By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– Patience was there for Sprague’s Sara Abbott. Through her three years entering her senior year, she’s been through it all. Covid canceling her freshman season, she missed the mark by two second as a sophomore and had to compete with the juggernaut Summit last year and here she was in the lead pack in the 3,000-meter race going into the final lap. The oldest amongst the group that involved West Salem’s Avery Meier and Gitte Lonigan, both a freshman and sophomore, and North Salem freshman Nelida Dalgas.
Meier began her move to her eventually winning the event on that final lap, leaving Abbott to fight amongst Dalgas and Lonigan for the last guarantee spot out of the Central Valley Conference. Something she eventually managed to achieve. Finishing second with a time of 11:00.00, 2.82 ahead of Lonigan and 4.69 seconds ahead of Dalgas with Lonigan and Dalgas finishing third and fourth in the event as Abbott has finally punched her ticket to Hayward Field.
“It feels wonderful. I’ve feel like I’ve been working for this, not just for one season but for four years and to finally get it. It’s a great way to go out,” describes Abbott. “We went out slow that on the last lap everyone had to move. It was definitely a sit-and-kick race. It was whoever had the most at the end and I think it worked out at the end for me.
“We got some fast freshmen in the conference now. Chole at South (Salem)too, Neli (Dalagas) and I race together well from North. It was so nice to have her in that race with me.”
West Salem had a strong showing on the first day in the team points, the Titans leading the way on the Boys and Girls side going into the second day of the CVC District Meet. Jack Meier, Avery’s older brother, joined the younger Meyer in winning the 3,000-meter race in dominant fashion Friday night to close out the first day. Winning the race in 8:39.13, 21 seconds ahed of teammate Ryan Newton as the Titans went one, two, three in the event with Justin Bell finishing third.
“It’s awesome. It happened in Cross Country too, she won the race before for conference and it gives me some confidence that I got to go do it or get crap around the house,” laughs the older Meier of him and his sister winning.
The race itself was a good test for Meier, who wanted to see where he was at before heading to Hayward Field next weekend in the event. Starting the race fast and building his lead early, sustaining it through the seven-and-half-lap race.
“It gives me some confidence because that’s something I’ve been lacking all season with some tough races. But this gives me confidence that I can go compete for a State Title and go compete with the big guys,” said Meier.
Across the way at the Pole Vaulting pit, one of the other finals that had occured on Day 1 of the CVC District Meet saw another first-timeAll the hard work that West Salem’s Alessia Lemeza put in finally paid off as the senior Titan Pole Vaulter achieved her goal of qualifying for the State Meet. PR-ing in the event, a jump of 9-feet-4-inches, to win the Central Valley Conference Title. Joining Logan Hilty (Long Jump) and Olivia Jolivette (Long Jump) to win District Titles on the field side for the Titans.
“It was my main drive. I changed everything like my diet, all my exercise…just making it to State, everything I did was for making it to State. So it was nice to see all the hard work paying off,” starts Lemeza. “(Moving forward) just getting my feet up. Jumping high and jumpin hard.”
Olivia Jacobson won the Discus with a 104-feet-7-inch PR with McNary’s Lillian Besa finished second in the Discus to qualify for State as well. North Salem’s Mariko Sonis finished second in the Pole Vault to also qualify for the State Meet. South Salem’s Griffin Daider and Sprague’s Carson Hunsaker went one-two in the Boys Pole Vault Sprague’s Wil Charles and North Salem’s Roan Bashioum went one-two in Discus to qualify for State. The Titans Moblajji Majekodunmi finished second in the Long Jump to qualify for State.
Day 2 of the CVC District Meet starts at noon Saturday at McNary High School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald
One Comment Add yours
SO appreciate your reporting. Wanted to point out that Olivia Jacobson who won girls discus is from Sprague!! She got a PR by 7ft.
My Sr Sprague dtr got 6th~ proud Mom!