Two relay teams win state titles
The girls 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams both won state championships at the 1-A State Track Meet held at Meridian Friday and Saturday, May 18-19.
Keely Schmidt, Claire Whitley, Shelby VonBargen and MaKayla Schaeffer make up the lineup for both teams and both won by good margins.
The 4x200 won in a time of 1:51.16, about a second and a half ahead of runner-up Carey.Claire Whitley takes a quick step back to the middle of her lane after taking the baton from Keely Schmidt in the 4x400 final. She nearly stepped out of her lane which would have DQ’s the team. Also of note she was running even with the other teams around the first curve but suddenly broke in front by about 5 yards once she hit the straightaway.
The 4x400 won in a time of 4:16.41, nearly 4 seconds ahead of second place Rockland. The same lineup of girls also won the 4x400 last year. They missed the school record by less than a second.
One person who did break a school record was Schaeffer who went 34’8” in the triple jump and placed second. She broke her own record of 34’4½” set last year at regionals. First place went to defending state champion Katelyn Peterson of Camas County at 37’1” which set a new state meet record.
Schaeffer also placed 4th in the long jump with a mark of 15’9¼”.
With 4 medals in 4 events, Schaeffer completes her high school career with 16 state medals in 16 state events. That means she placed 6th or better in every state event she entered.
Also checking in with a second place finish at state was Justin Schmidt who set a personal (and family) best in the triple jump at 41’11”. He was going after first place on his final jump but barely scratched on a jump that was over 43’. The first place mark was 42’10”. Marcus Higgins also competed in the event and placed 11th with a mark of 38’10”.
Also making the medal stand was Taylor Heitman in the discus. She placed 4th with a mark of 97’11”.
Justin Ross came up short of a medal in both of his events as he placed 8th in the 3200 in 10:55.19 and 9th in the 1600 in 5:01.17. Peter Spencer finished right behind Ross in the 1600 as he placed 10th in 5:03.08. Both are freshman and hopefully will be back to contend for medals in the future. Dylon Bruegeman also competed in the 3200 and placed 15th in 12:00.21. He’s just a sophomore and should also be back for more.
Demetria Riener competed in both the shot put and discus and finished 7th in the shot put at 30’11¾”, 3 inches shy of a state medal. She was 9th in the discus at 89’7”.
Brandi Gehring was unable to make opening height of 4’6” in the high jump and was eliminated in the prelims in the 100 hurdles.
Abi Chmelik was unable to make opening height in the pole vault of 7’0”.
Justin Schmidt was eliminated in the prelims in the 200 meter dash.
Teamwise the girls placed 7th with 40 points. They give trophies to the top 4 teams and Prairie was just 4 points shy of 4th place Timberline.
The boys tied for 28th place with 9 points.
MaKayla Schaeffer broke her own school record as she took 2nd in the state triple jump competition. Photo by Michelle Schaeffer.
Taylor Heitman tosses the discus at state. She finished 4th in the event. Photo by Michelle Schaeffer.
Justin Schmidt set a new personal best of 41’11 on this triple jump attempt and earned a 2nd place medal at State.
Demetria Riener in the shot put competition at State. Photo by NaTosha Schaeffer.
Peter Spencer and Justin Ross in the 1600 at State.
Brandi Gehring had a tough go of it in the high jump at State.
Dylon Bruegeman in the 3200 at state sporting his aerodynamic mohawk.
Marcus Higgins in the second stage of the Triple Jump at State.

The Prairie track team during the Parade of Athletes.

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