They thought they might be able to win another state championship back at the beginning of the season. But no one expected the Corvallis girls track team to dominate so thoroughly at the state meet. The Blue Devils racked up an impressive 185.5 points on the way to their third straight championship. Sidney finished in second with 60.5 points, Belgrade was third with 54 points and Whitefish was fourth with 44 points.
“They set that goal and they did even better than I thought they were going to do do,” said coach Spencer Huls. “Lakyn (Connors), although she’s a good long jumper, for her to go 17’7” and win, that was a big surprise. Courtney Albright, taking second in the discus was good too.”
Connors and Ayden Eickhoff paced the Blue Devils with three championships each. In addition to the long jump, Connors won the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. She was third in the 400 and fourth in the triple jump. She also ran a leg on both the 400 relay and the 1600 relay teams. Both of those teams took first also. Eickhoff, a junior, won the 800 and the 3,200 on Friday. She came back to win the 1,600 on Saturday. She also ran a leg on the 1,600 relay team. Jane Booth also brought home a first place finish for the Blue Devils. She won the high jump with a leap of 5’4”.
But the Blue Devils didn’t win the championship just with the first place finishers. Sadi Henderson placed second in the 100, 200 and 400, and ran on the relay team. Isabella Pape was second in the 3,200 and the 1,600. Kaetlyn Frost finished third in the 200, the pole vault and fifth in the long jump. Kacie Stewart was third in the 1,600 and the 3,200. Rachel Wissenbach was sixth in the 1,600. Hanna Smith finished fifth in the 800. Carlie Jessop was fourth in the shot put, and Jessica Lewis and Jordan Miller finished third and sixth respectively in the high jump.
When asked if the pressure to win was intense this year, Connors replied, “a lot of the pressure was distributed throughout the team. Trying to repeat, for the second time, you kind of have to forget about it and focus on what is important. All of our coaches do an amazing job, (and tell us) just try to do what you can. If you can do that, we’re happy.”
Huls was very pleased with his boys’ team as well. Brandon Butt won the discus with a throw of 163’9”. Jake Purlee surprised a lot of runners with a fifth place finish in the 800. Taylor Sylvestor finished sixth in the 110 hudles. Two sophomores, Tyler Olson and Edward Ryan, finished third and sixth in the javelin.
Hamilton’s Annika Moore won the triple jump with a leap of 35’9 ½”. Kaitlin Stromberg finished fifth in the 1,600. Abe Westfall won the triple jump for the boys with a leap of 44’ 3 1/2”. He was sith in the pole vault. Karill Apendaile was second in the 800 and Gregory Beck was sixth. Anthony Schmalz was third in the 3,200 and Easton Albert finished fifth in that race. The Bronc’s 1,600 relay team finished fourth.
Jadin Casey of Stevensville finished fifth in the 300 hurdles.