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Local thinclads excel at state meets


Seven young athletes earn state titles

by: JOHN DENNY - These three local athletes from the Putnam Raptors Track Club all won state titles at the 2014 USA Track and Field State Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships. Pictured are (from left) DeShanae Norman, Tieara McPherson-Norman and Lily Trimble.Local athletes made a strong showing at the 2014 USATF Junior Olympics Oregon Association State Track and Field Championships, held June 19-22 at Willamette University.

The local area had seven young athletes earn state titles in USATF Oregon Association Junior Olympic and Club state championship meets.

Heading the list were 16-year-old Tieara McPherson-Norman of Milwaukie, 10-year-old DeShanae Norman of Gladstone and 12-year-old Arthur Katahdin of Milwaukie.

McPherson-Norman, who will be a junior at Milwaukie High School this fall, won first place in all three of the events she entered. Competing for the Putnam Raptors Track Club, McPherson-Norman won the 15-16 girls 100-meter high hurdles (15.46), the 400-meter low hurdles (1:06.25) and the long jump (17-3).

McPherson-Norman, who last school year set a Milwaukie High School school record with a leap of 18-4-1/4 in the long jump, says she may have a shot at winning a national age-group title in the long jump at the USATF Junior Olympic Nationals, which are scheduled July 22-28 in Houston, Texas.

“Last year 18-1 won it,” said McPherson-Norman. “If I PR, it’s in the bag.”

McPherson-Norman noted that a lot of the top athletes in her age group have moved up to the 17-18 age division.

McPherson-Norman says she will be shooting for the low 60’s for the 400-meter hurdles at the USATF Junior Olympic Northwest Regional Championships, which are scheduled for the Fourth of July weekend in Spokane.

“My PR in the open 400 is 63 seconds,” she said. “I’d like to run that with hurdles.”

McPherson-Norman’s time for the 400 hurdles at state was a personal record. She’s only been hurdling two years.

DeShanae Norman, who will be a fifth grader at John Wetten Elementary School this fall, continued tough at the state Junior Olympic Championships, winning her fourth state title in the 400-meter run, with a lifetime best 1:07.22 clocking, competing in the 9-10 division.

Norman also won first place in the 9-10 girls 800-meter run, an event that is new for her this year. Her winning time of 2:40.43 was a personal record by three seconds and she won the race by three seconds.

Norman had an off-day in the long jump, but leaped 12-2-1/2, which was good for third place and a berth at regionals. Norman has a personal best of 13-4 in the 9-10 long jump this spring.

“The 400 is my favorite event, because I always win,” Norman said.

She says she has personal goals this year of 1:05 in the 400, 2:30 in the 800 and 14 feet in the long jump.

by: JOHN DENNY - Mustang Track Club athletes have had a lot to be proud of this spring. Theyve not only improved their performances in leaps and bounds, but many of them proved themselves among the best in the state for their age divisions at the recent State Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships. Pictured are Mustang Track Club members: (front, from left) Annelise Cronk, Brianna Stepper, Hope Alles and Sara Barbour; (second row) Arthur Katahdin, Natasha Rodriguez, Sonia Katahdin, Corinna Djeyfroudi and assistant coach Don Katahdin; and (back) head coach Fred Crowe, Malik Benson and Shyla Theel.Katahdin, a Rowe Middle School seventh grader who competes for the Milwaukie Track Club, has had an outstanding summer.

He was named the male 12-and-under “athlete of the meet” for the 2014 USATF State Club Championships, which were held in mid-June at Linfield College. He scored the most points of any male athlete in the younger age divisions to earn the honor.

At the Club Championships, Katahdin won the 11-12 boys 80-meter hurdles (13.79) and 1,500-meter race-walk (9:51); and he cleared 4-6, which was good for runner-up honors in the high jump.

“Before the meet, I was looking at the awards and I saw there was a recognition for being the best athlete, and I wanted to get it,” said Katahdin. “I didn’t think I’d actually get it, but I did. It’s pretty cool.”

by: JOHN DENNY - Arthur Katahdin of Milwaukie proudly displays his hardware for finishing as the high-point 12-and-under male athlete at the recent USA Track and Field State Club Championship Track and Field Meet.Katahdin continued his winning ways at the State Junior Olympic Championships. Competing with a casted broken arm, he still won the 11-12 boys 80-meter hurdles (13.57) and the 1,500-meter race-walk (9:41.17), and he placed second in the pentathlon — scoring 2026 points, and third in the high jump (4-7).

“I placed second in the hurdles last year, and the guy who beat me last year, I beat this year,” said Katahdin. “We were in different heats, but I beat him.”

Katahdin’s winning time for the race-walk was a 10-second PR.

His marks for the pentathlon were 13.74 in the 80-meter hurdles, 4-7 in the high jump, 5:24.94 in the 1,500, 13-1-1/2 in the long jump, and 21-11-3/4 in the shot put. He had to throw the shot put left-handed, because of the cast on his right arm.

Katahdin said of his goals at regionals: “I hope to get under 13 seconds in the hurdles, and I think I can do it. I’m going to work on my start, plus I won’t have a cast on, so I think I can do it. In the high jump, my goal is 4-9; and in the pentathlon, I want to score 2100 points.”

“In the race-walk, I want to get under 9:40,” Katahdin added. “Last year 9:40 would have got me fifth in the nation. I probably won’t go to [the nationals in] Houston because of the cost. But I’d definitely like to go.”

Katahdin, who also competes in soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball and cross country, said that track is definitely his favorite sport.

“I like it because it’s a team sport, but it’s not about beating other people,” Katahdin said. “It’s about beating your own best time, basically beating yourself.”

The Mustang Track Club had three other athletes win state championships at the Junior Olympic state meet.

Nine-year-old Sonia Katahdin, a third grader at Seth Lewelling Elementary, made some waves at the State Club Championships, winning her 9-10 age division in the girls 1,500-meter race-walk in 10:13.05, a personal record by some 30 seconds.

“It’s my first year doing track and now track and soccer are my favorite sports,” said Sonia Katahdin, who also plays basketball and swims. “My favorite event is the shot put. It’s something I can do pretty well and I know I can get a ribbon in it. And it’s actually calming. The shot put’s made of metal, so it’s kind of cold. And when you let it go, it’s kind of like loosening up your body, because you got rid of six pounds.”

Sonia Katahdin also did well at the Junior Olympic state meet, finishing runner-up in the 9-10 1,500-meter race-walk (10:49.41), seventh in the shot put (15-1) and eighth in the triathlon (353 points).

She says she’s improved her time for the race-walk by four minutes since the first of the season.

Nine-year-old Logan Law was another Junior Olympic state champion for the Mustang Track Club. The Ardenwald Elementary fourth grader won the 9-10 boys 1,500-meter run by eight seconds, with a time of 5:33.69. He also finished runner-up in the 800 (2:46.54) and placed fourth in the 400 (1:16.08).

Thirteen-year-old Malik Benson, an eighth grader at Sellwood Middle School, won the Junior Olympic 13-14 boys 100-meter dash (12.24), and he earned runner-up honors, with an effort of 30-5 in the triple jump.

Benson says he used starting blocks in the 100 for the first time a week before the state meet, and the state meet was the first time he had done the triple jump in competition. Both of Benson’s marks were personal records.

Benson, who also excels in football, said, “What I like about track is you’re on a team and they train you. But when you’re at a meet you’re on your own. It’s just you, and you don’t have to rely on anyone except yourself.”

Putnam Raptors had another local Junior Olympic state champion in 12-year-old Lily Trimble, a seventh grader who attends Alliance Charter Academy in Oregon City.

Trimble cleared 4-3-1/4 to win the 11-12 girls high jump. It was her third state age-group title in the event.

“My PR last year was 4-1,” said Trimble. “This year it’s 4-6. My goal is to jump 4-8 and win regionals. There’s a girl in Washington who has gone 4-7. I want to go 4-8 and beat her.”

Several other Mustang Track Club and Raptor Track Club athletes got the job done at the JO state meet, placing in the top eight and earning a spot at the USATF Junior Olympics Northwest Regional Championships.

Ten-year-old Aiden Schneider, a Riverside Elementary fifth grader, placed third in the 9-10 boys 1,500-meter race-walk, with a time of 11:22.66, and he placed sixth in the shot put, with a 2-1/2-foot PR of 19-11-1/2.

Ten-year-old Max Gillespie placed seventh in the 9-10 boys 800-meter run (2:59.58).

Ten-year-old Shyla Theel, a seventh grader at Rowe Middle School, earned state runner-up honors with an effort of 26-6-1/2 in the 9-10 girls shot put.

The Mustang Track Club 9-10 girls 4x100-meter relay team of Annelise Cronk, Brianne Stepper, Natasha Rodriguez and Sonia Katahdin earned fourth place, with a 1:14.99 clocking, in that event.

West Salem High School sophomore Keira McCarrell, who competes for the Putnam Raptors Track Club, did herself proud at the Oregon state Junior Olympic Championships, winning the 15-16 girls heptathlon and earning runner-up honors in the 100-meter dash (12.96), 100-meter high hurdles (16.43) and javelin (111-9).

She scored 3772 points, winning the heptathlon by just one point with a come-from-behind effort.

Her heptathlon marks were: 27.43 in the 200, 4-8 in the high jump, 2:37.36 in the 800, 16-4-3/4 in the long jump, 30-5-1/4 in the shot put, 117-5 in the javelin and 18.82 in the 100-meter high hurdles.

Twelve-year-old Sydney McCarrell of the Raptors Track Club earned Junior Olympic state titles in both the 11-12 girls shot put (28-10-3/4) and discus (72-0-1/4).

Taylor McCarrell of the Raptors earned third place in the 13-14 pole vault, and MaKenna Kellogg of the Raptors Track Club placed fourth in the 11-12 girls 3,000-meter run (14:46.06).