VandeBergh leads Forest Grove with third-place finish

The Vikings get Top 10 individual performances from senior Kristi VandeBergh and junior James McCahon

EUGENE - With just four participants at the Class 6A State Track and Field Championships, Forest Grove wasn't in the hunt for any team hardware last weekend, but two seniors got to end their careers on high notes, a junior positioned himself as an early state title favorite for 2012, and a freshman got an important dose of state meet experience.

Forest Grove senior Kristi VandeBergh ended two years of frustration at the state meet by finishing third in the girls shot put finals on Saturday.

After finishing ninth in the state as both a sophomore and junior, VandeBergh uncorked a toss of 41 feet, 11½ inches - a personal best by more than a foot - to claim third place behind Gresham's Haley Crouser (43-11¾) and Jesuit's Elizabeth Brenner (45-4¾).

On the boys side, junior James McCahon ran a personal best time of 40.01 seconds in the preliminaries of the 300-meter hurdles on Friday, and he followed it up with a sixth-place finish in the finals on Saturday, running 40.18.

With three seniors finishing ahead of him, McCahon will likely be a favorite to contend for a title at next year's state meet.

Elsewhere, senior Carson Kennedy capped an excellent career with an 11th-place finish in the boys triple jump. Kennedy, a versatile athlete who narrowly missed qualifying for state in two other events, came up with a leap of 41-9¾ to nearly crack the Top 10.

Forest Grove's final state qualifier, freshman Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski, got his first taste of state meet competition after bursting onto the scene with a district championship in the 800 meters two weeks ago.

The rookie ran hard but trailed for most of the race on Friday and finished 15th (2:01.80).