EUGENE — These wins were especially rewarding for Summit coach Dave Turnbull, which is saying something when talking about the Storm’s track and field program.
Summit won both the boys and girls Class 5A state team championships for the third consecutive year Saturday at Hayward Field — no other large school has done it even twice — making the Storm’s case as one of Oregon’s best prep track and field programs ever.
“We told the kids last night they had a chance to do something special and set the bar w high,” an emotional Turnbull said about his program’s back-to-back-to-back sweep of the boys and girls 5A titles (and unprecedented seventh straight state championship for the Summit girls).
“Our kids run well here (at Hayward). It’s like a second home to them. ... Today they came out and made some special memories.”
Despite bringing just 10 athletes to state this weekend — two of them alternates on relay teams — Turnbull’s boys outscored runner-up Marist of Eugene 78-64 to claim their third straight championship.
For the Summit boys, sophomore Matthew Maton won the 1,500 (3 minutes, 55.12 seconds) and the 3,000 (8:28.62) over the two-day event, setting new state meet records in both races. And junior Michael Menefee cleared 6 feet, 7 inches to take first in the high jump, 4 inches higher than his personal record from the end of last year.
But it was Storm senior Michael Wilson’s win in the 300-meter hurdles (38.82), runner-up finish in the 400 and blazing 48.78-second anchor leg in the 1,600-meter relay — Summit took second despite running in the slow heat — that paved the way for the Storm’s fourth boys state title in school history.
“Michael Wilson today stopped being a boy and became a man,” Turnbull beamed after his senior standout, who was plagued with injuries this spring, led Summit to victory. “I was worried he wasn’t going to have the senior year a kid like that should have. ... But that’s not the case now.”
Wilson, the 2012 state champion in the 400 meters and the 300 hurdles, won his second consecutive intermediate hurdles title Saturday after trailing for most of the race. Madison’s Schuller Rettig led Wilson by almost 3 meters as he approached the final hurdle, which he clipped badly. Rettig went tumbling to the ground, and Wilson sped past the Portland Interscholastic League champion for the victory. Rettig scrambled to finish second.
After the race, Wilson nearly brought Turnbull to tears when he gave to the disappointed Rettig the bullet shell from the starter’s gun — a prize awarded to the winner of each race — and pulled Rettig atop the podium.
“That’s what track and field is all about,” a proud Turnbull said.
Summit’s Eric Alldritt placed third in the 1,500 on Saturday after taking second in the 3,000 on Friday, and Luke Hinz added a third-place finish for the Storm in the 800.
While Summit’s boys won with strong individual performances, the Storm girls — the first Oregon girls track program in history to pull off a “seven-peat,” utilized their depth across the board to score 81 1⁄2 points, putting them comfortably ahead of second-place Marshfield of Coos Bay (67 points) and third-place Corvallis (50).
Freshman Hannah Gindlesperger’s victory in the 3,000 meters on Friday was the Storm’s only individual win, but Summit advanced athletes to state in every event except the shot put. The Storm, who have won every 5A girls meet since the state expanded from four to six classifications at the start of the 2006-2007 school year, opened Saturday’s track events by winning the 400-meter relay in 48.88 seconds, a new season best for Megan Buzzas, Meg Meagher, Olivia Singer and Alexa Thomas.
Summit’s 1,600-meter relay squad of Claire Christensen, Miranda Brown, Meagher and Josie Kinney added a second-place effort Saturday, as did Annie Sidor, who shared runner-up honors with Marshfield’s Mareyna Karlin in the pole vault.
Kinney in particular shined for the Summit girls, who this year lacked the major-college-bound standouts the Storm have boasted in the past. The Summit senior set new personal records in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles — her high-hurdles time of 15.38 seconds was a PR by almost half a second — en route to a pair of third-place finishes, and she ran the anchor leg on the Storm’s 1,600-meter relay.
“This was supposed to be a down year,” said Kinney, whose team had to replace five members of last year’s girls squad who are now on Pac-12 track and field rosters. “It turned out, not so much.”
“This is Summit,” said Menefee, the Storm’s surprise winner in the boys high jump. “This is what we do.”