Summit senior Barrett Justema, the 5A cross country runner-up last fall, has committed to Georgetown. (Photo by Kris Cavin)
Summit senior Barrett Justema, the 5A cross country runner-up last fall, has committed to Georgetown. (Photo by Kris Cavin)

From 2007 to 2018, Summit was the gold standard in 5A track.

The Storm not only won every girls state championship during that span, but the boys collected five titles along the way.

That momentum was stunted, though, when Summit moved to 6A the last four years. The Storm had limited opportunities due to the COVID outbreak, and in state meets, couldn't finish any higher than third in the girls (2021) and sixth in the boys (2022).

“It was a combination of events,” coach Dave Turnbull said. “Those events might have happened in 5A, it's just the competition isn't as steep and you get away with it. In 6A, you can't. You've got to be firing on all cylinders.”

Now that Summit has returned to 5A, it once again assumes the role of favorite. With strong senior leadership and a record turnout of 240 athletes, including 82 freshmen, the Storm is ready to re-establish itself.

“We've got to get our culture back,” Turnbull said. “During COVID, we lost a little bit of who we were. That's partly because of COVID and partly because of me not recognizing that we didn't have the senior leadership that we had before. We've worked hard to get our team captains in shape.”

Despite not adding to its championship haul, Summit relished the challenge of 6A.

“I'm disappointed we were dropped to 5A,” Turnbull said. “Yeah, you're going to win more championships, but no disrespect, they're a little less rewarding. You're not going up against your Jesuits, Oregon Citys and Lake Oswegos.”

The Storm appears poised to contend for both titles this season. The girls team, which placed 12th in 6A last season, has two of the state's best distance runners in seniors Barrett Justema and Ella Thorsett, who have committed to Georgetown and Oregon, respectively. The boys team, sixth at state last year, is deep in the sprints and jumps.

“Our boys are actually in better position to take state than our girls right now because of our weakness in the sprints and jumps on the girls side,” Turnbull said.

The coach said that for the first time in about a decade, he will meet separately with the boys team, which won its last state title in 2017.

“I'm going to say, 'All right, the talent is there, now it's a question of how hard can you work,'” Turnbull said. “If I can get these boys to commit and work really hard, it could be a showcase at the state meet with these guys.”

The boys have junior Collin Moore, who won the high jump at the 6A meet last year. He leads a high-jump crew that includes senior Isaac Knapp (10th at state) and junior Noah Goodrich.

“Collin will have to fight to be No. 1 on our team let alone repeat as state champ,” Turnbull said.

The Storm also is loaded the triple jump, led by senior Evens Peters (seventh at state last year) and Goodrich. In the sprints, the Storm can choose from between eight boys who clocked under 11.8 in a recent 100-meter time trial, without blocks.

Turnbull said senior Jake Bernardi should qualify for state in the 100, 200 and both relays. Led by Bernardi, the coach believes the Storm has a good chance at breaking the school record in the 4x400 (3:20.47 in 2004).

Summit also brings back state finalists in seniors Spencer Elliott (10th in shot) and Bryce White (seventh in pole vault) and junior Mylon Pofahl (13th in javelin).

Justema and Thorsett led Summit's girls cross country team to the 5A title last fall, finishing second and fourth, respectively. In last year's 6A meet, Thorsett was fourth in the 3,000 and ninth in the 1,500. Justema was sixth in the 3,000 and 10th in the 1,500.

Turnbull sees Justema breaking out this season.

“She's become a very, very good leader,” he said. “I'm really impressed with her growth. When you see that kind of maturity internally, get ready for something special externally with performance.”

As for Thorsett, “My goodness, she looks strong,” the coach said. “Her posture is better, her foot-strike is better.”

The girls team should rack up points in the javelin with two returning state finalists in juniors Avery Ruhl (ninth) and Ramsey Starr (12th) and two promising freshmen in Reese Aunchman and Renne Burggraff.

Other state finalists back are seniors Isabelle Sandri (seventh in high jump) and Kaylee Nystrom (11th in pole vault).

Ravens' Gault, Schwartz prevail

Ridgeview junior Kensey Gault and senior Jeremiah Schwartz finished first in the Summit Heptathlon/Decathlon on Friday and Saturday.

Gault totaled 3,684 points to outscore Redmond junior Jillian Bremont (3,286). Gault's only event victory came in the 100 hurdles, where she posted a state-best time of 15.90 seconds.

North Lake senior Julie Roth (3,066), Crook County senior Ivakai Heiges (2,976) and Ridgeview sophomore Zowie Nunes (2,840) were next in the standings. Nunes won the shot and javelin.

Schwartz won the 400 and discus on his way to 5,533 points, beating Philomath senior Micah Matthews (5,361), Summit seniors Bryce White (5,087) and Isaac Knapp (5,057) and Tillamook senior Judah Werner (5,003).

Texas Relays

Central Catholic senior Kyeese Hollands set a new personal best to take second place in the javelin in the Texas Relays on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

The Texas Tech-bound Hollands, whose previous best was 152-7, threw 153-3 ¾ to finish behind Trinity Spooner (171-11) of Louisiana. Spooner and Hollands have the top two marks in the nation this season.

Hollands also placed second in the discus (141-0).

Central Catholic senior Wes Shipsey and Milwaukie senior Logan Law also made strong showings in the meet.

Shipsey clocked 4:09.85 in the 1,600 to finish second to Ayden Granados (4:09.42) of Texas. Law took third in the 3,200 with a time of 9:01.68, three seconds behind the winner, Kevin Sanchez (8:58.51) of Texas.