CENTRAL POINT &

If a sickness that attacked her lungs couldn't defeat Haley Beal, what chance did the competition have? Not much, it turns out.

The Ashland High sophomore continued her comeback from a bout with a respiratory flu Wednesday, placing second to Crater's Riley Swanson in the 3,000-meter run to highlight an up-and-down first day for the Grizzlies in the inaugural Southern Sky Conference district track and field meet.

"I wanted it more than anything I could ever describe," Beal said.

Beal's runner-up finish earned her a spot in next week's Class 5A state championships, where she'll be joined by at least one teammate. AHS junior Jordan Kling leaped 16-feet, 11&

65279;1/4 inches in the long jump to also place second and punch her ticket to state.

The five-school meet returns to Crater High on Saturday, when the host Comets will look to run away with both the boys and girls team titles. Through five of 17 events, the Crater boys have opened up a 69.5-44 lead over second-place Eagle Point, while the Crater girls, through four events, lead both Klamath Union and Ashland 58-42.

Beal came down with the flu in late March and was sidelined for two weeks before painfully working her way back into distance running shape. She entered Wednesday's final event with the league's fourth-best time.

"I wanted to try and stay with the lead pack as long as possible and then on the fifth lap I just decided I was going to make my move and turn it into an 800-meter race," she said.

Swanson and Laurie Stoutenburg, also of Crater, ran side-by-side in front of Beal most of the way, but Beal flew past Stoutenburg with about 1,000 meters to go. Swanson won in 11 minutes, 1.82 seconds, Beal finished in 11:15.47, a personal record, and Stoutenburg was a distant third in 11:51.4.

"I haven't been running very well lately, but I have a lot of endurance and I do good under harder circumstances," Beal, still smiling after getting doused by teammates with a surprise Dixie cup ice-water bath. "I think in this case the heat [about 81 degrees at race time] worked to my advantage."

Kling, the league's top-ranked long jumper coming in, uncorked her best jump of the day during preliminaries but was beat by Klamath Union's Katey Choukalos, who soared to a one-foot PR (17-6 1/4).

Kling came close to that mark in prelims, but scratched.

"And she's got better jumps in her," Ashland head coach Ron Graham said. "I've seen her jump mid-17s a few times this year where she's scratched."

Kling also qualified for the finals in both the 100 and the 200. "That was a great day," added Graham.

Also for the Ashland girls, Maya Nerenberg placed fourth in the javelin (92-3), Camelia Mayfield took fourth in the 3,000 (11:56.74), Ruby Stocking was fourth in the long jump (14-11) and Allison Gida finished sixth in the discus (88-8).

The Ashland boys were led by Josh Houghton, who entered the day with district title hopes in the high jump but settled for third after clearing 5-10.

Houghton and Jonathon Taylor of Eagle Point entered the event as the favorites with 6-foot jumps under their belts. Taylor pulled it out, clearing 6-2 to beat Klamath Union's Jon Amos (6-1).

BOYS

TEAM SCORES &

1, Crater 69.5; 2, Eagle Point, 44; 3, Klamath Union, 42.5; 4, Mazama, 19; 5, Ashland, 17.

DISCUS &

x-1, Rocky Anderson, C, 136-0; x-2, Josh Peck, M, 130-8; 3, Sam Moore, KU, 125-6&

65279;1/2; 4, Austin Rowley, EP, 123-4; 5, Nick Ryan, C, 123-0; 6, Vincent Feeley, C, 121-4; 7, Tala Mika-Moody, M, 108-4; 8, John Ivie, KU, 103-11.

HIGH JUMP &

x-1, Jonathan Taylor, EP, 6-2; x-2, Jon Amos, KU, 6-1; 3, Josh Houghton, A, 5-10; 4, tie, Mike Skinner and Josh Dalton, C, Ben Morton, KU, Kyle Ayers, M, and Daniel Cropper, A, 5-8.

LONG JUMP &

x-1, Deon McLaughlin, KU, 21-6&

65279;1/2; x-2, Kris Butler, EP, 21-2&

65279;3/4; 3, Nick Brothers, C, 19-6; 4, Tim Burkett, C, 19-3; 5, Jonathon Taylor, EP, 19-2&

65279;3/4; 6, Derek Larman, EP, 19-2&

65279;3/4; 7, Mike Skinner, C, 19-0; 8, Brian Christian, EP, 18-2.

POLE VAULT &

x-1, Brandt Nevin, EP, 13-0; x-2, Jacob Ringrose, EP, 10-6; 3, Jason Pardee, C, 10-6; 4, Jason Severns, M, 10-0; 5, tie, Zach Luther, KU, Zac Baldridge, C, 9-0.

3,000 &

x-1, Jake Keyser, C, 8:53.85; x-2, Chris Reed, KU, 9:05.1; 3, Zach Elliott, C, 9:09.11; 4, Ryan Santana, C, 9:16.43; 5, Wilder Schaaf, A, 9:35.7; 6, Nick Wenner, KU, 9:49.94; 7, Kevin Cook, A, 9:56.49; 8, Alex Peterson, KU, 9:57.17.

GIRLS

TEAM SCORES &

1, Crater, 58; 2, Klamath Union and Ashland, 42; 4, Eagle Point, 17; 5, Mazama 1.

DISCUS &

x-1, Kiara Fiegi, KU, 117-8; x-2, Holly Haga, C, 106-10; 3, Kaelea Crosby, KU, 105-5; 4, Angel Walker, KU, 91-3; 5, Katie Higgins, C, 90-0; 6, Allison Gida, A, 88-8; 7, Alana Harding, C, 85-0; 8, Kalea Brown, M, 75-11.

JAVELIN &

x-1, Cheree Clark, C, 138-1; x-2, Alyssa McClellan, EP, 133-8; 3, Katie Orr, C, 116-0; 4, Maya Nerenberg, A, 92-3; 5, Tiana Cesena, KU, 90-2; 6, Kimberly Snow, EP, 89-2; 7, Kelsie Van Veghel, EP, 86-3; 8, Liz Carson, C, 85-0.

LONG JUMP &

x-1, Katey Choukalos, KU, 17-6&

65279;1/4; x-2, Jordan Kling, A, 16-11&

65279;1/4; 3, Kenna Reiter, C, 15-4&

65279;1/4; 4, Ruby Stocking, A, 14-11; 5, Teneea Baker, EP, 14-10&

65279;1/2; 6, Savannah Julian, A, 14-9; 7, Jamie Fiene, C, 14-5; 8, Brittany Hills, C, 14-4&

65279;1/2.

3,000 &

x-1, Riley Swanson, C, 11:01.82; x-2, Haley Beal, A, 11:15.47; 3, Laurie Stoutenburg, C, 11:51.4; 4, Camelia A, 11:56.74; 5, Anna Gomez, KU, 12:02.84; 6, Chelsa McDonnell, KU, 12:09.14; 7, Silver Seibert, C, 12:19.95; 8, Erika Hultz, A, 12:25.13.

Sports editor can be reached at 482-3456 x 224 or joe.