Cougar Tracksters Qualify for State With Strong District Showings

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Many of the Canby Cougar track and field members saw their season come to an end this past week at the Three Rivers League Districts in Oregon City, but for some, it was the next step on their way to the state meet.

Five Cougar boys earned their way to the state meet, and while no girls managed to nab a spot, their future looks bright.

Koby Kessler, Omar Villanueva, Drew Pierson, Tommy O’Neil and Trey Wakefield were the five athletes that will be traveling to Eugene next week for State.

Pierson and Wakefield will both be representing Canby in the triple jump. Both of the boys PR’d in a solid effort — Pierson with a 42-5.75 mark and Wakefield, who won the TRL title with a showing of 42-11.75.

Omar Villanueva. File photo.

In the other field event, Kessler placed second in the high jump with a 6-foot mark, six inches behind West Linn’s Adam Maxwell. Meanwhile, Tommy O’Neil continued what he has been doing all year: winning. O’Neil set a personal best with a time of 1:54.41 in the 800 meters, beating out his competition by a full second.

The final Cougar to qualify was Omar Villanueva, whose second-place time of 23.04 in the 200 earned him a spot at Hayward Field.

While those five were the only Cougars to qualify, several others came close. Sophomore Cohen Hall finish fourth in the 100, just .01 seconds back from third-place Joshua Tedlock of Tualatin. Maddox Oliver’s personal best time in the 1,500 was good enough for sixth place as well.

On the girls’ side, no Cougar athlete qualified for state, but Kenzie Bigej was tantalizing close in both the 800 and 1,500. The freshman phenom finished fourth in the 1,500 and fifth in the 800.

The crowd cheers runners at the OSAA State Cross Country Championships at Hayward Field in November 2021.

RayAnne Schedler, Kali Kessler and Ashley Peterson were the other Cougars to finish in the top 10. Peterson finished sixth in the 400, and seventh in the 300m hurdles, while Kessler finished seventh in the long jump and Schedler placed fifth in the shot put.

Peterson was the only upperclassmen Canby girl to compete at state, showing a sign of the talent yet to come.

The five Cougar boys will be at the State Meet at Hayward Field in Eugene for the 6A Championships. The meets will take place on both Friday and Saturday.

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