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Oregon Relays Day 1 Recap: Gero-Holt wins back-to-back high jump titles

Full recap from day one of the 2023 Oregon Relays at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Emerald Ridge's JaiCieonna Gero-Holt clears a height during the girls high jump competition at the Oregon Relays on April 21, 2023, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo courtesy of Brynn Kleinke)

EUGENE, ORE. - Some things just never change for elite athletes, and for someone like JaiCieonna Gero-Holt, consistency remains with her.

On a rainy Friday in Eugene, Oregon, the Emerald Ridge junior found her "Hayward Magic" once again in the girls high jump, winning her second consecutive Oregon Relays title at Hayward Field on the first day of competition.

Gero-Holt jumped a season best 5 feet, 11.5 inches, setting a new Oregon Relay meet record by three-quarters of an inch as she surpassed her previous meet record of 5-10.75 from last year's meet.

Gero-Holt entered the competition at 5-03 and strung together three consecutive makes which included attempts at 5-05 and 5-07. She then raised the bar at 5-08.75, missing the first two attempts but cleared the third one.

On her final height, Gero-Holt missed her first two attempts at 5-11.50, but again, made her third and final attempt to secure the win by over four inches, besting Tulatin OR's Kyra Bakke at 5-07.

During the early competition, a pair of South Sound Conference competitors won their respective field event titles on the boys side.

Central Kitsap's Roderick Schenk surpassed the 200-foot mark in javelin for the first time in his career with a winning mark of 201-01, besting his previous best throw by over 14 feet. Mead's Evan Berg also threw a lifetime best 183-08.25 to finish fourth in the field, with Curtis' Alex Suk following in sixth at 171-04.75 and Camas' Jared Williams in seventh at 163-10.5.

Yelm's Brayden Platt threw his fourth 60-foot shot put attempt this season, with a mark of 60-00.25 to win by almost six feet. The junior was also fifth in javelin with a mark of 178-03 and third in hammer at 157-11.

Hermiston's Bradey Hottman threw a state-leading 174-03 in the hammer to finish second overall, Timberline's Gage Pedro threw 155-01 to place fourth and Camas' Ethan Linerud took fifth with a throw of 152-08.

DeSales' Morgan Thomas threw 36-00.75, earning fourth in the girls shot put.

Shorewood's Aidan MacDonald kept Washington's winning streak alive in the freshmen boys 100, running a time of 11.44. Richland's Naly Khamlue-Pratt finished second in the girls race, running 12.64.

Federal Way long jump duo Roman Hutchinson and Cassandra Atkins finished second in their respective competitions, with Hutchinson jumping 22-09 on the boys side and Atkins jumping 18-10.75.

Curtis' LeRoy Horton ran a school record 21.41 to finish second in the boys 200, with Richland's Keenan Kuntz following in third at 21.69 and Mead's Dominick Corley in fifth at 21.91.

Alyssa Marsh of Richland ran 25.75 to finish fifth in the girls 200.

Curtis' Ava Simms put together a strong effort in the girls 400, running 57.85 to finish fourth overall.

Bishop Blanchet's Will Schneider celebrates as he crosses the finish line first in the boys DMR at the Oregon Relays on April 21, 2023, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. (Ken Martinez/West Coast XC)

In the invitational section of the meet, the Bishop Blanchet boys distance medley relay team cohesively ran a strong race for the win, besting Northwest rival Jesuit OR by a margin of 10:10.11 to 10:11.01.

"It was pretty electric," Recupero said. "Walking out here, the lights were off, fans were right in lane six. It was a great atmosphere."

Vincent Recupero led off with the 1,200 in a 3:05.48 to give the Bears an early lead, then handed off to Will Sandnes for the 400 leg to run a 52.27 split.

Drew Oliver followed with a 1:57.03 800 leg before handing off to Will Schneider for the final 1,600, where he'd face Tennessee signee Jacob Nenow over the final four laps in an epic finish.

With under 200 meters to go, Schneider swung wide of Nenow and opened up a big kick the final 100 meters, closing the last 400 of the 1,600 in 62 seconds to secure the win.

"(Jacob) pushed me, but the real credit goes to these boys," Schneider said on his team. "Seemed like we were first for every leg, and we couldn't have done it without them."

The Mead girls DMR team of Elle Vanning, Olivia Ferraro, Raegan Borg and Charlotte Cullen ran 12:36.27, finishing seventh in the girls field.

Walla Walla's Brody Hartley earned a sixth-place finish in the boys two-mile, running a US #7 9:02.80. Charlotte Wilson of Union was seventh in the girls race, running 10:47.61, with Sally Roos of Eastlake finishing ninth in 10:55.97.

In the boys 100 final, Horton ran a lifetime best 10.67, placing third in the field. Kuntz (10.73, 4th), Corley (5th, 10.80) and MacDonald (11.53, 8th) were among other finalists in the field.

Camas' Madison Hubbard finished fourth in the girls 100 final, running 12.50, and Federal Way's Soukhanya Waters was fifth in 12.53.

The team of Savannah Garden, Amara Harris, Kalei Moravitz and Eliisa Marshall took third for the Papermakers in the girls sprint medley relay, running 4:15.08. Issaquah, featuring Daytona Crow, Sophia Mydill, Sena Pittman and Katherine Yahn, was fourth in 4:16.41.

Chiawana's Justin Webber, Tristan Breier, Carter Kreutz and Jayden Trevino collectively ran 3:38.92 to place fourth in the boys SMR.

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