The boys and girls track team from Oregon finished in the middle of the pack in the 38th Annual Gebhardt-Worley Invitational Saturday.
However, seniors Cydney Long and Ashton Rutherford had standout performances. Oregon took third in the girls portion of the meet with 90 points. Freeport defeated Erie-Prophetstown 178-145 to take first place in a match-up between a quality 2A school and the defending 1A state runner-up
It was Long, though, who was the star of the meet. The returning state medalist won both hurdle races and anchored the 400 and 800 relays to wins.
“She’s just now coming back into form after missing the indoor season for a hamstring strain,” Oregon coach Lynn Ahlgrim said.
Due to a timing malfunction, the 100 low hurdles weren’t timed, but Long edged out sister Hailey for the win. Those two girls, along with cousin Whitney and non-family member Bryanna Horn had times of 52.84 in the 400 relay and 1:52 in the 800 relay.
In the 300 hurdles, Long cruised to an easy win with a time of 50.16 in windy conditions.
The Lady Hawks missed having their other state medalist, Shannon Cullen, in both the shot put and discus. Cullen arrived at the meet just as the throws ended.
“I had choir competition in Eastland and didn’t get back in time,” said a disappointed Cullen, who had the top indoor shot put (39-2) in Class 1A.
Sarah Lauer gave the Lady Hawks a second place in the triple jump (31-9) and third in the long jump (13-8).
In the high jump, Whitney Long and two E-P girls jumped 5-0, but Long settled for third on more misses. Hailey Long leaped 14-10 to place second in the long jump.
The boys meet was similar to the girls in that 2A Dixon edged Erie-Prophetstown, who finished third in the 1A state meet, 151-140. Oregon was fourth at 64, five points behind Rockford East.
Rutherford won the pole vault with an effort of 13-0, putting him in the top 10 of vaulters in 1A.
After being in the background for two years, Rutherford in looking to fill the shoes left by 3-time state vault qualifiers Mark Schmidt and Austin McCourt.
“Ashton was outstanding for us,” said Oregon coach Jim Spratt.
Troy Pudlas also gave mention that he will be a force to contend with in the discus, claiming Oregon’s only other first place. Pudlas had a throw of 141-3, less than two feet away from the state-qualifying standard.
“Troy has really come on and I expect him to continue to improve,” Spratt said.
Pierce Dhaese added a third in the high jump and a fourth in the 400 meters. Freshman Caleb Mennen was a bright spot by running legs on the 400 (46.56) and 1,600 (3:42) relays that took third place.
Rutherford, Dhaese and Josh Drew also ran on those relays.
Austin Burkhart, Adam Weller, Jordan Rogers and Carson Buck ran 9:16 to place third in the 3,200 relay. Last year, the 3,200 relay took fourth in the state and hope to make a return trip to vie for another medal.