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Crusaders storm to Metro district title

Jesuit's girls now set their sights on defending their Class 6A title
by: Miles Vance DISTRICT STARS — Jesuit’s Garmai Gorlorwulu (center) and teammate Mackenzie Mathews race to a 1-2 finish in the 100-meter high hurdles at Friday’s Metro League district meet at Aloha High School.

ALOHA - Nothing and nobody.

That's the answer to the question 'Who was going to stand in the Jesuit girls' way at the Metro League district track meet?'

The Crusaders, the reigning Metro League and Class 6A champions, blew through the Metro meet - held May 11 and Friday at Aloha High School - like a tornado, winning seven of the meet's 17 events, took second in seven more and easily won the team title with 195 points. Second-place Southridge was far back at 104 and Sunset third at 91.

As has been the case so often with Jesuit in the past, the Crusaders' distance crew played a huge role in their victory. Seniors Annamarie Maag and Payton Schutte went 1-2 in both the 1500 and 3000 meter races, and teamed with Adrienne Demaree for a 1-2-3 finish in the 3000.

With the state meet looming ahead on Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field, neither Maag nor Schutte could quite believe their high school careers were nearing their end.

'It's weird that it's our last (district meet),' Maag said. 'It feels like our freshman year was just yesterday.'

'The four years have gone by so quickly,' Schutte agreed. 'It's crazy that we're already seniors and we're moving on to the next level in a couple months.'

Maag and Schutte took it to the next level in the 3000 final on May 11, Maag finishing first in 10 minutes, 3 seconds and Schutte in 10:16.53 (Demaree was third at 10:33.72).

Then, though struggling slightly with the warmer temperatures, they came back for another 1-2 finish in Friday's 1500, Maag crossing the line at 4:39.52 and Schutte at 4:43.62.

'My legs were kind of shaky because we're not used to running in this hot of weather,' Maag said. 'But I think this race kind of built some confidence for (running in the heat) because obviously it's going to be warmer down there at state.'

'My legs kind of felt the same way,' Schutte admitted. 'They felt like the end of a 400 the whole time, but I'm just glad I have a second chance to get a PR at state.'

Jesuit also dominated a powerful Metro field in the hurdles, with senior Garmai Gorlorwulu winning her first Metro title in the 100 high hurdles at 14.41 over junior teammate Mackenzie Mathews (she was second at 14.55), and Mathews coming back to take the intermediates at 44.30.

'I knew Mackenzie was right there,' said Gorlorwulu, the reigning state champ. 'In fact, she got a little bit ahead of me but then I kicked it into overdrive.'

Jesuit's other district wins came from: senior Elizabeth Brenner in the shot put at 44 feet, 5.25 inches; junior Jill Doyle in the pole vault at 11-8; and junior Sierra Arlauskas in the long jump at 17-0.

Other top finishers for the Crusaders included: Jacki Ritacco, third in the 100 at 12.36 and third in the 200 at 25.39; Olivia Artaiz, second in the 800 at 2:16.70; Megan Mullaney, third in the 800 at 2:16.95; Brenner, second in the javelin at 142-0; Elaina Kim, second in the pole vault at 11-2; Arlauskas, second in the triple jump at 37-3.

After her win in the high hurdles, Gorlorwulu expressed what many of the Crusaders were feeling as they prepared to defend their state championship.

'I'm just excited to go back down,' she said. 'That was my goal. I didn't tell anyone, but that was my goal and I got back down to state. Anything else is just icing on the cake.'