Apr. 25—An Ashland boys track and field record fell on Saturday, but at least it was kept in the Grizzlies’ family.
Ashland hustled to victory in the distance medley relay during the 66th Medford Rotary Relays at Spiegelberg Stadium, snatching the meet record from a Grizzlies quartet from 2019, the last time the meet was held because of the pandemic.
Established in 1939, the relay meet was scrapped for 15 years before returning in 2006. It typically is staged on one day, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, this one was was spread over two.
About half the events were held at North Medford’s Bowerman Field on Friday night.
When the dust settled Saturday, Grants Pass ran away with the boys and girls team titles. The Cavemen won the boys meet with 153.86 points to second-place North Medford’s 101.94. The Caver girls outscored runner-up Hidden Valley, 162.88 to 113.90.
Ashland’s squad of Reed Pryor, Vincent Senn, Nathan Stein and Cameron Stein captured the distance medley — it has legs of 1,200, 400, 800 and 1,600 meters — in 10 minutes, 25.00 seconds.
The Grizzlies finished more than a minute ahead of runner-up Hidden Valley, which clocked 11:33.39, and easily usurped the old record of 10:32.17.
When Ashland set the mark two years ago, some of its members were focused on other events, said Cameron Stein, who ran the anchor leg Saturday.
That was less of an issue this year as he and Pryor competed in the 1,500 Friday.
“But, yeah, I came into the race thinking we could do it,” Cameron Stein said of setting the record.
He knows something about records: Stein shattered the 1,500 mark the day before, narrowly beating Pryor. Their times were 3:55.53 and 3:55.98, respectively. The previous record was by South Eugene’s Spence McNall, who ran 4:15.86 in 2018.
The only other meet record to fall also was on Friday, when Eagle Point senior Austin Strawn heaved the javelin 191 feet, 7 inches. He, too, kept the mark in the family, bettering the 2012 standard of 182-6, set by the Eagles’ Garrett Snow.
Ashland’s distance medley team gave Cameron Stein plenty of cushion to work with. Pryor, a senior, opened with the 1,200, then the junior Senn and sophomore Nathan Stein handled the shorter legs before the latter gave the baton to his senior brother.
“My team did great,” said Cameron Stein, who a couple weeks ago finished the cross-country season 12th on athletic.net‘s national rankings and now is No. 3 in the 1,500 for track, one spot ahead of Pryor.
Stein produced a strong turn despite not having anyone to run with — until he began lapping the field over the final 300 meters — and even though his legs were tired from the race the night before.
“It’s hard,” he said of not being pushed, “but the way I think of it, it’s a little over 4 minutes. I can do that by myself. I run more than 50 miles a week, something like that, I can do 4 minutes alone.”
In the 1,500 on Friday, South Medford’s Michael Maiorano went out fast and led the first lap before Stein, who will next run for the University of Oregon, took over.
“It was a tight race,” said Stein. “I wasn’t necessarily expecting Michael or Reed to be that close to me by the end, but I mean, everyone ran fast. It was a good meet. It was a little windy, but hopefully we’ll get some better conditions soon and go a little faster.”
Maiorano’s time was 3:56.51, putting him fifth on the national list.
The Ashland boys weren’t alone in winning a distance medley. The Grizzly girls team of Milan Hague, Bria Gibbs, Sage Reddish and Grace Yaconelli had a dominant performance, winning in 13:35.94. Grants Pass was second in 13:43.09.
The Grizzlies trailed after the first two legs, but sophomore Sage Reddish, who captured the 1,500 on Friday, took charge on her 800 portion.
“I ran a 1,500 yesterday,” said Reddish, “and I could still feel it in my legs, but I tried to keep up the pace, not falter and stay steady and hope that once I had the lead that no one was going to think to come and catch me.
“I just wanted to give our fourth runner, Gracie, my good friend, as much of a gap as I could.”
South Medford’s girls added another local victory, taking the 4×200 relay over favored Grants Pass. Panthers Brooke Fairbanks, Selena Marmon, Emma Schmerbach and Morgan Burke ran 1:50.12. Grants Pass was second in 1:50.48.
Burke held off the Cavers’ Tatianna Ross down the stretch.
“I knew she was super fast,” said Burke. “I just tried to run for my life so she didn’t catch me.”
Noting that Schmerbach, a distance runner, was subbed in for the race, Burke added, “This is awesome. We’re really proud of how we did.”
Among the other boy winners Saturday were the North Medford 4×100 team of Michael Kanahele, Danny Cossette, Nathan Rider and Aidan Vanderhoof, clocking 44.23; the Black Tornado 4×400 team of Grant Lulich, Rider, Vanderhoof and Cossette, which ran 3:28.60; and the Crater 4×800 unit of Shaun Garnica, Tate Broesder, Ryder Hvall and Conner Sutton, which won in 8:32.22.
Other girl winners included South Medford’s 100-meter shuttle hurdles team of Jaeda Boutwell, Olivia Smith, Burke and Schmerbach, who ran 51.83.
On Friday, Eagle Point’s Strawn won the javelin over runner-up Colby Neron of North Medford, who threw 178-8.
Strawn’s launch ranks him 10th nationally and first among Oregon Class 5A throwers.
Other first-day boy winners included North Medford’s Vanderhoof in the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.88 seconds.
Among the Friday girl winners were Reddish, with a time of 4:58.40 in the 1,500; Cascade Christian’s Autumn Murray, who took the 300 hurdles in 50.26 seconds; and Crater’s Clara Bennett, who tied Hidden Valley’s Jaaden Steele for the high jump title, each clearing 4-10.
TEAM SCORES: Grants Pass 153.86, North Medford 101.94, Crater 89.88, Henley 75.96, South Medford 55.82, Ashland 46.92, Hidden Valley 41.90, Eagle Point 39.92, Cascade Christian 24.00.
1,500 — 1, Cameron Stein, A, 3:55.53; 2, Reed Pryor, A, 3:55.98; 3, Michael Maiorano, SM, 3:56.51.
SHUTTLE 110 HURDLES — 1, Grants Pass (Adam Jenson, Noah Martinez, Jayden Jessee, Miles Anderson), 53.90; 2, Crater, 57.65.
300 HURDLES — 1, Aidan Vanderhoof, NM, 40.88; 2, Adam Jenson, GP, 44.88; 3, Walker Dorris, C, 44.98.
4×100 RELAY — 1, North Medford (Michael Kanahele, Danny Cossette, Nathan Rider, Aidan Vanderhoof), 44.23; 2, Grants Pass, 44.45; 3, Hidden Valley, 45.01.
4×200 RELAY — 1, Grants Pass (Ryan Maier, Gavin Cougle, Cameron Jipp, Cole Nicholas), 1:34.61; 2, North Medford, 1:36.72; 3, Henley, 1:39.73.
4×400 RELAY — 1, North Medford (Grant Lulich, Nathan Rider, Aidan Vanderhoof, Danny Cossette), 3:28.60; 2, Grants Pass, 3:33.48; 3, Hidden Valley, 3:40.60.
4×800 RELAY — 1, Crater (Shaun Garnica, Tate Broesder, Ryder Hvall, Conner Sutton), 8:32.22; 2, Ashland, 8:48.76; 3, Henley, 8:59.20.
DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY — 1, Ashland (Reed Prior, Vincent Senn, Nathan Stein, Cameron Stein), 10:25.00; 2, Hidden Valley, 11:33.39; 3, Grants Pass, 11:52.14.
SHOT PUT — 1, Joseph Northcutt, H, 45-10; 2, Parker Jarvis, GP, 44-7.5; 3, Gabriel Williams, C, 43-5.25.
DISCUS — 1, Hunter Gonzales, GP, 133-8; 2, Bwoen Mabou, H, 128-2; 3, David Fuiava, NM, 110-11.
JAVELIN — 1, Austin Strawn, EP, 191-7; 2, Colby Neron, NM, 178-8; 3, Cole Nicholas, GP, 150-4.
HIGH JUMP — 1, Gabriel Burchfield, HV, 6-5; 2, Devik Chiang, GP, 6-0; 3, Levi Marincus, CC, 5-8.
POLE VAULT — 1, Jayden Brown, GP, 13-0; 2, (tie) Andrew Edwards, H, and Carson Le Bel, C, 12-6.
LONG JUMP — 1, Spencer Sloan, GP, 20-8.5; 2, Garrett Henderson, SM, 20-2.5; 3, Levi Marincus, CC, 19-6.
TEAM SCORES: Grants Pass 162.88, Hidden Valley 113.90, Crater 100.90, South Medford 67.94, North Medford 49.96, Ashland 43.96, Cascade Christian 23.00, Henley 22.00, Eagle Point 11.94.
1,500 — 1, Sage Reddish, A, 4:58.40; 2, Taryn Dance, C, 5:01.04; 3, Grace Yaconelli, A, 5:05.87.
SHUTTLE 100 HURDLES — 1, South Medford (Jaeda Boutwell, Olivia Smith, Morgan Burke, Emma Schmerbach), 51.83; 2, Grants Pass, 53.61; 3, Crater, 1:03.87.
300 HURDLES — 1, Autumn Murray, CC, 50.26; 2, Lauren Robinson, GP, 51.80; 3, Madeline Durrant, GP, 51.95.
4×100 RELAY — 1, Grants Pass (Lailee Friend, Brooke Anderson, Sophie Mock, Tatianna Ross), 50.46; 2, Hidden Valley, 51.03; 3, South Medford, 51.99.
4×200 RELAY — 1, South Medford (Brooke Fairbanks, Selena Marmon, Emma Schmerbach, Morgan Burke), 1:50.12; 2, Grant Pass, 1:50.48; 3, Henley, 1:55.99.
4×400 RELAY — 1, Grants Pass (Brooke Anderson, Sophie Mock, Tatianna Ross, Lauren Robinson), 4:14.37; 2, Hidden Valley, 4:17.74; 3, North Medford, 4:30.58.
4×800 RELAY — 1, Grants Pass (Bailey Moritz, Mary Sturley, Sage Hartsfield, Madison Wilt), 10:15.73; 2, North Medford, 10:32.14; 3, Ashland, 10:45.93.
DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY — 1, Ashland (Milan Hogue, Bria Gibbs, Sage Reddish, Grace Yaonelli), 13:35.94; 2, Grants Pass, 13:43.09; 3, South Medford, 14:03.81.
SHOT PUT — 1, Kaiah Fisher, HV, 44-9; 2, Madalynn Strain, CC, 33-3.25; 3, Grace Osborne, GP, 32-10.5.
DISCUS — 1, Kaiah Fisher, HV, 146-9; 2, Eleana Niehus, H, 103-11; 3, Sedona Brooks, HV, 101-2.
JAVELIN — 1, Skylar Willey, HV, 98-2; 2, Eleana Niehus, H, 85-7; 3, Macy McCoy, SM, 85-2.
HIGH JUMP — 1, (tie) Clara Bennett, C, and Jaaden Steele, HV, 4-10; 3, (tie) Abbigail McClintick, HV, and Cambrea Goodwin, C, and Rachel Snyder, GP, 4-6.
POLE VAULT — 1, Saige Baumann, GP, 10-3; 2, Erin Bechtold, C, 8-0; 3, Aunika Weber, C, 7-0.
LONG JUMP — 1, Jaaden Steele, HV, 15-10.25; 2, Autumn Murray, CC, 15-7.5; 3, Audrey Yechout, NM, 15-5.5.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479 or email@example.com