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Track: North Marion qualifies three to state championships

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Ulises Vargas, Emily Scanlan capture conference titles to lead the Huskies

PHIL HAWKINS - After capturing the Oregon West long jump and triple jump conference titles, North Marion senior Ulises Vargas narrowly missed out on qualifying for state in the 100 after placing third in the finals.
The North Marion track and field team will send three representatives to the 4A State Championships in Eugene this week, including two district champions, following the conclusion of the Oregon West Conference Championships on Friday and Saturday.

Sophomores Emily Scanlan and Mar Verastegui, along with senior Ulises Vargas, punched their tickets to the state meet in five events combined at the district meet hosted at Cascade High School.

Of the three, Scanlan is the lone athlete who will be making her second appearance at the state finals, looking to improve upon her eighth-place finish in the 100 hurdles at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field last year.

Scanlan claimed the district title in the event with nearly identical performances on Friday and Saturday. The sophomore finished at the top of the preliminary event on Friday with a time of 16.29, missing out on her personal record by just hundredths of a second. She followed with a time of 16.45 in the finals on Saturday to claim her first district title and one of three won by the Huskies over the weekend.

Unlike last year, Scanlan will be competing in two events at the state meet after placing second in the high jump behind Cascade's Kalulu Ngaida after clearing a height of 4-08. Scanlan had been a prolific jumper in middle school, with a personal best mark of 5-0 in 2015 as an eighth-grader, but passed on the event as a freshman last year to focus on sprints.

This year, Scanlan returned to the high jump, upping her PR to 5-02 in April leading up to last weekend's performance in the event.

Verastegui will make her debut at the state championship after qualifying for in the long jump with a second-place mark of 15-09 on Saturday. The sophomore barely missed out on adding a district title of her own in the event, but was eclipsed by one inch by freshman rival Maggie Ross of Philomath.

Verastegui also missed out on qualifying in the triple jump despite turning in a personal best performance of 33-02.50, but was beaten by Philomath's Molly Klipfel, who took the district's second qualifying spot with a mark of 33-05.

On the boys side, Vargas took home a pair of district titles and nearly qualified for state in a third event in a strong performance at Cascade.

The North Marion senior needed a PR-mark of 20-10.25 in the long jump to beat out Cascade rival Brandon Martin, who set a PR of 20-06.25 to claim the district's second qualifying position in the event.

Vargas followed with a district title in the triple jump with a winning mark of 41-05, beating out second-place finisher Jostan Brown of Newport by more than seven inches.

Vargas came close to qualifying in three events after finishing second in the 100-meter preliminary race on Friday with a time of 11.53, but came up just shy in the finals with a time of 12.02 to place third and miss out on qualifying by less than two-tenths of a second. Vargas also placed fourth in the 200 finals in 23.85, missing the state cut by just under half a second.

The 4A State Track and Field Championships will be held at the University of Oregon on Thursday and Friday. For a complete list of events, entries and a schedule, go to www.osaa.org.

Phil Hawkins covers all things sports and Gervais. He can be reached at 503-765-1194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..