One of the bigger challenges in the development of Lake Oswego star sprinter Mia Brahe-Pedersen is finding quality competition in the region.
So when the junior entered the Secure Storage Summit Invitational on Saturday, Summit coach Dave Turnbull devised a plan to push her.
Turnbull received permission from the OSAA to mix the girls and boys heats, allowing her to run against boys for the first time in her career. As a result, Brahe-Pedersen improved on her state record in the 100 meters and broke the tie atop the state's all-time list in the 200.
“She's in a different league,” Turnbull said. “How do you challenge someone who's in a different league, without her flying all around the country, spending thousands of dollars trying to get into a competitive heat?
“I see no reason why we can't just run her with the boys. We do that in the 1,500 and 3,000 all the time, although it's for a different reason, to try to save time in a track meet.”
Brahe-Pedersen ran the 100 in 11.08 seconds, faster than any boy at the meet. It broke her state record of 11.17 and nearly clipped the wind-aided 11.07 that she ran the previous week at the Nike/Jesuit Twilight Relays.
“If I can’t beat them, at least they will push me to be my best,” Brahe-Pedersen told the Bend Bulletin. “I beat them, and they pushed me to be my best.”
Brahe-Pedersen finished the 200 in 22.61, shattering the state mark of 22.95 that she shared with Churchill's Margaret Johnson-Bailes (1968). She defeated all but two boys at the meet, Newberg senior Garrett Chaffee (22.33) and Bend junior Treyden Lucas (22.43).
“I am so grateful for everyone who put on this meet, because they did everything they could to accommodate me and give this opportunity to be my best and make history,” she told the Bulletin “I love making history. And people love watching history be made.”
The 200 was run in a slight headwind and hailstorm that intensified as the runners broke from the blocks. Turnbull said that one of his runners, sophomore Nicholas Leary, spit out hail during the race.
Fortunately, the race was wind-legal. Brahe-Pedersen has the top wind-legal times in the nation in the 100 and 200.
“We got lucky because normally we get some wind,” Turnbull said. “I think most races at Summit, especially when there's a storm coming in, you're going to get wind.”
In the 100, Brahe-Pedersen took over the race despite being in fourth place at about 40 meters.
“She just stayed relaxed and the other boys tightened up a little bit because it's pressure,” Turnbull said. “You could hear the crowd yelling, 'Go Mia.' They were all cheering for her.”
Turnbull said the atmosphere was “really special.”
“I'm glad we could make it happen for her,” he said. “I think it was good for everybody. It was just good for the sport. Every person at this meet was walking out going, 'Boy, that 100 was special.' We need more of that in track.”
According to Turnbull, the boys in the races understood the historical significance of running against Brahe-Pedersen. He said that Bend's Lucas immediately turned back to shake her hand after the 200. And one of Summit's boys indicated his respect after seeing a photo of Brahe-Pedersen edging him at the finish line.
“He said, 'I just want to find her and get an autograph on it because she's something special,'” Turnbull said.
The whole thing was a new experience for Brahe-Pedersen.
“I gave it all,” she told the Bulletin. “Mentally it was exhausting, but physically … my body has never done that before.”
Kleinke soars to record
Churchill freshman Addison Kleinke came through with a much-anticipated state-record performance in the pole vault Saturday in the Grants Pass Rotary Invitational.
Kleinke soared 13 feet, 1 inch to beat the previous state mark of 13-0, set by North Clackamas Christian's Sarah Sasaki in 1999. Kleinke's previous best this high school season was 12-6.
As an eighth-grader, Kleinke set a national record for the 13-14 age group by clearing 13-1. Last spring, she made it over 13-6 in the Florence Street Vault, which would have added to her record, but the event was not sanctioned.
Junior Jose Cruz has been on a tear for 2A Willamina, breaking school records that have stood for nearly 50 years.
Cruz started April 22 by shattering the school record in the 3,000 by running 9:21.80 in the Meet of Champions at Sweet Home, a personal best by 14 seconds. The old record of 9:35.3 was set by Troy Hooker in 1979.
In a meet at Yamhill-Carlton on Thursday, he broke the school record in the 1,500 (4:14.4) and tied the mark in the 800 (2:03.42). The previous 1,500 record (4:17, Bill Estey) also had been held since 1979. The 800 record has been on the books since 1975.
In 2A, Cruz is ranked third in the 800 and 3,000 and fifth in the 1,500.
Notes: Grants Pass senior Parker Jarvis moved to the top of the state list in the shot with a throw of 60-6 ¾ in the Grants Pass Rotary Invitational. It was a four-foot personal best for Jarvis, the 6A runner-up last year. … Summit's boys had seven individual champions and won the 4x100 relay to dominate the Secure Storage Summit Invitational, outscoring runner-up Jesuit 211-73. Summit's girls had four individual champions and amassed 161 points, easily defeating second-place Lake Oswego (92). … Grant junior Benati Louvouezo won the long jump and triple jump to help the Generals finish first Saturday in the Centennial Invitational. Grant scored 93.5 points to beat Central (84) and Corvallis (83). In the girls meet, Corvallis (109) outscored Lebanon (104) for first place …. Sheldon's boys and Central Catholic's girls took first place in the Dean Nice Invitational on Friday at Gresham. Central Catholic senior Kyeese Hollands threw the javelin 154-5 in the meet, the best in the state this season.