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Track and field: Devon Fortier sweeps sprints, joins victorious Canby relays at TRL district championships

by: JEFF GOODMAN / PAMLIN MEDIA GROUP - Devon Fortier (front) takes the baton from fellow junior Noah Walker for the final leg of the boys 1,600-meter relay at the Three Rivers League track and field district championships May 17 at Cougar Stadium. The Canby boys won both relay races.Asked whether he still thinks about the anterior cruciate ligament that he tore less than a year ago, Devon Fortier responded with conviction.

“Not at all,” he said, and his performance at the Three Rivers League championships seemed to offer definitive proof.

The junior swept the two boys sprints and ran legs on both victorious relay squads to lead the Canby track and field team, which earned state bids in several events throughout the district meet May 15-16 at Cougar Stadium.

Fortier won the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.81 seconds, and he added another first-place finish in the 200 with a time of 22.06 seconds.

He will by vying for state titles against an elite field at the Class 6A championships, which are scheduled for May 23-24 at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Fortier, who took third place in both sprints at last year’s OSAA meet, is tied with Eugene-Sheldon senior Mitch Horning for the top seed in the 200 this year. He holds the fourth seed in the 100 behind Horning, Sheldon senior Nathan Starnes and Thurston senior Cody Warner.

Fortier, who tore his ACL at a football showcase event this past summer, said he was thankful just to be healthy in time for the spring track season.

“I knew I was going to come back, but not this quickly, this strong,” he said. “The first couple races, (the injury) was kind of in the back of my mind. But once I got used to it, and my adrenaline gets going, I don’t feel anything. ... It feels really good to come out here and represent Canby well.”

Added longtime coach Tom Millbrooke: “It’s a miracle of modern medicine.”

Fortier and the Cougars captured district titles in both boys relays.

He joined seniors Dominic Shorter and Timmy Johnson and junior Noah Walker on the 400-meter relay squad, which clocked a time of 41.80 seconds to edge Portland-Grant (42.45).

Fortier, Johnson, Walker and junior Josh Payne finished the meet with a time of 3:24.28 in the 1,600-meter relay, defeating Lake Oswego (3:26.33).

Canby enters the 6A championships with the top seed in the short relay and the No. 6 time in the long relay.

“We have a lot of raw speed — it’s the handoffs we need to work on,” said Walker, who also earned an at-large state bid in the 200 with his third-place time of 22.54 seconds. “We have a lot of confidence and we just go out and try to have fun, but we do like the bigger meets. The better the competition, the better we run.”

Payne, who finished five-hundredths of a second short of a state bid in the 800 with a time of 1:58.57 — he nearly picked off Lakeridge junior Tim Jordan at the finish line — ran arguably the most important leg of the Cougars’ long relay.

Trailing the leading pack about halfway into his lap, Payne maneuvered his way to the front for a lead that Walker and Fortier preserved the rest of the way.

“I gave it my all in the 800, but the gap was a little too much,” Payne said. “In the relay, not all the guys have the kick in the home stretch, so I just snuck around them on the curve because they don’t see me coming.”

Canby tallied 95 points to take third place in the team standings behind Oregon City (128.5) and Lakeridge (103).

Johnson, an aspiring decathlete, advanced to the 6A meet in two additional events.

He took third place in the 110 high hurdles, finishing behind Clackamas senior Connor McLean and Lake Oswego senior Connor Bracken, but he bested the state-qualifying standard with his time of 14.98 seconds. Johnson also captured one of two wildcard state bids in the boys pole vault with his mark of 13 feet 1 inch.

But he’s added relay competition to his list of responsibilities this season.

“He wanted to do it,” Millbrooke said. “And he makes us stronger.”

Jasmer wins district javelin title

Payton Jasmer continued her phenomenal season in the girls javelin competition, winning a district title with a mark of 130 feet.

The freshman, who broke the school record in the seventh meet of her high school career, has the No. 2 state seed behind Roseburg junior Gabrielle Kearney (151-3).

“She’s very gifted with her arm,” Millbrooke said of Jasmer, who was a member of Canby’s wrestling program this past season. “And she’s still figuring it out. I talked to (Cougars wrestling coach) Jeremy Ensrud about her, and he said sometimes they’d play dodgeball in the wrestling room. Whenever Payton got the ball, the boys would hide.”

Hannah Knutston secured another state bid in the triple jump with a distance of 36-1, placing behind only Lakeridge senior Saskia McNairy (37-4.25).

Canby tallied 59 points to take sixth place behind Grant (127), Lakeridge (124.5), Oregon City (113.66), Clackamas (103) and Lake Oswego (90).

***

AT A GLANCE

Three Rivers League track and field district championships

May 15-16 at Canby High School

Boys: 1. Oregon City, 128.5; 2. Lakeridge, 103; 3. Canby, 95; 4. Clackamas, 85; 5. Grant, 84; 6. Lake Oswego, 80; 7. West Linn, 79.5.

Girls: 1. Grant, 127; 2. Lakeridge, 124.5; 3. Oregon City, 113.66; 4. Clackamas, 103; 5. Lake Oswego, 90; 6. Canby, 59; 7. West Linn, 43.83.

GOING TO STATE

Boys: Devon Fortier (100 and 200), Noah Walker (200), Timmy Johnson (110 high hurdles and pole vault), Fortier/Walker/Shorter/Johnson (short relay), Fortier/Walker/Johnson/Payne (long relay).

Girls: Payton Jasmer (javelin), Hannah Knutson (triple jump).