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Rangers relay wins state gold


The Estacada girls pile up 34 points in Eugene to finish sixth in the team standings

EUGENE — Estacada’s 400-meter relay team came into the state meet with the fastest time at the 4A level, and they took little time proving that fact when the starting gun sounded Saturday at Hayward Field.

Alexis Chavez exploded out of the blocks and was the first to get rid of the baton, handing off to Tori Johnson who stretched out the lead in front of the crowded grandstands along the backstretch.

Ashley Teel took it from there, speeding around the final turn before handing off to Genna Settle a full two strides ahead of the pack.

“Genna takes off fast, so I knew I had to push my hardest and get her that baton,” Teel said. “Once she had it, I knew we had the win.”

Settle, the defending 100-and 200-meter champion, only widened the gap on the way to the finish line. The Rangers clocked in at 49.10 seconds — more than half-a-second ahead of runner-up Cottage Grove.

“We got off to a good start and had smooth handoffs,” Johnson said. “It was our last run together, so we really wanted to win it.”

Settle also turned in state-record times in the 100 and 200 later in the day, although it wasn’t enough to collect any more gold medals.

In the 100 final, Settle zoomed down the middle lane with North Valley twins Venessa D’Arpino and Kerissa D’Arpino on either side. Venessa was first out of the blocks and hit the finish line first in 12.04 seconds, while Settle leaned at the line to edge Kerissa by .03 hundredths for second place.

In the 200 final, Settle came in third while Venessa D’Arpino completed the sprint sweep in 24.11 seconds, shattering the state record by more than half a second. Settle’s third-place time of 24.74 would have been enough to easily win the 5A and 6A races.

Settle took fourth in the long jump during Friday’s opening session, stretching out to 17-feet-1 1/2-inches on her final attempt.

She scored a team-high 21.5 points.

Teammate Tori Johnson was fifth in the high jump (4-10) and eighth in the 200 (26.22).

Estacada finished sixth in the girls team tally with 34 points.

The Tri-Valley League had three teams in the top six overall, with Gladstone winning the meet with 65 points and Molalla tying for third place with 56.

N On the boys side, junior Justin Rich won the discus title on the final throw of the competition. He went 157-11 on his first attempt, spinning the metal disc five inches farther than Dallin Shurts of Banks. Rich maintained that slim margin late into finals before Seaside’s Lucas Clark moved into the lead at 161-3 in the fifth round of throws.

Down to his last attempt, Rich sent the disc spinning 164-2 to claim the win. He had the best series of the competition by almost 10 feet.

Rich came in fourth in the shot put (47-8 1/4) to finish with 15 team points.

Teammates Gary Zheol placed 10th in the triple jump (41-1 1/2) coming up a hand print short of making it into the finals.