PHOTOS BY LON FRENCH
They say records are made to be broken. Good thing. This one is likely to have an exceedingly short survival rate.
Taft High sophomore Ella Knott broke the school girls’ javelin record Wednesday at a West Valley League track and field meet in Corvallis with a heave of 129 feet, 2 inches.
“We can expect that record to change a few more times before 2020,” Taft Coach Joey Arce-Torres said of the hefty winning throw, which broke the 13-year-old mark established by Rose Hollingsworth in 2005.
The 16-year-old Knott timidly said she knew an extraordinarily long throw would result upon the release, but added her goal was 140 feet . . .
For this season!
“Our freshmen and sophomores are flexing their muscles and making juniors and seniors a bit nervous on how close they are getting to surpassing them,” Arce-Torres said following a thorough exhibition of achievement by his underclassmen. “It should make for an interesting final few weeks of the season.”
Knott also won the pole vault and finished second in the 200-meter dash in the conference meet, which was hosted by Santiam Christian at Crescent Valley High School.
Freshman Jordyn Ramsey won the 800-meter run and junior Kayla Brown the high jump for the Taft girls.
Senior Margery Price, junior Maleah Smith, sophomore Olivia Williams and Ramsey teamed to win the 4×400-meter relay.
Sophomore Autumn Ellis was second in the 400-meter run, the 1,500-meter run and the 3,000-meter run.
Junior Lydia Prins was second in the 800-meter run, and sophomore Brooke Orendorff was second in the high jump.
Ramsey was third in the 1,500, Prins third in the 3,000 and Brown third in the pole vault.
While team scores have yet to be posted, the Taft boys won eight of 17 events and accounted for several other top-three finishes. Arce-Torres said he believes the Tigers won both the boys and girls competitions.
“When the weather warms up, times start to drop,” he said. “We are but three weeks from Districts [May 11-12 at Dayton High School] and are beginning to peak at the right moment. We have a couple of nagging injuries that we are dealing with, but should be healthy for Districts.”
On the boys side, senior Preston Nightingale won the 400- and 800-meter runs and was second in the 3,000.
Senior Gabe Arce-Torres won the 100-meter dash, sophomore Kaden Wright won the 200, freshman JJ French won the pole vault and junior Mad Scott won the javelin.
Wright was second behind Arce-Torres in the 200.
Taft swept the 400 behind Nightingale’s first-place finish, with junior Jacob Mayoral second and freshman Oscar Rodriguez-Meza third.
Wright, junior Logan Mclendon, freshman William Calderon and freshman Jose Flores won the 4×100 relay, while Mayoral, Flores, sophomore Edison Fuentes and Arce-Torres won the 4×400.
Freshman Alex Del Valle was third in the 200, junior Bridigo Zacarias third in the 800, Mayoral third in the pole vault and French third in the 300 hurdles.
Taft competes Friday in the Central Coast Invitational at Siuslaw High School in Florence.
“Our coaches are excited by our PRs and the competitive spirit being displayed during our meets and practices,” Arce-Torres said.