Track and Field Sizes Up Nicely Against the Competition


By Bella Forrest, Reporter

Cleveland has started out the season remarkably well after losing so much talent from last year. At the Willamette Falls Invitational, we placed second for boys and girls at the meet against Jefferson on March 6 and in first place on March 9 for the boys, where the girls finished farther back.

For the distance track events on March 6, Zara Replinger, freshman, finished second in the 800 meters with a time of 2:40. Lizzie Edwards, junior finished fourth in the 1500 meters with a time of 5:30. In the 3000 meters, Deirdre Replinger, freshman, came in second place with a time of 12:40. On the boys side, senior Jalato Sultessa placed first in the 3000 meter run with a time of 9:22 and in the 800 meter run, senior Noah Adams placed first with a time of 1:55.

In the sprinting events, Opal Otenburg, senior, came in second place in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 18.16. In the 1600 meter relay, Molly Long, sophomore, Replinger, Julia Downing, sophomore and Megan Walsh, freshman, came in second with a time of 4:48. In the relays, the 1600 meter team [sophomore Gabe Knepper, and seniors Kieran Moylan, Adams, and Sultessa] placed first with a time of 3:33. In the 400 relay, Malik Benson, Knepper, freshman Jackson Runstein and sophomore Alex Leatha placed second with a time of 46.5. In the 300 meter hurdles, Peter Gregory junior, placed first with a time of 40.69. In the 110 meter hurdles, Stellan Roberts, senior placed second with a time of 16.41. Gregory also placed first in the 400 meter run with a time of 51.49.

In the field events, sophomore Ariel Harmon came in second place in the shot put with a throw of 26-06 and first in the discus with a throw of 91-11. In the javelin, freshman Grace Pytynia-Hillier came in second place. In the high jump, Emma Hausafus, senior came in first place with a jump of 4-10. In the pole vault, Amanda Riler, sophomore, came in second place with a vault of 6-00. In the long jump, freshman Zoe Kane came in second place with a jump of 14-03 and in the triple jump, sophomore Kelsey Chan placed first with a jump of 29-05.

On the boys side in the pole vault, senior Justin Day finished third with a vault of 10-3, and in the high jump Roberts finished in third place with a jump of 5-08. In javelin, sophomore Roth Morgan placed third in the high jump at 5-08 and first in discus with a throw of 123-07. In shot put, Joe Denniston placed first with a throw of 40-10.

At the Willamette Falls Invitational, the competition was fierce but the Warriors laid all of their fresh cards out on the table with a very talented group of underclassmen and veterans to their respective sports.

On the girls side, there were top performances from freshman Grace Pytynia Hillier, placing third in the javelin with a throw of 103-03, senior Emma Hausafus placed second in the high jump with a clearance of 5-00, and sophomore Grace Calabrese placed ninth in her seed with a clearance of 6-06 in the pole vault.

“We had a lot of players go to the finals, but from my events, I was disappointed in how I performed. I want to try to practice a lot more and improve. The invitational was a good way to judge my performance against other opponents,” sophomore Ariel Harmon said.

On the boys side, senior Joe Denniston placed first in the hammer throw with 165-09 and fifth with a throw of 126-02 in the discus. Roberts placed fifth in long jump with 19-08, Morgan placed third in javelin with a throw of 167-03 and fourth in discus with a throw of 127-01.

In the relay events, Cleveland came in first in the 1600 meter relay with Knepper, Gregory, Sultessa, and Adams coming to the finish at 3:28.9 and third in the 400 meter relay with Benson, Knepper, Runstein and Leatha with a time of 46.02. In the hurdling events, Gregory placed first with a time of 40.59 and Roberts second with 41.69. The same battle occurred in the 110 meter hurdles with Gregory placing second in 15.83 and Roberts placing sixth in 16.67.

“We had a lot of top five finishers. We did end up with some girls in the top five and a lot of our younger athletes won their heats. That’s great from a developmental standpoint. When you see a freshman out there, they might be running in the slower of the heats of the 1500, but they still win and that’s a confidence booster. For some of our younger athletes, it was a real opportunity to be a part of the team,” head track coach Steve Nims said.

As for the distance events, there were outstanding performances from Adams and Sultessa in the 800 meter run with Adams finishing in first with a time of 1:58 and Sultessa with a time of 1:59 in second place. Adams also placed third in the 400 meter run with a time of 51.45.

“Going in right now, Noah [Adams] and Jalato [Sultessa] will [qualify for state] in the distance events. Whether that’s in the 800 or the 1500, they should be very competitive. Joe Denniston, [at the relays on Mar. 30] was the top discus thrower in the district. Roth Morgan was number two. Roth should be very competitive in the javelin as well. Emma Hausafus has been battling injuries but looked really good in the high jump yesterday. Tess Franke who went to state last year on our 4×4 has been sick a lot of the season, so hopefully when we get her back, she can do some stuff,” Nims said.

The addition of Government Economics and Film/Lit teacher Kaley Hambelton has had a very big impact on the athletes in a positive way. “I think she’s doing a really good job. She and [Brenda] Gordon have been working together, and they’ve also been getting a lot of assistance from Emma Hausafus, Abby Bullock and Kelsey Chan, some of the people who have been working with Coach Bibles for a couple years. There’s a lot of kids out there, a lot of very young kids out there [19 girls doing long jump] and that’s an awful lot. They’re both very positive and kids seem to be responding well to them. They’re very nice, new additions to the team,” Nims said. “We only have two more meets, one more meet as a whole team. In two weeks, the season will be done for 60 percent of our athletes. This Thursday, we have the JV classic up at Wilson and that’s a great opportunity for our younger athletes to shine and compete and do well at their level.”