Ashland's Matt Miner never feels completely out of a race.




He didn't in the state cross country meet last fall when he made up 30-40 meters in the final 300 meters of the race.




And he didn't Saturday at the 53rd Medford Rotary Relays at North Medford's Bowerman Field when he was 100 meters behind the Black Tornado's Richard Zhu in the final leg of the boys distance medley &

the premier event of the day.




"I was just focusing on him and focusing on him," Miner, a senior, said of Zhu. "I forgot about the people behind me."




Miner trailed Zhu by about 45 meters entering the final lap before overtaking him along the final straightaway to help Ashland edge North by three seconds with a time of 10 minutes, 53 seconds.




"He (Zhu) tightened up a little bit," North coach Pete Voskes said. "I think he got a little anxious and a little overzealous. But give credit to Matt Miner. He's a talented kid who can reel in most kids in the state."




Miner ran the final leg of 1,600 meters in 4:24.




"One of the things I've really worked on in my races is running like a sprinter in the last 100 (meters)," Miner said. "I got up and started clawing forward."




Tucker Bacon also ran a strong leg for the Grizzlies. The event featured many distance standouts, including Phoenix's Elliot Jantzer, Crater's Josh Elliott, and North Medford's Drew Jordan.




"These are some of the biggest names in the area and our area is getting more prestigious," Miner said.




Jantzer, a cross country state champion and the champion in the 1,500 and 3,000 last year, helped pull Phoenix to a respectable fourth-place finish with a time of 11:28 in the boys distance medley by overtaking four different runners in the final leg.




"That's the thing that is so exciting. Even at the end, he'll continue to try to pick off as many guys as he possibly can," Phoenix coach Hans Voskes said. "A lot of kids would kind of stride it in. But he just has this need to pick them all off. That's what makes him so good."




Jantzer won the 3,000 with ease, beating Rogue River's Cole Watson by 10 seconds with a time of 8:57.95.




The North boys took the team title with 101 points, edging South Medford by 11.5 points. The boys title came down to the final event of the day, the 4x400 meter relay.




South anchor Mitch Singler took the lead from North during the final stretch and crossed the finish line, but he was disqualified after slamming down the baton.




That gave North's team of Justin Severson, Josh Paul, Jonathan Beskow and Zhu the victory in a time of 3:36.31.




The South girls took the team title with 109 points. The defending Class 4A state champion Henley girls finished in second with 92 and North finished third with 74.




In the girls distance medley relay, the South team of Piper Delaney, Rebecca Viets, Tayler Harrington and Ali Kelly took first in 13:13, seven seconds ahead of Crater.




In one of the most exciting finishes of the day, the Panthers' boys 4x100 relay team took a tightly contested win. Spencer Denton, Patrick Thibeault, Singler and Kevin Rapet helped South to a time of 44.50, just ahead of North at 44.78.




Micah Diaz also had a strong showing for the Panthers, winning the 300-meter hurdles in 40.53, topping his previous conference-best time of 41.42.




Other notable finishers included North's Dane Arispe taking first in the long jump relay (20-7) and the triple jump relay (42-6).




Cascade Christian's Daniel Kinney was the Challengers top finisher with a mark of 171-021/2 in the javelin relay.




Crater's Silver Seibert took first in the girls 3,000 in 11:18 and fellow Comet Arianne Laferriere took second in 11:25.




Two meet records fell on Saturday. North Valley's Taylor Vandehey broke the 300 IM hurdles record with a time of 47.96. She bested Grants Pass' Amanda Potts' mark of 50.31 set in 2006.




The Henley girls ran 4:07.30 in the 4x400 relay, which broke the previous record of 4:10 set in 2007 by North Medford.




BOYS




TEAM SCORES &

North Medford 101, South Medford 90.5, Grants Pass 76, North Valley 55.5, South Umpqua 45, Ashland 40, Henley 31.5, Illinois Valley 30, Cascade Christian 28, Roseburg 23, Phoenix 21.5, Crater 16, Rogue River 8.




SHOT PUT &

1, Paul Gutzman, NV, 49-02.5; 2, Brock Bennett, NM, 48-01.25; 3, Brady Whitman, Ros, 46-03.25.




DISCUS &

1, Stephen Lankford, SM, 139-05; 2, John Tardieu, GP, 130-01; 3, Ryan McKy, NV, 128-03.




JAVELIN &

1, Daniel Kinney, CC, 171-02.5; 2, Brock Bennett, NM, 169-09; 3, Justin Plumee, GP, 165-01.5.




HIGH JUMP &

1, Danny Streets, Hen, 6-02; 2, Josh Pectol, NM, 5-10; 3, Jesse Quick, Pho, 5-08.




LONG JUMP &

1, Dane Arispe, NM, 20-07; 2, Kevin Rose, NV, 20-04; 3, Dalton Cervantes, GP, 19-08.




TRIPLE JUMP &

1, Dane Arispe, NM, 42-06; 2, Jordan Brewster, Hen, 39-11.5; 3, Tim Wilson, SU, 39-07.




POLE VAULT &

1, Triton Crane, SU, 12-06; 2, Cedric Blansett, SU, 12-00; 3, Taylor Stromberg, NM, 12-00.




300-METER HURDLES &

1, Micah Diaz, SM, 40.53; 2, Daniel Cropper, Ash, 40.78; 3, Larry Ragsdale, IV, 40.78.




3000 METERS &

1, Elliot Jantzer, Pho, 8:57.95; 2, Cole Watson, RR, 9:07.23; 3, Ryland Karlovich, Ash, 9:29.12.




DISTANCE MEDLEY &

1, Ashland (Tucker Bacon, Matt Miner, Wilder Schaaf, Cord Walsh), 10:53.0; 2, North Medford, 10:56.0; Crater, 10:59.0.




4X800-METER RELAY &

1, South Medford (TJ Flowers, Ryan Perry, Joey Nelson, Christian Welsh), 8:29.0; 2, North Medford, 8:33.0; 3, Crater, 9:02.0.




4X100-METER RELAY &

1, South Medford (Patrick Thilbeault, Michael Eagle, Kevin Rapet, Spencer Denton, 44.5; North Medford, 44.78; Grants Pass, 45.65.




4X400-METER RELAY &

1, North Medford (Justin Severson, Richard Zhu, Josh Paul, Jonthan Beskow), 3:36.31; 2, Illinois Valley, 3:38.47; Cascade Christian, 3:40.56.




GIRLS




TEAM SCORES &

South Medford 109, Henley 92, North Medford 74, Grants Pass 49, South Umpqua 45, Ashland, 41.5, Cascade Christian 41, North Valley 34.5, Crater 32, Roseburg 26, Phoenix 23, Illinois Valley 9.




SHOT PUT &

1, Nicole Bowden, SM, 30-09.5; 2, Grace Brennan, SM, 30-02.5; 3, Rachelle Buck, CC, 29-10.




DISCUS &

1, Nicole Bowden, SM, 109-05; 2, Rachelle Buck, CC, 107-06.75; 3, Grace Brennan, SM, 87-03.




JAVELIN &

1, Nikki Nygren, Hen, 99-05; 2, Shay Harvey, SU, 98-09; 3, Tessa Houck, NM, 96-00.




HIGH JUMP &

1, Mikaela Zottola, GP, 4-10; 2, Chelsea Duffy, SU, 4-08; 3, Katie Salade, SM, 4-06.




LONG JUMP &

1, Ashlee Dekorte, NM, 15-06; 2, Andrea Egge, NM, 15-06; 3, Crystal McDowell, Ros, 15-03.5.




TRIPLE JUMP &

1, Rebecca Viets, SM, 32-10; 2, Kelsey George, Pho, 30-06; 3, Kate Folsom, NM, 30-03.




POLE VAULT &

1, Katie Wilton, Ros, 10-06; 2, Courtney Fujishin, Hen, 10-00; 3, Paulina Belsky, Ash, 8-06.




300-METER HURDLES &

1, Taylor Vandehey, NV, 47.96; 2, Jill Bennett, CC, 50.3; 3, Anna Sours, SM, 51.43.




3000 METERS &

1, Silver Seibert, Cra, 11:18.0; 2, Arianne, Cra, 11:25.0; 3, Anne Hagy, Pho, 11:30.0.




DISTANCE MEDLEY &

1, South Medford (Piper Delaney, Rebecca Viets, Taylor Harrington, Ali Kelly), 13:13.0; 2, Crater, 13:20.0; 3, Ashland, 13:48.0.




4X800 METER RELAY &

1, Henley (Katie Waughm Taylor Wallace, Kailee Poetsch, Ellie Pohl), 9:59.0; 2, South Medford, 10:09.0; 3, Crater, 10:53.0




4X200 METER RELAY &

1, North Medford (Olivia DiBetta, Samantha Mount, Andrea Egge, Baylee Hearns), 1:50.27; 2, Henley, 1:54.02; 3, North Valley, 1:55.10.




4X100-METER RELAY &

1, North Medford (Samantha Mount, Kate Folsom, Andrea Egge, Baylee Hearns), 51.3; Roseburg, 52.95; Henley, 53.4.




4X400-METER RELAY &

1, Henley (Taylor Wallace, Katie Waugh, Ellie Pohl, Kailee Poetsch), 4:07.3; 2, Ashland, 4:20.13; 3, North Valley, 4:30.54.




Reach reporter 776-4469, or e-mail landrews@mailtribune.com