EUGENE — Mountain View's Anna Roshak made up for last year's heartbreaking loss, Redmond High proved it is relevant again, and Ridgeview showed off an impressive young stable of athletes during this weekend's Class 5A and 4A girls track and field state championships.
Roshak, who a year ago lost the 5A shot put title on a tiebreaker — her second-longest throw was not as far as that of Sandy's McKenzie Warren — put that ghost to rest Saturday, winning the 2012 championship at Hayward Field with a toss of 40 feet, 5 1⁄2 inches. The Cougar senior left no doubt this time around, besting runner-up McKenzie Byrd of Hermiston (39-041⁄2) by more than a foot.
“I started out rough, really rough,” Roshak said about her first throw, which went just under 37 feet. “But then I went 40 feet on my second throw and that calmed me down.”
Saturday's title capped a season of improvement for Roshak, who bettered her 2012 personal best by almost a foot this spring.
“This (state championship) has been my goal since last year,” Roshak said about her bittersweet runner-up medal. “That fired me up.”
While the Summit girls stole the spotlight here with their seventh straight state title Saturday, they were hardly the only Central Oregon female athletes to provide worthy storylines.
Redmond High turned in one its better girls finishes in years as the Panthers, led by sprinter Kiersten Ochsner and middle-distance runner Tefna Mitchell-Hoegh, placed 10th overall in the 5A team standings with 20 points. On one of the busiest days of any athlete at the meet, Ochsner, a junior, placed third in the 100 meters and fifth in the 200 while also running on Redmond's 400-meter relay team, which finished third, and on the Panthers' 1,600-relay squad, which placed eighth.
Mitchell-Hoegh, a senior who was also a member of both Redmond relays, added a sixth-place effort in the 800.
“For me to finish my career with my girls, placing in the 1,600 (relay), it's unreal,” said Mitchell-Hoegh, who also qualified for state in both her junior and sophomore years when the Redmond competed in Class 6A. “We were watching (the second heat of the 1,600 relay) and when they announced the results, we were rolling on the floor.”
Samantha McGee posted Bend High's top finish by going 10-6 to take fourth place in the 5A girls pole vault.
Redmond's crosstown rival, first-year Ridgeview, shined in the 4A championships. Dakota Steen was second to only the University of Oregon-bound Claire Thomas in the 300-meter hurdles while also leading the Ravens to a fourth-place finish in the 1,600 relay with a time of 4:04:34, a five-second PR for the squad.
“The first year, it was a little bit scary,” Steen said about the uncertainty of a startup program. “But it's been a great year and a great experience.”
With Steen leading the way on the track and Hosanna Wilder's win in the high jump on Friday, Ridgeview finished eighth in the 4A girls standings with 25 points, 40 points back of champion Gladstone (65 points).
Also from Central Oregon, Sisters placed 12th (20 points), and Crook County was 13th (191⁄2). Zoe Falk posted the Outlaws' top finish with a runner-up effort in the 800, and Alisha Haken was sixth in the high jump and fifth in the triple jump for Sisters. The Cowgirls' 400-meter relay team of Madeline Bernard, Laken Berlin, Audrey Bernard and McKenzie Zirbel — all of whom are expected to be back next season — ran to fifth place for Crook County's best finish Saturday.