BY BRADEN JOHNSON/PORTLAND TRIBUNE/Crusaders overpower Class 6A field to win third title in a row

TRIBUNE PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - Isabelle Ford leads off the 4x100 relay on Saturday for the Jesuit Crusaders, who rolled to their third Class 6A championship in a row at Hayward Field.EUGENE — With three individual champions and good depth, Jesuit High cruised to its third consecutive Class 6A girls track and field championship at Hayward Field.

The Crusaders scored 92 points. South Eugene and Sunset tied for second with 42.

The Crusaders got 71 points on the track, scoring in every race except the 100-meter hurdles.

And pole vaulter Annjolina Wessels and javelin thrower Sara Sanders joined 3,000-meter runner Makenna Schumacher as individual champions.

Jesuit coach Nick Davies said the Crusaders knew going in they could win another team title "if they did what they were capable of doing."

Still, he said, "in a big track meet, you don't expect all these things to happen at once."

Three individual victories on Friday got the Crusaders in sync.

Schumacher, a junior, started it off by repeating as winner of the 3,000. Her time of 9 minutes, 57.99 seconds beat runner-up Lucy Huelskamp, a sophomore rival from Sunset, by nearly four seconds..

Sanders, a junior, won the javelin by two inches with a throw of 43 feet, 2 inches.

Senior Wessels then dominated the pole vault, clearing 11-9 on her third and final attempt to edge Centennial's Savannah Schultz, who was ahead on misses through 11-6 1/4.

Jesuit received a boost all weekend from its upper-class leadership, and 14 Crusaders wound up scoring as Jesuit got points in 11 of the 17 events.

"They knew they had that target on them," Davies said of his athletes. "It didn't deter them. It didn't make them nervous. They were just excited to show up every day and work hard."

Jesuit's point total exceeded its winning counts of 71 a year ago and 65 in 2016. It was the highest winning total since the Crusaders rang up 96 in 2011. Benson owns the big-school record with its 100 points in 2002.

Jesuit seniors Isabelle Ford and Lena Colson were the lead-off and anchor runners on the 4x100 relay team that included juniors Alisha Lowe and Gabby Navarro and finished fourth in 48.48.

"We had our second leg get injured pretty early in the season, and she was never able to make it back fully to run with us," Ford said. "So our second leg (Navarro) was kind of a filler for state, but she really stepped up."

In the 100, Colson took third (12.20) and Ford sixth (12.45).

Colson later set a PR of 24.81 in the 200 to finish second.

In the 800, freshmen Molly and Paige Grant placed second and fourth, respectively, in PRs of 2:12.27 and 2:13.70. And, Crusaders junior Hallie DeVore took fifth in 2:14.54.

"Paige and Molly, they're faster than me, but (I'm) trying to guide them to do what they need to do before a state meet, how to prepare," DeVore said. "They're awesome girls. They push me and ran a great race today. It's really fun to be around."

Jesuit closed the meet with a four-second win in the 4x400 relay. The Crusaders' team of Paige Grant, Colson, sophomore Ella Nelson and Molly Grant finished in 3:54.55 and led all the way.

Schumacher also took fourth in the 1,500 in 4:38.37, and junior Elizabeth Rinck was sixth in the 3,000 (10:19.82).

Junior Grace White added a point with an eighth in the pole vault, making 10-6.

Navarro scored in the 300 hurdles, where she was eighth (48.94).

Lincoln also entered the 6A meet expecting to place highly. The Cardinals, fresh off their third straight Portland Interscholastic League title, came within one spot of securing a team trophy at state. Lincoln notched 34.6 points to finish fifth. Clackamas was fourth with 40 points.

The Cardinals racked up most of their points in the distance and field events.

Junior Kyla Becker totaled 12 points with third-place finishes in the 1,500 and 3,000. She ran 10:05.97 on Friday and on Day 2 set a four-second PR of 4:31.30.

Becker said it helped her in the 1,500 that the 3,000 had started at a slower pace and was more strategic. Becker finished seven seconds ahead of Schumacher in the 1,500.

"(Schumacher) has a killer kick, so I knew I needed to go early if I wanted to hold her off, and it worked out," Becker said.

Lincoln freshman Mia Kane took eighth in 4:47.03.

"I didn't even realize it until my coaches yelled (to me by the awards tent). It was really unexpected," she said.

In the throws, Cardinals junior Charlotte Anderson was fifth the in javelin on Friday, throwing 138-9. On Saturday, junior Laurel Kun was fourth in the shot (40-0 1/2).

Lincoln junior Madison Fassiotto began Friday with a fourth-place showing in the pole vault (11-0 1/4). Madison junior Rosie Folger-vent was third, clearning the same height.

Fassiotto took fifth in the 400 on Saturday in a PR 58:48.

"It was a little easier this time since I didn't have the pressure of making it to finals (in the pole vault)," Fassiotto said of the 400. "In district prelims and finals, I slowed down, but this time I sped up."

Senior Megan Richardson capped the Cardinals' scoring with a sixth in the 100 hurdles (15.41).

Grant senior and University of Arizona signee Judith Baxter Game was pegged to defend her long jump title and qualify for the finals in the 200 on Friday.

Things did not go as planned, however. She scratched her first two long jumps "and was freaking out (about making it to finals)," she said. "So I did a little jump, it was like 16-4, and got into finals."

Baxter Game jumped 17-11 1/4 on her first attempt in the finals, but scratched on her final two attempts and had to settle for fourth.

"I wasn't jumping bad or anything, just mentally freaking out," she said. "I'm happy I placed, but being (ranked) first all year, I wanted to win."

Despite the setback and some tightness in her left leg, Baxter Game left no doubt in Saturday's triple jump.

Her second jump of 38-5 1/2 would have won the compeititon, but she went 39-7 3/4 on her final attempt, to the roar of the packed grandstands. The mark was a two-inch PR for Baxter Game, who was ranked first all season in the event.

"I just pretty much had to be like, 'No, (Friday) did not happen,'" she said. "I went back to the hotel (Friday) night, hung out with my team, got some sleep, ate a good breakfast and pretty much blocked it out, and it helped."

St. Mary's Academy junior Jane Newton claimed fifth and third in the hurdles (PRs of 15.10, 45.54). Newton also anchored the Blues' 4x400 relay team, which took fifth in 4:02:77. Sophomore Julia Ferrante, freshman Ava Taylor and junior Tavia Roache ran with her.

David Douglas senior Savannah Proske claimed the high jump on Saturday, clearing 5-5 and getting the nod over sophomores Taylor Chocek of South Eugene and Colleen Uzoekwe of Westview on fewer misses.

Proske, who plans to compete next year for Northwest Christian, was second in the 6A high jump in 2017, going 5-6 at Hayward to equal the David Douglas record.

"I wanted to break it and make 5-7, but I'm glad about what I accomplished," she said. "It helped that the sun was out today and I was staying warm.

"It's my senior year, and I wanted to end it strong," said Proske, who also took fifth in the triple jump (36-3 1/4) and was soon on the road back to Portland for her school prom on Saturday night.

Wilson's Francesca Ierulli placed in both distance events. The junior took seventh in the 3,000 at 10:20.09 and sixth in the 1,500 with a personal-best 4:41.67.

Roosevelt junior Ahliah Nordstrom earned seventh in the shot (39-8 3/4).

Other Portland schools finishing in the top 20: Grant, 15th, with 15 points, and St. Mary's Academy and David Douglas, each with 14 points to tie for 18th.

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