Well, they were building all season long and it paid off — Hood River Valley High School had outstanding performances across the two-day Track and Field State Championships on May 24-25 at Mt. Hood Community College. The Eagles made the podium in six events, three of which they took first place; the girls team placed fourth overall as well.

“We saved our best performances for the last weekend of the year,” said coach Brandon Bertram.

That they did. On the girls team, individual champions were junior Frances Dickinson in the 3000 meters with a personal best time of 10:12.83 and sophomore Poppy Miller in the pole vault with a clearance of 10 feet 6 inches. Dickinson also placed second in the 1500m with a personal best time of 4:47.45. Junior Lottie Bromham took fourth place in the 3000m with her own personal best of 10:30.05, and the Eagles’ 4x400m relay team — made up of junior Sidney Becker, sophomores Chloe Bullock and Mira Olson and senior Maritza Fernandez — was the last podium placement (1st – 8th place) with a fifth place finish of 4:11.15.

Additional placements came from the 4x100m relay team (Becker, Fernandez, senior Olivia Schafer and sophomore Luka Paider) who took 12th in a time of 51.56, Bullock who placed ninth in the 800m with a personal best of 2:24.36, Fernandez was 11th in the 400m in 1:02.20 and Becker finished 10th in the 200m with a PR of 27.05.

For the boys, it was sophomore Henry Buckles who led the way, winning the shot put with a personal best of 59 feet 5.5 inches and taking second in the discus with a throw of 167 feet 4 inches. Buckles’ shot put throw was the furthest of any division in the state. Additional placements for the boys came from sophomore Josh Haynes who took 10th in both the 1500m and 3000m with personal best times of 4:08.96 and 8:54.50, respectively, juniors Omar Quintana and Mateo Campos-Davis finished 13th in the 800m (2:06.22) and discus throw (116 feet, 9 inches) respectively and sophomore Michael Goodman placed 14th in the high jump with a clearance of 5 feet 6 inches.

Both days saw sporadic rainfall, making the conditions less than ideal for track and field. Despite this, the athletes performed above and beyond expectations, showcasing their competitive spirits and physical toughness that can only come from being an Eagle.

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