Hemphill disappointed after third-place finish in 800


Ashland's Aria Hemphill admitted she had only one thing on her mind Friday at Hayward Field: a state title.

And so when the junior middle distance standout came up short, finishing third in the 800-meter run at the Class 5A state track and field championships, she couldn't hide her disappointment.

Hemphill ran stride-for-stride with Crescent Valley's Courtney Gardner and Springfield's Kelly Egan for the first 650 meters, but faded over the final 150, finishing in a time of 2 minutes, 20.46 seconds.

"That wasn't good enough for me," said Hemphill, who failed to match her personal-record time of 2:17.75 that she ran during a qualifying heat of last year's state meet. "I felt like I had a shot to win it."

Gardner triumphed in 2:16.89, and Egan was second in 2:17.75.

Hemphill said she was unnerved at the beginning of the race when the starter shot off his gun without telling the runners to "get set."

"He said, 'Take the (starting) line' and then boom, the gun goes off," Hemphill said. "I was a little slow getting out."

But Hemphill was in contention until fading at the end.

"I thought about passing (Egan) on the last corner, but I was on the outside and so I waited until the straightaway," she said. "But then I didn't have anything left."

The Grizzlies had two other competitors finish eighth Friday.

Matt Miner was eighth in the 800 with a time of 2:00.02. Alex Ringe of Hermiston won with a clocking of 1:56.57.

In the girls pole vault, the Grizzlies' Paulina Belsky cleared 8-6 for eighth. Amber Wiley of Marshfield won at 11-9.

Ashland sprinter Jordan Kling failed to get past the qualifying rounds of the 100 and 200. She just missed in the 200, clocking 26.83 for the ninth-fastest time. The eight fastest runners move on to the finals.

For the second day in a row, it was the high jump competition that provided the most memorable moment at state.

Hillsboro junior Billy Butler set a new state meet record &

regardless of classification &

in the 5A boys high jump with a clearance of 7-0 1/2.

Butler then took three failed attempts at what would been an all-time Oregon high school record of 7-3 3/4.

On Thursday, Vernell Warren, a senior Grant High School shortstop, finished his brief high school track and field career by clearing 6 feet, 10 inches to win the Class 6A high jump. But Warren was back in action for the baseball team Friday in a playoff game against Southridge.

In other 5A boys finals, Marshfield senior Andrew Simpson cleared 15-4 to win the pole vault and the Pirates ended the day in first place with 33 points.

Wilsonville junior Jesse Staub won the javelin in 191-3 and Hermiston junior Alex Ringe won the 80 in 1:56.57.

Marshfield took command of the girls 5A team race with a pair of wins early in the day. Senior Amber Wiley and sophomore Moriah Roberge finished 1-2 in the pole vault for the Pirates, with both clearing 11-9. Junior Alison Worthen followed a victory in the high jump with a mark of 5-6.

Marshfield, the 2005 Class 4A champions, finished the day with 35 points. In other 5A girls finals, Thurston junior Tauni Powell threw 139-4 on her final attempt to win the javelin, while Crescent Valley senior Courtney Gardner won the 800 in 2:16.89.

In the 6A girls competition, Lakeridge senior Mandy White won her 100-meter preliminary heat in 11.94, the fourth fastest time on Oregon history and only the sixth girl to run under 12 seconds in the 100.

West Salem senior Rebecca Rhodes jumped 18-6 3/4 to win her second straight state title in the long jump, while Alyssa Hasslen, a sophomore from McMinnville, went 45-11 to win the shot put on her last throw. Grant senior Sara Wild won the 800 in 2:17.92.

In 6A boys, Lincoln senior Elvis Akpla won the long jump in 23-1 1/4, Jesuit senior Andrew Matschiner won the shot put with a PR throw of 56-5, and Central Catholic junior Taylor Morgan won the 800 in 1:52.64.

Jesuit leads the team race with 30 points.

In the 4A boys, North Bend lead grew to 43 points. Gladstone senior Jordan Aldredge, who won the shot put on Thursday, was victorious in the discus on Friday with a throw of 167-2. Also, Newport senior Bruce Burbank went 44-7 to win the triple jump and Molalla senior Marshall Roses won the 800 in 1:55.47.

In the 4A girls, Astoria sophomore Laura Bobek won the discus with a throw of 131-11, and sophomore teammate Charlene Harber won the triple jump with a mark of 36-9 3/4 as the Fishermen grabbed hold of the team lead with 52 points.

Cascade senior Linse Michels won the 4A girls 800 in 2:14.35.

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