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Banks athletes shine at state

Two of the Braves' six state qualifiers earn spots on the medal stand with top-eight performances


EUGENE — Any time anyone on your team lands on the podium at state, that’s a pretty good day.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES
 - Banks senior Tyler Kemper attempts to clear the bar during the high jump competition Saturday at the Class 4A track and field state championships at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Of the half-dozen athletes the Banks track and field teams sent to last week’s Class 4A state meet, two finished among the top eight in their respective events to pick up medals and score points for the Braves. And though the other four did not, they all came pretty close.

The meet was staged last Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Tyler Kemper and Emmy Carrizales both finished eighth in jumping events. Carrizales picked up his medal in the long jump, adding to the seventh-place one he has from the triple jump, won at last year’s state meet.

On Friday, despite being bothered by a sore back, Carrizales bounded out 20 feet, 6¾ inches on his first attempt, which was good enough for him to advance to the nine-man final and eventually to snag a medal.

As it often is in the long jump, this was a close competition. Henley senior Dylan Castle went 21-2½, also on his first attempt, to win by just a quarter-inch over Klamath Union’s Robert Eiland. Carrizales was within three inches of fifth place.

“Very exciting,” Carrizales said. “I was hoping to get farther, but I’m experiencing back pains. I’m glad that I made finals and it was a good competition throughout everyone. Just an overall good experience. Everyone was really nice, people were cheering each other on, and it’s just good that we’re getting better marks every time.”

On Saturday, Carrizales finished a non-scoring 14th in the triple jump with a best of 39-2. Estacada’s Dillon Zheol won by more than a foot with a leap of 46-2½.

As for Kemper, he cleared one height in the high jump on Saturday morning, but it was enough to earn him a medal. In his state meet debut, the Braves senior cleared 5-10 on his first try, which wound up landing him in an eight-place tie with Henley’s Boot Clark.

Kemper cleared a personal best of 6-1 to win the Cowapa League title the week before. At state, he came close to going over 6-0, especially on his second and third attempts, but he just nudged the bar off both times to exit the competition.

“I was so close,” Kemper said. “I’m pretty sure that last one, I just clipped it with my heels.”

Newport senior Brendan Thurber-Blaser recorded a winning height of 6-6, one inch higher than Isaac Smith of Marshfield.

Carrizales and Kemper combined for 1½ points and a 32nd-place finish for Banks. Henley repeated with 83½ points, followed by Newport (59½), Tillamook (47) and North Bend (44½).

Two other Braves made finals in their respective events — the field events take nine competitors to finals — but unfortunately finished just off the awards stand. Jacob Cason did so in the boys shot put, throwing a best of 46-9½.

And Kim Jordan, Banks’ sole participant on the girls’ side, leaped a best of 15-8½ on both her first and third jumps, which wound up good for ninth place in the long jump, just 1½ inches short of a medal. Astoria’s Darian Hageman went 17-7½ on her third try to win the event by nine inches.

Hageman, who also won the high jump and triple jump, led the Fisherman to a repeat title with 109½ points, followed by Siuslaw (72), Marshfield (63½) and Molalla (49).

Also, Michael King tied for 11th in the boys pole vault, clearing a personal best of 13-¼. That was an improvement of just more than six inches over his performance at the Cowapa League district meet the week prior. And Levi Carreon ran a time of 41.95 for 11th place in the 300-meter hurdles.

For the Braves who did not place, the experience laid a solid foundation. King, Cason and Carreon are all juniors and Jordan is a sophomore. All four athletes were making their first appearance at state and will have the chance to improve upon their performances next season.