LOJ girls track athletes are state champs
Lake Oswego Junior High's girls track program recently triumphed in the statewide Middle School Meet of Champions (MOC) at Corvallis High School May 23. Out of the 264 female teams at the meet, LOJ's girls took first place overall, their first state championship win.
"Every athlete's tremendous performance and effort was a contribution to a truly wonderful day," said LOJ track coach Geigy Jacobs. "It's quite a feat to be able to win state. LOJ track has a very bright future."
This was the eighth annual MOC; LOJ boys took home the title in 2017. This year, six boys went to state, and they did not place.
Many of the girls' points at the MOC meet were scored by seventh grader Mia Brahe-Pedersen, who was the state champion in multiple events. In the 100 meter race, Brahe-Pedersen beat not only her personal record but also the all-time meet record with a time of 12.16 seconds; the previous record at the MOC was 12.35 seconds. Other major point scorers for the girls were Alix Shipton and Emma Pockman.
"I knew that I was up there in the rankings, but I didn't expect to do so well and get first," Brahe-Pedersen said. "It was a lot of fun because all of the team is so supportive of each other. They're cheering for you when you start, and they're still cheering as you run all the way around the track."
Who would take first at the MOC came down to the 4x400 meter relay, in which LOJ had one seventh and one eighth grade team competing. Brahe-Pedersen ran the last leg for the seventh grade team, closing a 40 meter gap behind Pacific Crest Middle School in Bend to secure first place for her team. "It was kind of crazy," Brahe-Pedersen said of the win. "(The runner from Pacific Crest) could tell I was right behind her, and she started to speed up. I had tried so hard up to that point and I couldn't let her beat me."
The other members of the winning 4x400 team were seventh graders Emerson Smith, Alix Shipton and Riley Ha.
"It felt really good to win state," Ha said. "It's so cool that the girls won state because we've never done it before."
Eighth grader Chloe Collier competes in the 100 meter race, 4x100 meter relay, long jump and high jump. She qualified to go to state in all four events, and ran her fastest recorded time in the 100 meter race at the MOC. "I enjoy meets because you get to meet people from different schools, and I am a pretty competitive person," Collier said. "It's so fun to hang out with my team and see them compete as well."
Seventh grader Emerson Smith said going to state brought the team together. "I love the bonding aspect of track," she said. "We became a lot closer than we were at the beginning of the season."
Many LOJ athletes earned personal records (PRs) at the state meet, including Matthew Altman (200 meter), Emma Pochman (200 meter), Megan Chiang (400 meter), Adam Robertson (800 meter), Alix Shipton (1500 meter), and Sydney Lim (1500 meter).
For the full results from the Meet of Champions, visit https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/meet/349392/results/.
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