EUGENE – Banks track and field certainly started this competition with a bang.
Before the Class 4A state meet was more than a few hours old, the Braves had already picked up two state titles and three top-three finishes.
Dallin Shurts got the momentum going in the boys discus, which he led from his first throw, though his last of 163 feet, 7 inches was his best effort. The junior topped Estacadas Justin Rich, the 2013 champ, by almost six feet.
Amy Hilger also picked up a state championship, with hers being a long-awaited one in the girls high jump. Hilger took third in 2012 and second last year to Ridgeviews Hosanna Wilder. This year she turned the tables on Wilder and finally ascended to the top spot on the podium by clearing 5-5 on her first attempt. Wilder was second with a 5-4 clearance.
Sophomore teammate Ariel Slifka made a surprise appearance on the podium by clearing 5-0 for a 2-inch personal best, which tied her with Estacadas Tori Johnson.
Kindel Bailey kept the ball rolling by picking up a runner-up result in the girls javelin. Her best throw of 139-5 was bested only by a 149-5 effort from Elmiras Kelsey Shaw, the reigning champion. Bailey had three throws of 136-6 or better in her sequence.
Lucas Hidalgo also scored points for a second straight year. He cleared 13-6 in the boys pole vault for fifth. He took eighth last year.
On the track, Devin King finished second in his preliminary heat of the 400 meters in 50.24 seconds to automatically move on to Saturdays final.
Other Banks participants on the first day of the meet were Morgan Nelson (14th, 400, 1:03.76), Jake Sandhagen (10th, 44-9¼).
The Braves will also be busy on Saturday, with every event being a final.
In the field, Emmy Carrazales and Keenan Marston will kick off Banks day in the boys high jump at 9:45 a.m. Other Braves field event competitors are Annie Victor (girls shot put and discus), Lauren Birr (girls triple jump), Garrett Markham (boys javelin), and Stephan Huang (boys triple jump).
The boys 4x100 relay team will run early Saturday afternoon (first heat at 12:54), and Kings 400 final goes off at 2:36.