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Track and field: North Marion's Hannah Waite wins 300 hurdles title (Class 4A state championships)

by: JEFF GOODMAN / PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - North Marion senior Hannah Waite won a state title in the girls 300-meter hurdles race at the Class 4A track and field championships May 24 at Hayward Field in Eugene.With her hair braided and fingernails painted, Hannah Waite was missing one crucial accessory.

But not for long.

The North Marion senior rounded out her ensemble with a gold medal after a stellar performance in the 300-meter hurdles race, winning a state title during the Class 4A track and field championships May 24 at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Waite crossed the finish line in 45.41 seconds to defeat Ridgeview senior Dakota Steen (46.12) and make history for the Huskies.

She is the program’s sixth state champion on the girls side and first since Kelsey Kahle took first place in the high jump in 2005.

Waite, this year’s Tri-Valley Conference champion, entered the finals with the top seed after posting a time of 45.96 seconds in the prelims Friday.

Her victory came less than two hours after she ran an 18.12 to place eighth in the 100 hurdles — an event in which she was seeded second.

But after clocking a 15.47 in the prelims, Waite struggled in the finals as top-seeded Henley senior Willow Charlton (15.34) cruised to top honors.

Waite tallied 11 of the North Marion girls’ 12 points in the 4A standings, where they came in 24th place as North Valley (65) defeated Crook County (46) and Marshfield (40) for the team title.

Hannah Schweighardt was grateful just to know that she would be standing on the podium.

The junior crossed the finish line of the girls 100 finals in 13.07 seconds, taking eighth place in a race won by Kerissa D’Arpino with a 4A state-meet record of 11.94.

A day earlier, Schweighardt had earned a spot in the finals with a time of 12.89 seconds in the prelims. She had the fourth-fastest time in her heat and the seventh-best time overall.

“No matter what happens,” she tweeted, “I will be one of the top 8 fastest girls in the State.”

Waite and Schweighardt joined senior Tia Hunt and junior Jones for a ninth-place finish in the girls short relay race.

The quartet clocked in at 51.56 seconds in the timed finals, missing the podium by less than one-tenth of a second. North Valley (49.23) won the state title.

Veronica Norris tied for 10th place in the girls high jump with a height of 4-10. Banks senior Amy Hilger (5-5) edged Ridgeview sophomore Hosanna Wilder (5-4) to win the state title. Estacada junior Tori Johnson, the Tri-Valley Conference champion, tied for fourth place.

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Christian Parr took fifth place in the boys 800 to lead the Huskies on the boys side.

The senior, who won a district title in the event with a personal-best time of 1:58.57, crossed the finish line in 1:59.87 as Sisters senior Brandon Pollard (1:57.69) captured the title. Parr had clocked a 2:00.30 in the prelims.

Aaron Caballero secured a spot on the podium with an eighth-place finish in the boys 100, where he posted a time of 11.54 seconds.

The sophomore snuck into the event finals with an 11.66 in the prelims, taking fifth place in his heat but earning one of the two at-large bids after automatic berths were given to the three fastest sprinters in each heat.

Parr and Caballero combined to tally five points, putting North Marion at No. 28 on the 4A boys leaderboard. North Bend (51) edged Hidden Valley (50), Scappoose (48), Central (46) and Siuslaw (44) for the team title.