Surrounded by 60 teams, 2,000 athletes and thousands of screaming fans, the Papermakers were in track and field heaven at the University of Oregon Relays Friday and Saturday, in Eugene.
“The meet has a big atmosphere, big talent, big everything. It’s a lot of fun,” said head girls coach Alisa Wise. “How often do you get to compete alongside college athletes and see your name up on the big screen? You hope the kids appreciate the opportunity and the experience.”
“When you’re one of 7,000 people in that one stadium, you really see how impressive this sport can be,” added head boys coach Rod Raunig.
Megan Kelley had an amazing meet for the Camas girls. She finished first in the 400-meter dash, with a personal best time of 56.88 seconds.
“Ending the Oregon Relays with a PR in one of my main events makes me really happy,” Kelley said. “I love running in that stadium. It’s so historical. Every time you step on that track, you feel empowered. It really is a magical place.”
Kelley also clinched second in the long jump (17 feet, 9 1/4 inches) and fourth in the 200 (25.46). Sara Slayton, Ciara Klein, Austen Reiter and Kelley finished fourth in the 1,600 relay, with a season best time of 4:03.02.
“Besides state, Oregon Relays is my favorite meet of the year,” Slayton said. “I love the competition and watching the college athletes. It’s very inspiring.”
Slayton snatched first in the 300 hurdles (47.79) and seventh in the 100 hurdles (16.42). Kimi Knight clinched second in the 300 hurdles (48.62). Lauren Neff notched third in the triple jump (32-2) and the high jump (5-2). She also helped Savannah Joyce, Klein and Reiter finish fourth in the sprint medley relay (4:26.73). Cammie Parsons placed third in the 3,200 (10:40.96), Joyce took third in the freshman 100 dash (13.6), Rachel Martschinske claimed fifth in the hammer (114-7) and Megan Napier nabbed seventh in the 1,500 (4:54.1).
Evan Klein had a memorable meet for the Papermaker boys. He earned second in the 400 (51.55) and fifth in the 300 hurdles (42.04). Kyle Schrader, Jared Smith, Josh Golden and Klein took third in the 1,600 relay (3:31.73).
“For a high school athlete to experience something so big and so grand is pretty special,” Klein said. “The whole experience from the time you check in, warm up and compete is so fluid. And when you step up to the line, it’s hard not to think about all of the runners who have been in the same lane you are in.”
Thomas Cocks clinched fourth in the pole vault (13-5 1/4) and Richard Schultz snatched fourth in the long jump (19-7). Austin Vaughan finished fifth in the 800 (2:06.04). Chip Sudbeck placed seventh in the shot put (43-7) and the hammer (145-6 3/4).
The Camas boys and girls earned a combined score of 66 points to grab 11th place out of the 39 high schools that competed in the Oregon Relays. On Friday, the Papermakers compete at the Jesuit Relays, in Beaverton. Events begin at 2 p.m.