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Timberwolf stars soar at the state meet

Track: Tualatin junior Kristin Coffman takes second place in the high jump
by: DAN BROOD UP AND OVER — Tualatin junior Kristin Coffman soars over the bar during the high jump competition Saturday at the Class 6A state track and field championships. Coffman placed second in the event.

EUGENE - It certainly seems like Kristin Coffman is all about having fun.

And about making new friends.

And doing funny faces. And, well, being sort of goofy.

But, you know what, she can also jump.

She can really jump.

Coffman, a Tualatin High School junior, showed just how high she can jump as she soared to second place in the high jump competition at the Class 6A state track and field championships, held Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field.

'Oh my gosh, this was so much fun,' Coffman said after receiving her second-place medal. 'I love this event. I love this entire week. You make friends and have fun.'

Coffman was joined at the state meet by three of her Tualatin teammates - senior Maddie Anderson, junior Cameron Ericksen and junior Heather Wisner - who also turned in strong marks at the event.

Speaking of strong marks, Coffman earned second place in the high jump with a height of 5 feet, 5 inches, which tied her season-best mark for the event. It also tied Hillsboro's Michelle Ellis for the top mark of the competition, but Ellis claimed first place due to having fewer misses.

But that didn't wipe the smile from Coffman's face.

'I'm happy with how I did,' she said. 'I was stoked out of my mind with 5-5, that ties my season P.R.'

Coffman certainly seemed to enjoy competing in the high jump event with Anderson as well as Ellis and Century's Shelby Peterson, who she bonded with the week before at the Pacific Conference district meet. But she also had to focus and come through in the clutch - over and over again.

'There was a lot of tension,' she said.

Coffman was good on her first attempt with the bar at 5-0, 5-2 and 5-3. She missed on her first try at 5-4, but squeaked over the bar on her second attempt at that height.

'I had to take a deep breath after that,' she said.

The bar was moved to 5-5 with four competitors remaining.

Coffman missed on her first try at that height. On her second attempt, she just barely grazed the bar, but it was enough to knock it off the standards, leaving her one last try.

She wouldn't be denied.

With everything on the line, Coffman again stepped up and cleared the bar - leading to a jubilant celebration as she jumped off the mat.

'That was the biggest,' she said of the jump.

With the bar moved to 5-6, just Coffman and Ellis remained in the competition. Neither one of them was able to clear that height, leaving Ellis with the title.

'I just took too many jumps,' Coffman said. 'I was so tired. I felt like a zombie out there.'

But a happy zombie.

'I am so happy,' she said. 'It was tough not running the 800 this year, but everything worked out for the best.'

Throughout the tense moments of the high jump event, Coffman went over and talked to Anderson, her jumping teammate the last three years.

'There's something about Maddie,' Coffman said. 'She just gives you a comforting look. We're rooming together down here and we've been crazy. We're having a blast.'

The second place finish marked the third straight year Coffman has placed in the high jump at the state meet. She was sixth as a freshman and third last year. That has her looking forward to next year.

'I hope next season is the true golden year,' she said with a smile.

Anderson also did well in the high jump competition, finishing in a tie for ninth place with a height of 5-2.

Ericksen, competing at the state meet for the first time, placed fifth in the boys pole vault competition with a height of 13-6.

'That means a lot to me,' Ericksen said of his fifth-place finish. 'The last two years at district, I finished seventh. That was upsetting, so I was real glad to get here.'

That motivation, along with working most of the year with the Willamette Striders Track Club, helped Ericksen reach his state meet goal this year.

'This was real exciting,' said Ericksen, who has a season-best height of 14-1 in the pole vault. 'It didn't go as well as I wanted, but I'm glad I didn't no-height.'

And he's already looking ahead to his senior year.

'My hopes are big,' he said. 'I want 16 feet. I know I can do it. If it's in your head, you can do it. I'm keeping a positive attitude, and the experience I got here this year will help.'

Wisner placed 12th in the girls pole vault competition at state with a height of 9-6, which tied her season-best mark for the event.

The Sunset boys and the Jesuit girls claimed the Class 6A state team track and field championships.