Gresham's Haley Crouser wins three events and is the high scorer at the state meet with 33 points across four events
EUGENE - Gresham junior Haley Crouser is used to dominating on the big stage. Her competitors know that they are fighting for second place when she arrives at the meet. But Saturday featured a new twist when Crouser stepped into the starting blocks for the high hurdles alongside Jesuit senior Mackenzie Matthews, who had been posting the top times in the state all season long.
'She was down in the mid 14s (seconds) and it looked like a battle for second on paper,' father and Gresham assistant Dean Crouser said. 'But one thing with Haley is that she's feisty - she likes to win. If it came down to being even at the end, I'd have to give her the edge. She's such a fighter.'
That's exactly how the race played out.
Crouser was quick out of the blocks and the duo raced side-by-side nearly the whole way with Crouser moving slightly in front without about three hurdles to go.
'I've been working on my starts a lot,' Haley said. 'I wanted to be with her at the first hurdle and see who could push through the last nine.'
Matthews went low over the last barrier to gain slightly, but Crouser had enough momentum to carry her through the line in 14.58 seconds - .03 hundredths ahead.
'I could feel her through the whole race. I was so excited when I looked up and saw my name come up first on the board,' Haley said. 'That was the highlight of the whole meet for me.'
Look for extended coverage of Gresham's run to the third-place trophy in the May 30 edition of The Outlook.