improved every week.'
Julia Khoury took seventh in the 800, Elizabeth Dahlke was sixth in the discus, Jessamy Taylor tied for seventh in the pole vault and Elena Torry-Schrag and Rubi Vergara-Grindell went 7-8 in the 3,000.