The Spectacular Canby Star Students Run To Victory

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Star Students

By Tyler Francke, Contributing Writer | Photos by Christian Beck

Canby student athletes participate in a track meet
Canby Student on Awards Podium

Canby High School’s track and field athletes impressed on the sport’s biggest stage at the OSAA state championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, winning two individual and team events and claiming a fifth-place finish for the 5A boys.
Senior speedster Omar Villanueva capped his Canby High School athletic career by winning the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.08 seconds, while junior teammate Cohen Hall claimed third with a personal best time of 22.19.

Villanueva had set a new personal record himself in the prelims with a blistering time of 21.99. Both marks beat Villanueva’s then-record time of 22.26 in the district finals earlier this month, which won him a Northwest Oregon Conference crown in the event.

Hall also nabbed a silver medal in the boys 100 meters with a personal record time of 10.86 seconds, while Villanueva finished sixth (11.13).
Rounding out the individual performances on the boys’ side was senior Maddox Oliver’s 10th-place finish in a highly competitive 1,500 meters, with a personal record time of 4 minutes, 1.65 seconds.

A student lands in the sand after a long jump

The Canby boys’ relay team of Jeromy Strong, Cohen Hall, Omar Villanueva and Treyson Wakefield raced to a third-place finish in the 4×100 relay with a time of 43.10, just a half-second behind victorious Central (42.58).

And in the 4×400, the quartet of Cohen Hall, Maddox Oliver, Logan Peterson and Omar Villanueva claimed eighth with a time of 3:30.59.
In girls’ track results, the 4×400 relay team of Isabella Capra, Ava Schreffler, Samantha Astorga and Kenzie Bigej brought home the Cougars’ only other gold medal, finishing first with a time of 4 minutes, 4.53 seconds — nearly a full second ahead of second-place Summit (4:05.34).

Canby Students pose

With their impressive time, the relay quartet also captured the honor of qualifying for the Nike Outdoor Nationals in June at Hayward Field.
Sophomore Kenzie Bigej, who spent most of the season rewriting the Canby distance record books en route to two Northwest Oregon Conference titles, claimed third-place finishes in her two individual events: the 1,500 meters (4:32.44) and 3,000 meters (9:42.42). Both marks were personal bests and new school records.
Freshman Isabella Capra qualified for the girls 400-meter finals with a PR of 59.86, but was disqualified due to a false start.

In field results, senior Treyson Wakefield, a state champion in the triple jump one year ago, finished fourth in the event this year with a combined 13.56 meters. He also claimed ninth in the long jump with a distance of 6.31 meters.

Sophomore Kalli Kessler’s 1.42-meter effort was good for a 10th-place finish in the girls’ high jump.
In team scores, the Cougar boys track and field team netted a fifth-place tie with Silverton (39 points), well behind the runaway — pun intended — state champion Summit (118.5). The girls secured 11th place out of 31 squads with 22 team points.