Girls track standouts compete at state meet

State has come and gone for six Hood River Valley High School tracksters. But by no means has it been forgotten.

Four of the six girls who traveled to Eugene last weekend for the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires state track-and-field championships had never competed at Hayward Field.

Two others — seniors Christy Paul and Emily Meyer — aren’t likely to compete there again.

And, while only one runner from Hood River cracked the top 10, the honor of taking five athletes to state was one that coach Shawn Meyle will always remember.

“It was great to see Christy and Emily make it to state as seniors,” said the third-year track coach. “And it also provided some valuable experience for the younger kids who will hopefully be back next year.”

Joining Paul and Meyer were juniors Suni Davis and Anna Hidle, sophomore Kristen Hedges and freshman Markee Cox, who was the alternate for the 4 x 400 relay team.

“I sort of expect Markee to be back here some day, so I thought she should come with us to take it all in,” Meyle said. “And the rest of the girls will only get better, which means we might have even more competing there next year.”

The best HRV result at state was turned in by Davis, the 400-meter school record holder who ran to a ninth-place finish with a time of 59.98 seconds. Hidle placed 11th in the 400 at 1:00.86.

Paul finished 14th in the 1,500 meters (4:53.65) and 16th in the 3,000 meters (10:58.81) in her final high-school competition, giving distance coach Tom Moline plenty to be proud of.

“What impressed me most about Christy is that she never gave up,” he said. “She showed a lot of heart and moved up a few places from where she started. She may be a little frustrated, but now she knows what the seniors were feeling when she beat them at state in 2001.”

Last but not least, the 4 x 400 relay team of Meyer, Davis, Hidle and Hedges placed 15th with a time of 4:10.07 — roughly two-tenths of a second slower than their second-place district performance on May 23-24.

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