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Century's Weber a star in the making

A year ago, Braanna Weber had a good freshman track season.

This year, the Century sophomore could be on the cusp of a great one.

“She’s definitely a raw, natural talent,” Century coach John Gill said last week. “She’s an athlete. She really is.”

In 2012, Weber broke 5 minutes in the 1,500 meters and 11 minutes in the 3,000, definitely respectable marks for a female high school distance runner in Oregon. At the end of the season, she finished second in the 1,500 at the Pacific Conference district meet to qualify for the Class 6A track and field state meet. And in Eugene, she came within two-tenths of a second of breaking the school record in the 1,500 while finishing 12th in a quality field.

But Weber — whose first name is pronounced Bray-anna but who often goes by Bree — must have turned some heads in Oregon prep track and field circles when she opened up this season on March 16 with a time of 2 minutes, 20.5 seconds in the 800 meters. The mark was the best time in the state regardless of classification until March 20 and was still tied for fifth-fastest heading into Wednesday, when Century traveled to Hare Field for a dual meet against Hillsboro (after press deadline).

Competing in the Aloha Preview Frosh/Soph Invitational, Weber executed Gill’s pre-race instructions to perfection, won the event, and sliced almost nine seconds off of her personal-best time from last season.

“I was actually really amazed,” Weber said about her performance at Aloha. “I didn’t know that I could run that fast because we just had time trials and I ran a 2:30, so I was like, hopefully I can run a 2:25 or something.”

Instead, Weber ran that 2:20 and broke the school record after going out in 70 seconds for the first lap, per Gill’s instructions.

“She hit it bang on, 70 seconds, and the little girl from Summit was there with her,” Gill recalled. “It was a perfect storm, so to speak, because she kept pushing, and the girl from Summit kept pushing her. And she actually went 70-70, so perfect even splits. I still think she can go probably four or five seconds faster.”

Weber’s athletic talent is showing through despite the fact that she is still a relative novice when it comes to running. She did run track in middle school at Brown — Gill said she mostly raced the 200 and 400 — and her training at Century was relatively light last year while she tried out a number of events, including the 300 hurdles, in which she dipped under 50 seconds before the end of the season.

“Figuring out where she was going to be the most successful and getting her to enjoy the sport of track and field was my big goal,” Gill said about Weber’s freshman year on the oval. “And now this year, as a sophomore, we’ll try and take it up a notch in regards to her training.”

For her part, Weber sounds ready to put in the work.

“Definitely with some more training this year, I feel like the long distance is going to help me, because then I can go really fast for a long time,” noted Weber, who also plays varsity basketball for Century and plans to turn out for cross-country for the first time this fall.

Gill is not making any decisions at this point regarding the event or events on which Weber will eventually place her focus. His plan for this season is for Weber to give her best efforts in an 800, a 1,500 and a 3,000 and see how she performs. As for Weber, she would like to get the school record in the 1,500 — her time of 4:56.23 at state last year just missed Kailee Green’s 4:56.11 standard from 2011 — and see if she can knock her 3,000 time to about 10:40.

And when it comes to Weber’s early success on the track, she is just taking it in stride and looking forward.

“There’s no pressure. I enjoy running, so it’s kind of just this year, I know what I can do,” Weber said. “And so I’m just going to try to take it a little farther this year and maybe get some good runs in and see what I can do.”

Amanda Miles can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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