A league champion in volleyball and a record-setter during the track season

by: ESTACADA NEWS: DAVID BALL - Estacada sophomore Tori Johnson lands in the high jump pit after claiming the Tri-Valley district title in the event this spring. Estacada sophomore Tori Johnson knows how to meet the challenge when the bar is raised. At this year’s district track meet, she was among five athletes left when the high jump bar went to 5 feet. The final jumper in the rotation, she watched as everyone else knocked the bar off, their dreams of a blue ribbon dashed. But facing her final attempt, Johnson trotted toward the pit, twisted her body in the air and flopped cleanly onto the mat with the bar untouched for the win.

It’s that ability to come through when the stakes are at their highest that makes Johnson our choice for Estacada’s Outstanding Three-Sport Athlete in 2012-13.

“Her length is pretty amazing,” Rangers track coach Jon Erickson said. “She has these big strides and a great ability to get up in the air.”

Johnson qualified for state in four events, getting onto the awards stand in the high jump (fifth) and 200-meter dash (eighth).

But the highlight for Johnson came in the record-setting 400-meter relay, running the second leg throughout the season. The tag-team saw their time drop throughout the season, culminating with a convincing win at the 4A state meet where the group led from start to finish.

“You really started to see her competitive drive come through when it became apparent that relay could be something special this year, and that drive carried over to all her other events,” Erickson said.

At 5-feet-11, Johnson anchored the middle of the net during the volleyball season, finishing with the team’s highest hitting percentage (.300) while her jump-serve was a potent weapon out of the back court.

Estacada won a share of the Tri-Valley volleyball title before seeing its season end in a heartbreaking five-set come-from-behind loss to Astoria in the playoffs. The Fishermen went on to play in the 4A championship match.

“She’s very athletic and very competitive,” Rangers volleyball coach Shawna Lippert said. “She is an important player for us and adds a lot to whatever team she is a part of.”

Johnson was also a key cog on the basketball team, strong enough to score near the basket and pull down rebounds and quick enough to get past defenders on the perimeter.

“She’s only tapping into her abilities,” Lippert said. “We’ve only seen a small part of what she is capable of in the future.”

? Other nominees were Alexis Chavez, Samantha Hammon, Katie Haley, Ryan Vauthier, Kyle Beguelin, Jade Loucks-Miller, Bridgette Cade-May, Allyson Wickerham, Cole Eakin, Luke Youngberg, Tristan Thom, Madison Haga and Kayla Searls.

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