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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Taft’s James leads way, three others post top 10’s in prestigious Prefontaine

Taft freshman Kadence James, second from right, graces the podium with a third-place showing

Kadence James has gone from pinning opponents on a mat to landing on one from increasingly higher heights. On Saturday, the high-jump specialist leaped for the stars as just a freshman performing in Oregon’s premier regular-season high school track and field meet.

“It is definitely one of my top sports achievements,” the burgeoning 15-year-old Taft High track star said after leading the Tigers with a tie for third in the cold and rain against 36 participants from all classifications in the prestigious Prefontaine Rotary Invitational in Coos Bay.

“It was pouring rain and the track was puddling,” said James, who also competes on Taft High’s wrestling team. “They had to keep stopping the event to brush the water off the runway.”


Three other Tigers joined James in the top 10 Saturday, with junior Kaden Wright finishing fourth and seventh in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, respectively; sophomore JJ French seventh in the pole vault; and senior Savannah Russo eighth in the javelin.

“I feel good about my jumping today,” said James. who soared 4 feet, 8 inches, then said her goal is to improve her personal-best leap of 4-10 to 5-2 in Taft’s quest to compete at State in mid-May at Mt. Hood Community College.

Saturday’s meet, which honors legendary American Olympic distance runner Steve Prefontaine in his birthplace, draws one of the most competitive fields in the high school ranks with 26 teams 6A to 2A competing in the boys competition and 22 in the girls.

Also placing in the top 20 for the Taft boys were senior Micah McLeish (11th in the 3,000 meters, 14th mile); junior Elin Fitch (12th triple jump, 14th high jump); senior Mad Scott (15th javelin); junior Edson Fuentes (16th mile); senior Jacob Mayoral (20th 400 meters); and freshman Sam Cortes (20th mile).

Joining James and Russo with top-20 finishes for the girls were sophomore Jordyn Ramsey (14th mile, 18th 800 meters); junior Sammy Halferty (15th 400 meters); junior Brooke Orendorff (19th mile); and freshman Aubrey Scarriotta (19th 200 meters)

Class 3A Taft tied for 15th behind winning Class 5A representative North Bend in the men’s competition and 21st behind champion Class 4A member Hidden Valley in the women’s.

The Tigers return to action Thursday, April 18, when they host a league meet at Voris Field on the Taft campus.

This post will be updated with more live event photos

Team Results


1. North Bend 96.5
2. McKinleyville 79.5
3. Crook County 79
4. Newport 76
5. Marshfield 46.5
6. Sweet Home 46
7. Hidden Valley 39
8. Cottage Grove 34.5
9. Pleasant Hill 28.5
10. Eureka 26
11. Creswell 24
12. Siuslaw 21
13. Arcata 16
14. Sutherlin 10
15. Central Linn 9
15. Taft 9
17. Bandon 8
18. City Christian 5
19. Waldport 4
19. Del Norte 4
21. Powers 1
22. Glendale 0.5


1. Hidden Valley 107
2. Marshfield 79.5
3. Arcata 59
4. Siuslaw 56
5. North Bend 55.5
6. Newport 45
7. Crook County 43
8. Sweet Home 29
9. Sutherlin 28
10. Del Norte 24
11. Cottage Grove 20.5
12. Elkton 13
13. Days Creek 11
14. Eureka 10
14. Pleasant Hill 10
14. Pacific 10
14. Canyonville Christian 10
18. Bandon 9
18. Central Linn 9
20. McKinleyville 8
21. Taft 6.5
22. Coquille 5
22. Yoncalla 5
22. Oak Hill 5
25. Alsea 4
26. Waldport 1


Jim Fossum
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.


  1. “…Taft’s quest to compete at State in mid-May at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.” Hayward is being rebuilt and the state track meets will be held at:
    6A & 5A @ Mt. Hood Community College (Gresham) May 24 – 25
    4A & 3A @ Mt. Hood Community College (Gresham) May 17 – 18
    2A & 1A @ Western Oregon University (Monmouth) May 17 – 18


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