EAGLE POINT &

Matt Miner and Josh Houghton won district championships and Jordan Kling also earned a trip to state to lead Ashland High in the first day of the Southern Sky Conference district track and field meet Thursday at Eagle Point High School.

Battling temperatures in the high 80s, Miner pulled away late to capture the 3,000-meter run in 9 minutes, 6.77 seconds. Josh Elliott of Crater finished second in 9:08.98.

Houghton, a senior, earned the high jump championship by clearing a personal best 6 feet, 2 inches and Kling punched her ticket to state with a second-place long jump leap of 16-9&

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The Grizzlies sent eight boys and six girls to Saturday's finals. The Ashland girls will start the day in third place with 30 points, while the boys are in last with 28. The Crater girls are running away from the field with 66 points to Klamath Union's 40, while the Crater boys (44.75 points) are in a dogfight with Eagle Point (43.75) and Mazama (42.75).

Miner waited out Tyler Van Dyke's fast start then charged past Josh Elliott and Zach Elliott on the final lap to win a slow-paced 3,000. Van Dyke took a 30-meter lead in the first lap but was eventually eaten up by the pack and ended up finishing fifth.

"I walked in knowing it's going to be really hot so I knew this was not going to be a fast race, it was going to be a tactical one," Miner said. "When I saw Van Dyke go, I knew he wasn't going to be able to maintain that pace. And so I just got with the pack, knew that we would eventually catch him and then just tried to stay off the leaders. It worked perfectly."

After Van Dyke fell back, Zach Elliott, Miner and Josh Elliott started to separate from the rest of the pack, with Zach Elliott holding a slim lead. Josh Elliott took over the lead with about 500 yards to go.

That was fine by Miner, who needed only to stay close heading into the final lap.

"So when I saw Josh come by me I know I have more speed than he does, so I thought, OK, I'll just let him carry me through to the 300 mark and then I just warmed up, warmed up, warmed up, run for it," said Miner, who may have the best finishing kick in the state. "I've really been training on my speed and I know that when I hit 300 or 400 to go there are very few people in the state or even in the region who can put some damage on me. I've got a 51-second 400, so I use that kind of extension to really push if forward."

Also running well for the Ashland boys were Tucker Bacon and Daniel Cropper. Bacon had the second-best time in the 400 preliminaries (52.81), while Cropper had the second-best time in the 110 high hurdles (15.66).

Along with her long jump mark, Kling also took second in the 200 (26.74) and 400 (1:01.55) prelims for the Ashland girls.

SSC District Meet

BOYS

TEAM SCORES &

1, Crater, 44.75; 2, Eagle Point, 43.75; 3, Mazama, 42.75; 4, Klamath Union, 35.75; 5, Ashland, 28.

DISCUS &

1, Josh Peck, Maz, 147-6; 2, Sam Moore, KU, 133-1; 3, Austin Rowley, EP, 127-6.

HIGH JUMP &

1, Josh Houghton, Ash, 6-2; 2, Ben Morton, KU, 6-2; 3, Jonathon Taylor, EP, 6-0.

LONG JUMP &

1, Derek Larman, Maz, 21-2; 2, Jonathon Taylor, EP, 19-9&

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POLE VAULT &

1, Robby Mannenbach, EP, 13-0; 2, Curtis Yungen, Cra, 11-3; 3, Kalani Kolii, KU, 11-0.

3,000 METERS &

1, Matt Minor, Ash, 9:06.77; 2, Josh Elliot, Cra, 9:08.98; 3, Alex Peterson, KU.

GIRLS

TEAM SCORES &

1, Crater, 66; 2, Klamath Union, 40; 3, Ashland, 30; 4, Eagle Point, 16; 5, Mazama 4.

DISCUS &

1, Holly Haga, Cra, 118-0; 2, Kaelea Crosby, KU, 109-7; 3, Katie Higgins, Cra, 109-4.

JAVELIN &

1, Cheree Clark, Cra, 132-11; 2, Katie Orr, Cra, 107-7; 3, Kelsie VanVeghel, EP, 103-0.

LONG JUMP &

1, Katey Choukalos, KU, 16-11; 2, Jordan King, Ash, 16-9&

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3,000 METERS &

1, Kayleigh Tyerman, Cra, 10:38.74; 2, Emily Olsen, Cra, 10:45.38; 3, Silver Seibert, Cra, 11:05.07.