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Bruins tag-team makes it four straight

THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Barlow teammates Madison Serafini, left, and Macie Allen celebrate with Bruins coach Scott Jones after receiving their first-place medals for the 400-meter relay. EUGENE — The Barlow sprinters are getting used to this climb to the top of the awards podium at Hayward Field.

The Bruins 400-meter relay team made it four straight tag-team titles Saturday at the 6A state track championships by blistering around the track in 47.34 seconds for a decisive victory against a packed field of contenders.

Sara Turner blazed around the final turn with the lead, and any doubt as to the result ended when Central Catholic bobbled its final exchange in the adjoining lane. The Rams didn’t drop the baton, but it took them a few tries before sending anchor runner Olivia Gabriel on her way. By that time, Barlow’s Renick Meyer was already three strides out front — a gap she would only widen while sprinting in front of the boisterous Hayward Field grandstands.

Senior Macie Allen got the Bruins out of the blocks with a solid start, and Madison Serafini carried that spot along the backstretch.

“We have been training for a moment like this for a long time,” Allen said. “It’s special to be able to win this race where you have people to hug at the end.”

Gresham senior Leah Russell scored a win in the 300-meter hurdles (43.84), breaking out to a sizable lead on the backstretch and holding a comfortable margin through the finish line.

The Gophers also saw rookie Fechi Nmreole win the 100-meter dash (12.13) in a race that saw the top four racers hit the line .09 hundredths apart. Nmreole credits her lean at the finish for giving her the win.

View photos at daveball.exposuremanager.com.

Look for expanded state meet coverage in our May 24 print edition.