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Metros stars shine brightly at state track

Besides Jesuit, Metro girls win four other events at state track
by: Miles Vance GOOD TIMES — Sunset’s Georgia Henderson lifts her arms in triumph after crossing the finish line in the 4 x 100-meter relay at Saturday’s Class 6A state track meet at Hayward Field.

EUGENE - Simply the best.

There is no other way, no better way, to characterize the Metro League's best female track and field athletes and what they accomplished at the Class 6A state meet.

While Jesuit ran away with the team title with 98 points, Southridge's girls took fourth overall with 39 points, and girls from five of the six Beaverton-area Metro League schools won events at the Class 6A state meet, held Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field.

For the Skyhawks, sophomore Sabrina Moore and senior Lainey Nash paved the way to their team's fourth-place finish, with Moore winning the 100 meters and taking second in the 200, and Nash grabbing fourth in the 400 to cap off a celebrated career but an injury-plagued senior season.

Moore, who will move back to North Carolina with her family this summer after two years in Beaverton, put an exclamation point on her Oregon experience by winning the 100 with a state's-best time of 11.96 seconds. In the process, she beat Westview junior Dominique Keel - the 2010 champ at 100 meters - who finished second at 12.07.

'It was really hard. There were plenty of nerves - I was nervous about everything,' Moore admitted after her win. 'But I'm excited. I'm going to miss Hayward Field, and Dominique, and everyone else.'

'I was really nervous too,' Keel said. 'Coming into today, I had stuff to lose so the nerves were even higher than last year.'

Keel came back strong later in the meet, though, to win the 200 at 24.58 (Moore was second at 24.72) and defend the title she first won a year ago.

'I feel a lot better,' Keel said. 'I was just trying to at least defend one of mine from last year. It feels really good.'

'It was good competition,' Moore added. 'She had it. I'm happy for her (but) I'm pretty proud of myself. I'm happy.'

Nash, meanwhile, overcame injuries to her sartorius muscle and a stress fracture in her leg to take fourth in the 400 at 57.51.

'There's been a lot of circumstances that kept me from being first,' said Nash, who will run at Colorado next year. 'But considering my injuries and my amount of training, I couldn't be happier with how I ran. I went out there and ran as fast as I could. I wish my time was a little faster, but I didn't hold anything back. I don't regret anything.'

Also scoring for Southridge were: the 4 x 100 team of Madison Smukalla, Nash, Lauren Vincent and Moore, second at 48.47; Tiara Prince, fifth in the high hurdles at 15.24; and Jordyn Searle, fifth in the long jump at 17-6.

Keel's efforts helped Westview's girls to a sixth-place finish with 28 points, that success also including: Maliea Luquin, fourth in the high hurdles at 15.06; and the 4 x 100 team of Emily Sippel, Luquin, Kelsie Jordan and Keel, fourth at 48.78.

While none of the Metro League's other teams cracked the top-10, it did create plenty of memorable highlights.

Among those were:

n Sunset's 4 x 100 relay team of Hayley Mackay, Maddie Thom, Taylor Coon and Georgia Henderson raced to victory with a time of 48.0.

'We were all really excited. We were all really confident,' said Mackay, a senior who ran the first leg. 'We just had to put it all together and we did.'

'It's pretty exciting. We just took what the crowd gave us and it pumped us up,' said freshman Taylor Coon, who ran the second leg.

'I was really freaking nervous. Probably the most nervous I've ever been,' added freshman Maddie Thom, who ran the third leg. 'This is huge.'

'I didn't see anyone next to me when I got (the baton) so I was like 'I better run,'' added senior anchor Georgia Henderson. 'I was so nervous, but our handoffs were amazing.'

n Aloha senior Taisha Moore capped an incredible high school career by winning the Class 6A triple jump for the third straight season. Moore jumped 39-0.75 to beat Gresham's Ify Onyima by more than a foot.

'It was a great finish for my senior year,' said the Portland State-bound Moore. 'I wanted a 40, but getting back to my 39s just sets it up for summer which I'm excited for.'

n Aloha senior Brianna Bain added a fourth in the javelin with a mark of 142-7.

n Other top Metro efforts came from: Coon, eighth in the 100 at 12.61; Beaverton's Justine Rennekamp, seventh in the javelin at 139-2, and eighth in the shot put at 39-1; Beaverton's Morgan Rennekamp, fifth in the high jump at 5-3; Beaverton's Alexys Martens, seventh in the pole vault at 10-06.