Grizzlies eye state berths at first-ever District 1 meet

Defending 800-meter state champion Sam Jackson is the only Ashland High athlete who will be favored to snag an automatic berth to state when the District 1 track and field meet begins today at Summit High School in Bend.

The two-day event marks the first gathering of Special District 1 since the five-school league was formed following the latest OSAA reclassification. The schools that will compete there for Class 5A state berths are Ashland, Mountain View, Bend, Summit and Eagle Point.

Action begins at 1 p.m. today and continues at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Jackson, a junior, enters districts as the heavy favorite in the 800 after setting a personal record of 1 minute, 55.92 seconds, the top 5A mark, April 30 in the Grants Pass Rotary Invitational.

Only four more Grizzlies, all boys, enter the meet ranked in the top three among District 1 athletes in an event: Sam Cowan ranks second (45 feet, 9 1/2 inches) and Logan Hartrick third (45-1) in the shot put; Ian Wurfle is tied for the third-best mark in the 300 hurdles (41.61); and Ben Jackson, Sam's twin brother, has the third-best time in the 800 (2:01.82).

The top two placers in each event will join those who meet qualifying standards — based on a four-year average of third place — at next week's 6A-5A-4A state meet at Hayward Field in Eugene.

One Grizzly who has at least come close to meeting the qualifying standard in her event is high jumper Joy Harpham, a junior, whose 5-foot-2 leap is only one inch off the critical 5A mark.

Prep Tennis

The Ashland High boys will have two doubles teams and a singles player vying for Midwestern League titles when the district tournament concludes today at the Eugene Swim and Tennis Club.

The Ashland girls also will be well represented there, as its top-seeded doubles team and No. 4 seeded singles player, Lauren Sager, continue their quests for league supremacy.

Everyone playing today has already secured spots in the Class 5A state tournament by advancing to the final four at districts.

On the boys' side, Ashland will be facing itself in the semis when Josh Harris and Grant Kahn take on teammates Carl Gorbett and Ian Murray for a spot in the championship match. The winner of that match will face a team from Churchill, which also advanced two teams to the semis.

The Ashland boys' lone singles player still alive is No. 4 seed Max Burt, who will try to upset top-seeded Rasmus Alstermark of Springfield in his semifinal match. The winner of that will take on Marshfield's Jon Massie.

In girls' action, Ashland's No. 1 seeded doubles team of Hanna Greenberg and River Davis, both freshmen, will take on the No. 3-seeded duo of Nicole Adkisson and Julia Barbarski of Churchill. Sager plays top-seeded Brittany Banna of Churchill.

College Track and Field

Southern Oregon freshman Alexandra Rudd turned in a third place finish in the 10,000 to highlight's SOU's effort at Day 1 of the Cascade Conference Track and Field Championships Thursday at Mt. Hood CC.

Rudd turned in an NAIA "A" qualifying standard time and trimmed 50 seconds off her personal best with a time of 37:28.51. The top four finishers in the event all broke the meet record.

Teammate Laurie Stoutenburgh finished fifth in 37:44.58 and Anne Hagy finished sixth in 37:57.29 as both had NAIA "B" standard times. Stoutenburgh trimmed 12 seconds off her personal best time, while Hagy trimmed almost three minutes.

In the men's 10,000, Ryan Ghelfi finished fourth in 31:17.02 as the top four finishers broke the meet record.

Sophomore Holly Haga finished fourth in the discus. The NAIA National Qualifier had a throw of 137-00. Concordia's Gabriella Dixson won the event with a throw of 164-11.

In the decathlon, freshman Josh Wilson sits in sixth place with 2,951 points. Wilson's day was highlighted by a third place finish in the 400 with time of 52.42 and a fourth place finish in the high jump with a jump of 5-08.50.

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