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Banks will send six to state meetin Eugene

Braves enjoy several strong performances at the district meet

The Banks track and field teams picked a great time to come up clutch.

Competing in the always-tough Cowapa League district meet last week, six Braves recorded top-two finishes and are moving on to the Class 4A state meet at Hayward Field in Eugene. The district meet was staged last Thursday and Friday by Scappoose at St. Helens High School.

On the boys’ side, Banks crowned two league champions and finished in fourth place as a team with 98 points, behind Scappoose (145), Tillamook (133) and Seaside (110).

The Banks girls advanced one individual to state in Kim Jordan, and several others came close. Defending Class 4A state champion Astoria cruised to the district title with 234 points, followed by Scapppose (143), Valley Catholic (90), Banks (89), Tillamook (67) and Seaside (30).

For the Banks boys, Tyler Kemper and Jacob Cason emerged as district champions. Kemper leaped a personal best of 6 feet, 1 inch in the high jump to win the event by three inches. Teammate Emmy Carrizales matched runner-up Jaxson Smith of Seaside with a 5-10 clearance but finished third on the countback.

But Carrizales also extended his season by another week with runner-up results in the long and triple jumps. The senior finished second to Smith in the long jump, going 20-9 to Smith’s 20-11. And he also advanced in the triple jump, bounding to 40-6½ for second, two inches behind Tillamook’s Kaler Moore.

Cason delivered his title in the shot put, extending his personal best by nearly 10 inches with a heave of 47-4¼. That toss topped the field by nearly a foot.

Michael King will give the Braves another state competitor in the field events. He went 12-6 in the pole vault. While winner Raiden Bowles of Seaside cleared 14-1 to dominate the field, King was 18 inches better than anyone else. Teammates Beck Cameron (11-0) and Elijah Denker (10-6) were third and fourth, respectively.

Banks also advanced one individual on the track thanks to Levi Carreon. His better event all season has been the 110-meter hurdles — an event in which he was the league leader for much of the spring — but in Friday’s final, he clipped a hurdle, fell and managed just eighth place (21.54). He rallied later in the meet in the 300 hurdles, running his second personal record in that event in as many days to finish second. Seaside’s William Garvin won in 41.23 to Carreon’s 41.39. Carreon had not gone under 43 seconds prior to the district meet.

Other Banks boys scorers were Jared Sandhagen (shot put, fourth, 44-6½; discus, seventh, 116-9), Dylan Shafer (discus, fifth, 118-4; shot put, seventh, 40-3½), Chase Massey (200, sixth, 24.44; javelin, eighth, 137-9); Mitchell Merrit (110 hurdles, sixth, 18.09; 300 hurdles, seventh, 43.95), the 400 relay of King, Massey, Max Loman and Bennett Turner (sixth, 47.36), and the 1,600 relay of Carrizales, Carreon, Blake Markham and Erik Larsen (sixth, 3:43.85).

Jordan was a surprise second-place finisher in the girls long jump to pick up her first-ever state bid. The sophomore entered the competition seeded about sixth, but she bested her personal record by nine inches, going 16-4½. That mark edged Rachel Justice of Valley Catholic by a quarter-inch for the league’s second and final berth to state. Astoria’s Darian Hageman repeated as champion with an 18-3 effort, the Class 4A leader this spring.

Jordan also shined on the track, finishing fifth in both the 100 (13.41) and 200 (27.64). In Thursday’s preliminaries, she ran a lifetime best in the 200 of 26.85, dipping under 27 seconds for the first time. Along with Jamie Borchers, Jaime Evers and Karlie Gerlinger, she also took fourth in the 400 relay (52.38).

Several other girls fell just short of qualifying for state. Kylie Wells took third in the pole vault (9-0), Borchers was fourth in the 400 (1:01.70), and Gracie Nelson and Aspen Slifka went 4-5 in the high jump with 4-10 clearances, just two inches below the state qualifying standard.

And the long relay team of Borchers, Evers, Nelson and Slifka finished third in 4:10.69, which was just .74 seconds off the school record, as well as only 1.09 seconds slower than winner Scappoose. It is the seventh-fastest time in Class 4A this year, but the Braves did not best the state automatic qualifying mark and will have to stay home.

Other Banks girls scorers were Grace Buchanan (javelin, fourth, 110-10), Aspen Slifka (400, sixth, 1:03.62), Ariel Slifka (300 hurdles, fifth, 50.89; 100 hurdles, sixth, 17.70; high jump, seventh, 4-8), Maddy Standley (fifth, shot put, 31-6; sixth, discus, 96-7), Hannah White (3,000, sixth, 12:15.28; 1,500, seventh, 5:31.04), Marissa Dotson (800, sixth, 2:40.44), Evers (400, seventh, 1:04.24; 200, eighth, 28.59), Anna Klein (800, seventh, 2:43.85), Aubrey Kimmel (300 hurdles, seventh, 53.17), Ellie Schmidlin (javelin, seventh, 95-2), and Kassidy Selfaison (long jump, eighth, 14-8).