The Barlow girls track team is coming off a dominating championship performance at last weeks district meet, and plans to do some more trophy hunting at the 6A state meet Friday and Saturday in Eugene.
The Bruins topped the leader board heading into the final event at last years meet only to be overtaken by Lakeridge by a couple points when the baton came through the finish line for the meet-ending relay.
The Bruins are expected to be in contention once again behind standout junior Danelle Woodcock, who finished with a league-high 32 points at district.
She comes into state with the top qualifying marks in the 100-meter dash and long jump, while sitting a bit farther back in the 400 relay and triple jump events.
It will be good for her to be the darkhorse in a couple events, Barlow coach Scott Jones said. That gives her some spots where she can relax a bit and hopefully pop something big.
The Bruins are chasing Metro schools Sunset and Jesuit on paper with the Apollos set for a whopping 67 points based on qualifying marks.
It never goes the way you would expect, Jones said. I feel good about the group were bringing to the meet. At state, you have to get the points you are supposed to and find some unexpected points along the way.
Barlow has several field-event athletes, who are on the bubble when it comes to finding a spot on the awards stand.
Weve been in a lot of big meets this year, and we have a competitive advantage if we can get girls into finals, Jones said. The big thing for us is in the throws. If we get all of them into finals, we should challenge for a trophy.
The 400-meter relay starts the track session for Saturdays main event a highly anticipated showdown that includes a pack of team contenders.
That will completely set the tone for Day 2, Jones said. If you start the day with a top effort that stirs those competitive juices. There are a lot of fast teams. Hand-offs have to be clean, because its going to be very tough to come from behind in that race.
The top six teams come in with times that are just 0.3 tenths apart.
Jones will also be paying close attention to the 3,000-meter final on Friday night. While Barlow doesnt have a runner in the mix, Sunset has three of the top four qualifiers a potential 24-point landslide for the Apollos.
If they do well in that one, then all of the other teams chasing a state title will be in trouble, Jones said. But you have to watch every event closely, because a no height somewhere can change everything.
Barlow has athletes in 11 of the 17 events and, based on qualifying marks, is scored out to put up 39 points.
? On the boys side, the shot put is the marquee event for East County fans with four throwers among the top six qualifiers. Greshams pair of Brian Salgado and Ken Onyima are chasing a rare 1-2 finish, but will have to overtake top qualifier Henry Mondeaux of Jesuit. The event is set for a 9:45 a.m. start Friday.
Look for updates from Eugene over the course of Saturdays session online at greshamoutlook.com and via twitter @gresham_outlook.