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Burgess helps lead Franklin boys to PIL 5A track title

by: JAIME VALDEZ Franklin High's Ian Burgess builds a big lead in the PIL 5A 1,500-meter final at Lewis & Clark College.

It was three events, three gold medals for Franklin High's Ian Burgess at the PIL 5A track and field meet at Lewis and Clark College.

Burgess took home the 3,000-meter title with a state-leading (for 5A) time of 8:54.22 on the first of two days of finals last week.

The next day, he pulled away from the rest of the field, winning the 1,500 by almost 10 seconds (4:07.22). The time was slightly slower than Burgess's best 1,500 this season (4:04.78), but he said he it was difficult running as the lead rabbit.

'I was just going for a decent race,' Burgess said. 'It's harder to know what your pace is.'

With weary legs, Burgess then lined up to take the baton for the second leg of the Quakers' 4x400 relay. When he got the baton, Franklin was in first place. He gutted out 400 meters and held onto the lead, helping the Quakers foursome (including Cameron Bratcher, Jackson Packham, Damian Woods) win the event in 3:33.29.

'It feels great. Especially having the 4x4,' Burgess said. 'Being with my team is just great.'

Burgess said it was difficult to find enough steam in his engine to hold onto the relay lead. He knew how much it meant to the rest of his team, though.

'With my team, it's just kind of like I have to do it,' Burgess said. 'Right when I got to about 300 (meters), I heard a kid behind me, and then it was just like, 'OK, for my team, second lap, I've got to keep the gap that our first guy made.' '

Burgess is headed to the state meet Friday and Saturday at Eugene's Hayward Field with the fastest time among 5A runners in the 3,000 this year and the third-best mark in the 1,500. He will face some tough competitors, notably Travis Neuman of Summit High. Neuman, a sophomore, is ranked first in 5A in the 1,500 meters (4:03.90) and second in the 3,000 (8:57.75).

Franklin's boys won the PIL 5A district title, too, and Burgess said the boys championship meant even more to him than the individual glory.

'I'm tremendously happy,' Burgess said. 'It's great. It's just what I wanted to do at district my senior year. In the years before, it hasn't really been a big issue for our team. But this year, from the beginning, that's what I've wanted.'

Franklin's boys, who scored 164 points, also got a big performance from Alex Sattley. He won all three jumping events.

Sattley went 21-3 ¾ in the long jump, 43-0 1/2 in the triple jump and 6-1 in the high jump. Sattley goes into the state meet with the fourth-best 5A triple jump mark in Oregon this year at 45-7.

'We scored big in the distance running and scored enough points in other events,' Quakers coach Jim Hennessey said, of the district meet. 'We just had a strong team effort. We were pretty much in every event. We gained points in every event.'

Cleveland's boys finished second with 131 1/2 points. Tyler Green won the 200 in 23.43. Ian McBride captured the discus, throwing it 127-4. Sam Smiley won the javelin with a throw of 158-0.

Wilson's boys came in third with 120 1/2 points. Reece Richardson won the 400 in 52.36, Stephen Quartuccio claimed the shot put with a throw of 45-7, and Jordan Shahrazi cleared 11-6 to win the pole vault.

Benson took fourth with 99 points. Demetrius Rhodes won the 800 in 2:02.55. Jaquan Warren, Matthew Dodier, Demetrius Rhodes and Wesley Gray turned in a time of 44.78 to nab the 4x100 relay. Gray, nursing an injury, was a close second in the 100.

Madison wound up fifth with 79 points. Schuller Rettig was the runner-up in the 300 hurdles, and the 4x400 relay team of Matt McConnell, Anthony Preston, Bryton Wilson and Rettig also took second.

Jefferson tallied 53 points for sixth place. Richard Ramsey won the 100 in 11.40, while the Democrats' Anthony Warren doubled in the hurdles, clocking 15.35 and 41.16.