Norman, Katahdin and Vaughn capture gold

by: JOHN DENNY - Hurdles champion TIEARA NORMANSEATTLE — The Mustang Track Club had three champions at the USATF Pacific Northwest Junior Olympic Regional Championships, held here July 4-7.

Fifteen-year-old Tieara Norman of Gladstone, 11-year-old Arthur Katahdin of Milwaukie and 10-year-old Isabella Vaughn of Clackamas all won regional age-group titles.

Norman, who will be a sophomore at Gladstone High School this fall, was the class of the field in the 100-meter high hurdles for 15- and 16-year-old girls. Competing in a field that included girls a year older, she raced to a 15.93 clocking, winning the event by over two tenths of a second.

Norman also finished second to a 16-year-old in the arduous 400-meter hurdles (1:07.20), and she earned third place in the 15-16 long jump, with a leap of 17-0-1/2.

“She’s a first-year hurdler,” said Mustang Track Club head coach Fred Crowe. “Tieara is a hard worker, and I think in the long run, she’s going to be really good.... [Gladstone High School graduate] Ellannee Richardson has the state record for the high hurdles, at 14.85. And I think that record’s going down.”

Katahdin had no competition in the 11-12 boys 1,500-meter race walk, but he raced to victory in a 10:27.25 clocking, an improvement of over 18 seconds from his winning mark at the 2013 state Junior Olympic meet.

“I like race walk,” said Katahdin. “I improved my time by a minute at state.... Coach Fred [Crowe] said sometimes I don’t pick up my knees very high, and he said in race walk, that’s good.”

Katahdin also placed fifth in the 11-12 boys 80-meter hurdles (15.12) and sixth in the pentathlon. His marks in the pentathlon were 14.13 in the 80-meter hurdles, 23-0-1/3 in the shot put, 4-0-1/2 in the high jump, 11-1-1/4 in the long jump and 6:03.05 in the 1,500.

by: JOHN DENNY - Race walk champion ARTHUR KATAHDIN“Arthur’s 14.13 in the hurdles in the multi-events is a very good time,” said Crowe. “I think the fastest kid was around 14-flat. No one ran well in the open hurdles. I think the wind and nerves were factors.... He just started using the 3-step at state. If he has a good race, I think Arthur could surprise some people at nationals. The nice thing is he’s coming back in the same age division next year.”

A first-year competitor in track and field, Katahdin said of the sport, “I love it. It’s a fun way to exercise and you can set personal records and be proud of yourself.”

Vaughn won the high jump by two inches, clearing 3-9-1/4. She also placed eighth in the 9-10 girls triathlon, with marks of 3-10-1/2 in the high jump, 14-1-1/4 in the shot put and 36.74 in the 200-meter dash.

by: JOHN DENNY - High jump champion ISABELLA VAUGHN“Bella has a bright, bright future,” Crowe said. “She’s a hard worker and she really loves the high jump. I don’t think she’s going to nationals this year, because her family can’t afford it.... She’s gone four feet this year and 4-3 or 4-4 will probably win it at nationals.”

The Mustang Track Club also had two regional runners-up in Gladstone 9-year-old Deshanae Norman and Milwaukie eight-year-old Logan Law. Deshanae finished second only to 10-year-old Makena Wick of Seattle in the 9-10 girls 400-meter dash. Norman was clocked in a personal best of 1:08.76; Wick was clocked at 1:06.91.

Deshanae Norman also leaped 12-1-3/4, good for fourth place in the 9-10 girls long jump.

Law (5:52.59) finished second to William Schneider (5:44.20) of Rain City Track Club in the 8-and-under boys 1,500.

Although few MTC athletes will make the trip, eight MTC athletes qualified for this year’s JO nationals through top five finishes at the regional competition.

Other national qualifiers included: Natalia Chianello of Beavercreek, fourth in the 8-and-under girls 400 (1:20.66); Kaylie Burdette of Colton, fourth in the 8-and-under girls 800 (3:27.25); and Ben Scheible of Milwaukie, third in the 11-12 boys high jump (4-3-1/4).

This year’s nationals are scheduled for July 22-28 in Greensboro, NC.

“For the most part, the kids did as well or better than they did at state at regionals,” said Crowe. “I was really happy for them.”

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