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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Blurred stripes: Tigers show off strength, speed in race to success

If strength in numbers is any indication, the Taft High track and field team appears to be getting a healthy head start on the field entering the 2019 season.

Taft track & field coach Sam Moore

Nearly 70 athletes have turned out to compete for first-year coach Sam Moore’s squad this year, led by State silver medalist Ella Knott, who claimed a silver medal last spring in the Class 3A OSAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene.

(Photo by Lon French)

Now a junior, Knott hurled the javelin 133 feet, 1 inch at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus, just short of her school-record 137-foot, 2-inch heave in winning the Special District 2 title the previous week in Dayton.

Knott also competed in the 400-meter run, but failed to qualify for the finals, placing 12th. A three-event qualifier, she also did not place in the pole vault.

Kaden Wright, who finished eighth for Taft in the 200-meter dash as a sophomore, is also back for his junior season. He also qualified for State in the 100-meter dash, but failed to reach the finals.

Moore, who replaces Joey Arce-Torres as coach, credited her predecessors for Taft’s success on the track and in the field in recent years.

“We were very lucky to be coached by very knowledgeable and committed coaches the past few seasons, causing our team to have strong athletes in a wide scope of events,” she said. “Having placed third for both women and men at Districts last year, with multiple athletes moving on to compete at the state-championship level, we have a lot to work with and look forward to this year.”

Taft will take to the starting blocks for its opening meet of the season at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Sherwood Ice Breaker. The Tigers will hold their annual home meet April 18.

“We are hopeful that our program will draw in student-athletes who are enthusiastic about track and field, as well as their school, and the challenge ahead,” said Moore, a former standout athlete at Newport High.

“Understanding the future path of each student-athlete is different. It is of the utmost importance to equip our athletes with the qualities of resilience, grit, compassion and respect in order to be successful in whichever positive path they choose.”


Moore said she would strive to develop team members “who approach academics and athletics with commitment, excitement and the pursuit of the best version of themselves.”

Two other returning Taft athletes advanced to State last season with Autumn Ellis and Jordyn Ramsey joining Knott and Wright on the podium at the West Valley League championships.

Ellis was runner-up in the 3,000 finals at Districts with a personal-best time of 12:21.36.

Ramsey placed third in the 800-meter run, but was granted an invitation to State when one of her opponents could not compete.

The Tigers feature several other promising athletes in pursuit of a repeat of successful seasons, including David Jin, JJ French, Mad Scott, Kadence James and Savannah Russo,

Moore’s goal: “Cultivating a program of hard work, commitment, and respect, in order to develop our student-athletes in the most beneficial way, while simultaneously representing our school in a positive and successful manner.”

Click on name for athlete profile


Kevin Acosta

Tristan Beach

William Calderon

Sam Cortes

Prestyn Cummings

Alex Del Valle

Rafael Del Valle Perez

Caleb Diaz-Cortes

Cayden Edmonds

Elin Fitch

Genaro Flores

Jose Flores

JJ French

Edson Fuentes

Clayton Helfrich

Joram Hoff

Zander Hryczyk

David Jin

Josef Kavadas

Tanner Landry

Adam Lascano

Juan Jose Lupercio-Rubio

Brayan Mateo-Perez

Jacob Mayoral

Micah McLeish

Logan Mclendon

Clay Nelson

Mauricio Rivas

Degan Sawyer

Mad Scott

Roger Sneed

Austin Winters

Ayden Woodard

Kaden Wright

Brigido Zacarias


Alexia Almaraz

Kaydince Beach

Kealy Boyd

Kayla Brown

Sabrina Campos

Mya Cooper

Keanna Davis

Mathews Divine

Autumn Ellis

Kowarko Grace

Sammy Halferty

Charlotte Huppert

Kadence James

Taye Johanson

Elizabeth Kirkendall

Ella Knott

Brie LeBoeuf

Isabell Mackie

Grace Mcgowan

Kyah Neeley

Shelline Nerup

Avery Nightingale

Jaelyn Olmeda

Brooke Orendorff

Lilly Parker

Jordyn Ramsey

Ana Ortiz-Reyes

Lucy Reyes

Nicole Reyes

Savannah Russo

Rachel Scheuing

Aubrey Sciarrotta

Riley Senner

Rylee Senner

Maleah Smith

Taft senior hurdler David Jin

Jim Fossumhttp://SilverandBlackToday.com
Homepage Executive Editor and former longtime Sports Editor of the near-200,000 circulation Las Vegas Review-Journal, Fossum brings 40 years of award-winning experience covering virtually every facet of print and digital journalism to Lincoln City Homepage. The former longtime reporter for the Newport News-Times and Lincoln City News Guard is also Editor-in-Chief and Senior Columnist for SilverandBlackToday.com, which covers the NFL's Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders.


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