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Bucks bid farewell to 1A

A runner-up finish by the girls 4 x 100 relay team and fourth-place showing by the boys 4 x 400 relay highlight St. Paul's effort at state meet


EUGENE — It wasn’t quite the statement St. Paul may have been hoping to make as it jumps to Class 2A next year, but the Bucks said goodbye to 1A (at least for the next two years) by posting a pair of strong relay performances Friday at the state championships at Hayward Field.

The girls came up just shy of claiming their third straight 4 x 100 state title, but were beat out by a blazing-fast Imbler squad, settling for second place and finishing 18th as a team with 18 pointsby: SETH GORDON - Hand to hand - St. Paul senior Carolina Ruvalcaba passes the baton to classmate Delaney Sump during the 4x100 relay Friday at the 1A state championships at Hayward Field in Eugene. The Bucks did not earn a historic 3-peat in the event, but did place second in a season's best time of 52.35 seconds.

The boys closed out the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 4 x 400 relay, doubling their point total from five to 10, which left St. Paul tied for 22nd as a team.

“I think everybody did a really good job coming down here,” head coach Jess Turner said.

Remy Brentano, who qualified in four events for the second straight year, had a tough opening day Thursday, failing to qualify for the finals in the long jump and placing 10th at 14-1.75.

Brentano rebounded Friday to help the Bucks in their signature event, the 4 x 100 relay, in which she, Carolina Ruvalcaba, Delaney Sump and Sydney Brentano set a new PR at 42.35. But it wasn’t enough for the three-peat, as Imbler crossed first in 41.77.

“We wanted to run so hard that you fall over when you hand the baton off,” Remy Brentano said. “That’s exactly what we all did. We ran as hard we could and were very happy with second.”

Sump came out for track for the first time this year, a decision that proved invaluable for the Bucks.

“That was a great first year for Delaney,” Remy Brentano said. “Unfortunately it’s her last. She handled the pressure very well. She was nervous, but in control.”

It was also a fine sendoff for the other senior in the group, Ruvalcaba, who had run with Remy Brentano on the back-to-back state champion short relay teams the past two seasons. Individually, she tied for ninth in the pole vault after clearing 7-0.

“It was pretty emotional, though, because it was (Ruvalcaba’s) last race,” Remy Brentano said of the relay. “Not being with her next year is going to be tough, but she had a great four years of high school.”

Sophomore Emma Coleman duplicated her fourth-place finish in the shot put from a year ago, throwing 35-5. Seeded second after setting a new school record (36-9) at the district meet, she was underwhelmed by the performance.

“But it’s been a good season with breaking the school record and everything,” Coleman said. “You can’t be too disappointed with that. We’ll see how next year goes moving up to 2A.”

Despite little turnaround time from the relay, Remy Brentano came back to take sixth in the 100 in 13.41 and later took seventh in the triple jump (30-9).

C.S. Lewis Academy senior Lana Friedrich also represented the Casco League at the meet, placing 11th in the javelin with a throw of 100-5.

Led by Female Athlete of the Meet Ellie Logan, who scored 40 team points by winning both hurdles events, the long jump and the javelin, Condon-Wheeler won the team title 65.5 points, edging out Imbler (59).

Keenan Phillips was St. Paul’s only individual qualifier in the boys competition and finished his break-out campaign by placing fourth in the 110 hurdles in 16.88, just 0.07 off his personal-best time set a week earlier at district.

“He gained a lot of confidence this year as he started getting better and better times,” Turner said. “He’s a natural hurdler, but I think he’s just beginning to understand how good he can be.”

Phillips then ran the second leg of the 4 x 400 relay, taking the baton from leadoff runner David Martinez, who got off to a slow start in his state meet debut, running from behind for the first 200 meters in lane two before finishing well to get St. Paul back to the middle of the pack.

Ryan Soumokil, a newcomer to track this year after playing baseball in the past, ran a stellar leg to put the Bucks in second place by the time he handed off to anchor David Elias.

“He’s a fantastic athlete,” Turner said of Soumokil. “He came in and just put it together.”

At this point Camas Valley had a tremendous lead and could not be caught, but St. Paul battled with Southwest Christian and Adrian for second place in an exciting final lap.

A week earlier at districts, Elias began the final leg of the 4 x 400 with the lead, but was caught by Southwest Christian standout Trevor Lane in less than 50 meters.

This time around, Elias held off Lane for about 200 meters before falling into third and was later passed on the backstretch. Nonetheless, Elias ran a 52-second leg to help the Bucks set a new PR (3:38.92). That represented a three-second drop just a week after setting the PR by five seconds at districts.

“We are really stoked,” Elias said. “I really didn’t know what to expect coming into this. My goal was just to PR. We held off second for a long time, ’til Trevor came around me and the other kid came past me at the end. It was an awesome race. It was exciting. I really love the competition.”

This year was also a coming-out party for the Bucks as a team and they will return all four legs from the relay team next year.

“Next year in 2A, I’m looking forward to more competition,” Elias said. “Competition just makes everything better.”



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