Ashland senior Matt Miner didn't have much left in the tank but what little he did was just enough.
Miner won the Class 5A 1,500-meter title on Saturday in the final day of the state track and field meet at Hayward Field.
In one of the most exciting finishes of the afternoon, Miner escaped a late surge from Marshfield senior Jared Bassett to win with a personal-best time of — minutes, 55.17 seconds.
Bassett finished in 3:55.28.
Miner held a slim lead over Bassett entering the final 100 meters of the race and, with 50 meters to go, Bassett made an aggressive push &
and very nearly pulled even &
before falling just short.
"Ow," joked Miner, who had the Class 5A top time of 3:57.61 entering the meet. "It's a good ow, I'm happy about the ow, but my God that hurt. (Bassett) ran one of the best races I've ever seen."
It was a rematch of sorts &
Miner also held off Bassett to win the 3,000 title on Thursday.
"It was bringing me memories of the 3,000," said Bassett, who also set a personal best. "I knew I needed to save a little bit more for the last 100. I almost got him. For a second I thought I might get him. I didn't have anything left."
Miner didn't have much either. But, out of the corner of his eye and from the crowd's reaction, he knew Bassett was making his move.
"I knew it was just going to be brutal and so I just dug deep with everything I had and just put it into that last 25 meters," Miner said.
Bassett appeared to catch Miner with about 20 meters to go, but Miner saved just enough for his final push.
"If the line had been right there it would have had to of been nanometers on a photo finish," added Miner, who leaned at the tape as the crowd roared. "That's the reason why I threw the arm. It wasn't because I won, it was because I needed to throw my body weight forward to get the lean.
"That might have been the toughest race I've ever won. Now I'm going to go collapse in a pile of sweat and Gatorade."
Ashland had three competitors, aside from Miner, place on Saturday. Senior Aria Hemphill managed fourth place in the 1,500 with a time of 4:50.89. The Grizzlies' girls 4x400 team finished sixth with a time of 4:08.37 and senior Jordan Kling took eighth in the long jump with a mark of 16 feet, 3&
In the 1,500, Hemphill ran with the lead pack for the first 1,000 meters before Alyssa O'Connor of Summit and Michelly Foley of Crook County started to pull away. Hemphill was third heading into the home stretch before she was passed up by Crater's Emily Olsen (4:50.66) just before the finish line. O'Connor ended up taking first in 4:42.90.
North Medford sprinter Baylee Hearns captured a pair of second-place finishes in the 100 and 200 on Saturday to cap an impressive sophomore campaign.
She finished the 100 in 12.34 and 25.05 in the 200, taking second in both races to Benson's Kayla Smith.
Hearns' 200 time is a personal best.
"Just to be in the finals is great," said Hearns, who took seventh in the 100 last year and didn't qualify in the 200. "As a sophomore, to take second, is exciting. All year, since December, I've been working for this point."
Senior Almeir Barlow, seventh in the 100 with a time of 11.16, was North Medford's only other placer.
Eagle Point senior Jacob Ringrose ended his career with third place in the 110 hurdles and second place in the 300 hurdles. He entered the state meet seeded first in both races.
"It's a little depressing, knowing that's my last high school race," said Ringrose, who took fourth in the 110 hurdles and sixth in the 300 hurdles last year. "But I'm happy about (improving from last year)."
Ringrose, who also helped Eagle Point's 4x400 relay team to a sixth-place finish, will compete at the Air Force Academy next season.
The Crater girls were the only local team to place, earning fourth among Class 5A girls teams with 49 points. Summit won the team title with 111 points.
Senior Emily Olsen was the Comets' highest finisher, taking third in the 1,500 in 4:50.66. The girls 4x400 team of junior Lindsey Bascom, junior Kayleigh Tyerman, sophomore Megan Van Syoc and senior anchor Aime Wingler took fifth with a time of 4:06.47.
Sophomore Kelley Beck reached the podium with a sixth-place finish in the 400 for the Crater boys with a time of 51.18. The Crater boys 4x100 team took eighth.
South Medford had four placers. Senior Nicole Bowden's season-best mark of 115-1 in the discus earned her fifth, senior Joey Nelson finished sixth in the 1,500 in 4:01.14, junior Piper Delaney took sixth in the 1,500 in 4:46.95 and junior Rebecca Viets took eighth in the triple jump with a mark of 34-4&
Klamath Union's Mark Brooks captured titles in the 100 (11.0) and 200 (22.07).
Ashland Daily Tidings sports editor Joe Zavala contributed to this report.
Miner goes 2-for-2 at state