ADRIAN — After years of watching other teams hoist the state championship at the end of the OSAA 1A State Tournament, the Adrian girls track and field team finally got their turn on May 18.
With 57 team points, the Antelopes just squeaked by St. Paul (54 points) for the school’s first 1A girls state championship. The Adrian girls finished in second place the previous two seasons, and took third in 2016.
The 1A state championships were held at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.
According to multi-event athlete Roby Young, finally winning a state championship felt extra rewarding for all of the Antelopes who have been grinding for so long to win it.
“It’s so exciting, and really gratifying because we’ve all put in so much work,” Young said. “I know the seniors, we’ve just been going hard all it for a long time.”
Young put on a clinic at the state championships. The senior took first place in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter race, while finishing fourth in the triple jump and fifth in the high jump.
On top of gaining the Antelopes a lot of much-needed points, Young set school records in several of her events.
Young’s 200-meter time of 26.63 seconds and her 400-meter time of 59.35 are headed to the record book, beating out two times set by Julie Deffer. Deffer finished the 200 in 26.34 in 1981 and set the previous 400-meter record of 1:00.04 in 1982 (long before Young was born).
At the 1A-Special District 4 Championships on May 10, Young set a mark of 34 feet, 5.5 inches in the triple jump, which beats the jump of 34-01 set by Katie Bowns in 2010 for first in school history.
Young said her record-setting performance at the state championship was just the culmination of years of hard work.
“I don’t think I really changed anything,” Young said. “From freshman year, I’ve worked so hard every year to PR. Every year at state, in the four hundred I’ve PR’d. I think I PR’d by a second from freshman to sophomore year. And then I PR’d by a second from sophomore to junior year. So I’ve just been getting better every year.”
Sadey Speelmon, a senior who competes in many of the same events with Young, said the maturity of the team was a major factor heading into the state championship.
“I think for all of us it’s been a lot of confidence that’s changed this year,” Speelmon said. “Because in the past, there’s been some really good athletes that we’ve been underneath and training with. So our workouts didn’t change too much, but I know that myself, and I’ve definitely seen it in Roby and Shayla [Griffin], that we’re just more grown up and more mature.”
Griffin finished sixth in the 200-meter dash (27.77).
The Adrian girls 4x100-meter relay team of Riley Lucas, Lizzy Nielson, Kenzie Worrell and Griffin placed fourth with a 53.20 mark. The 4x400-meter relay team of Griffin, Sorrell, Lucas and Speelmon placed third with a time of 4:23.50.
Sorrell took fourth in the pole vault with a personal best of 9-00.00.
Nielson finished 11th in the long jump with a 14-04.50 mark. Speelmon finished eighth in the triple jump with a 21-11.50 jump.
While the strength of the upperclassmen was a big part of the Antelopes’ win, they made sure to mention the younger members of the team. Both Lucas and Nielson are freshmen.
“I know we did a lot of work, but we had some really cool freshmen coming up and it was definitely a whole team effort,” Young said. “We couldn’t have done it without them because the gap between us and St. Paul was so narrow that we really needed every point. So having those freshmen coming up and working hard and getting it in those relays was so awesome.”
“Every point that everyone had, it all mattered,” Speelmon said.
Perhaps a surprising addition to the Antelopes this season was junior Hannah Bertalotto, who joined the track and field team just this spring. Not wanting to run the races, Bertalotto picked up the throwing events, and won state silver with a throw of 119-6.
“I lost a bet,” Bertalotto said, laughing. “Well, I know I was not going to run. So I decided I would try out all three throwing events and javelin was just the one I was better at.”
At the district meet, Bertalotto hit 120-2 for the district title. That mark is just inches away from the school record of 124-11.5 which was set by Trisha Hernandez in 2004.
“She killed it,” Speelmon said of Bertalotto.