Steve Prefontaine ran track there. Many consider it the center of the track and field world. Athletes, mostly from 3A to 6A schools from around the northwest and the Pacific coast, converged on Hayward Stadium in Eugene, Oregon on April 30 and May 1 for the 2010 Oregon Relays sponsored by Nike. The meet also included NCAA college teams that ran concurrently with the high schools.
“Our team has been invited to participate,” said Blaine track and field coach Mike Grambo, “which is a great honor.”
Despite being one of the smallest schools to participate, Blaine sent a significant contingent to the event. To qualify, athletes had to be ranked in the top 10 in their state. Blaine received an invitation after winning the girls state 2A championship last year and the boys being state runners-up.
Opening day saw two Blaine athletes shine amongst the 50 teams invited. Freshman Tom Bradley finished 14th in the 3000m run with a time of 9:04.28. Saturday, Bradley finished 19th in the 1500m with a time in the 4:19.10. Two-time defending state pole vault champion Robin Taylor moved into an exclusive echelon as she jumped a 2A state best 11-5.75, which tied the Blaine school record, good enough for second place. Taylor also was part of the Blaine 4x100 which placed 7th in Eugene on Saturday, along with Kiersten Sigfusson, Rachel McKinstry and Cherish Morrison.
The team ran a time of 49.93 that was second best in 2A, beating their previous best of 50.47 and breaking a 26-year-old school record.
Of course, many anxiously waited to see how the sophomore phenom Morrison would fare against the stiffer competition. Morrison placed in all three sprints she ran in. She placed third in the 100m and the 400m sprints, the latter which found her in the uncustomary position of chasing throughout the whole race. Even placing 3rd in the 100m, Morrison matched her season best of 12.43. In the 200m sprint, Morrison was closing hard at the finish line, placing 2nd with a personal best and 2A best time of 25.23.
Penina Laolagi also participated in two events for Blaine. The boy’s team participated in six other events besides Bradley’s two events. Caleb Statham placed 15th in the 100m run with a time 11.56. Statham anchored both boys relay teams to strong finishes.
With Ephraim Westbrook, Brad Whitley and David Craig the 4x400 relay team placed ninth with a time of 3:34.13. With Tucker Morgan replacing Craig for the 4x100, Blaine finished 12th overall with a time of 44.71. Morgan had strong showings in two field events as well, finishing 12th in the javelin with a throw of 152-11, and placing 14th with a triple jump of 40-04.25.
Brett Mattson placed 10th in the pole vault with a jump of 12-05.5. “Overall, I was pleased with how they performed,” noted Grambo, “it’s been a grueling four weeks having invitationals four Saturdays in a row.”
Boys track goes to 8-0; Girls stumble to first defeat Blaine boys won six events as the Borderites defeated Ferndale 74-67 and Anacortes 86-56 in a dual meet in Ferndale April 28.
Tucker Morgan won two of the events with a triple jump of 40-11.00 and a javelin throw of 151-08. David Craig won the 400m with a time of 52.02 and was part of the winning 4x400 relay with Caleb Statham, Brad Whitley and Ephraim Westbrook. Statham also anchored the winning 4x100 relay with Westbrook, Whitley and Morgan. The win leaves Blaine alone in first place with an untarnished 8-0 record.
Ferndale surprised the Blaine girls, edging the Borderites 74-67 while Blaine defeated Anacortes 86-58. The meet included a shakeup in the lineup as the Borderites prepared for the upcoming Oregon Relays.
Since the meet in Eugene doesn’t include a 4x200 relay, an event Blaine is a defending champion in, coach Mike Grambo had Cherish Morrison, Kiersten Sigfusson, Robin Taylor and Rachel McKinstry run the 4x100 relay, winning easily with a time of 50.40.
The 4x200 relay with Olivia Moore running in place of Taylor also won with a time of 1:46.66. Morrison dominated both individual sprints she ran, including a season best 12.29 in the 100m. Taylor also won the pole vault with an 11-0 jump.