For a hurdler, Grace Twiss is not particularly tall.
But the Evergreen senior was standing tall on Thursday at the 4A/3A District 4 track and field meet.
Twiss improved upon her 3A state second-best time in the 300-meter hurdles, winning the event Thursday in 45.15 seconds.
“Honestly, I just love a challenge,” Twiss said on choosing to take on the hurdles. “I see hurdles as something that makes you stronger, and it always just seemed like something that was very exhilarating and fun for me to be good at something that people might not consider that I would be good at.”
Twiss got her start in the hurdles while attending Covington Middle School with Kara Mattson, who beat Twiss in the 100-meter hurdles for Prairie on Wednesday.
“I would personally say I prefer the 300 hurdles,” Twiss said. “It something that you have more room for improvement. But it’s definitely the harder race. … The 100 hurdles is definitely more technical when it comes to rhythm, whereas the 300 hurdles is more about your heart and how much your going to push yourself.”’
Twiss beat Kelso’s Josie Settle in the 300 hurdles on Thursday. Settle’s time of 46.34 ranks her fourth in the state. Next week, at the 3A bi-district meet, Twiss will get a chance to run against five more runners who currently rank in the top 10 in state.
“That’s my favorite part of the season,” Twiss said of the postseason. “Just having that competition, having other talented and determined athletes being there right beside you.”
Another race Thursday that pitted two top-ranked sprinters was the 4A girls 200 meters. Camas’ Madison Hubbard edged out Skyview freshman Dea Covarrubias at the wire, winning in 25.82 seconds. Hubbard won the 100 meters on Wednesday.
In the 4A boys 200, Union’s Tobias Merriweather ran a personal-best time of 22.00 seconds to win, moving him up to No. 3 in the state at 4A. Camas’ Aiden Montigny placed second in a 22.45, putting him fifth in the state.
Montigny earned the win in the 4A boys long jump at 21 feet, 1.5 inches. Other 4A boys winners on Thursday included Union’s Grayson Caldwell (800, 2:01.11), Benjamin Haywood (300 hurdles, 41.48) and Hayden Day (high jump, 6-0). Camas got wins from Hayden Reich (3,200, 10:04.67) and Hunter Greene (discus, 129-10).
Kelso’s Kamren Mattison completed the distance double in the 3A boys meet, winning the 3,200 in 10:04.76. Other winners included Evergreen’s Charles Dayton (200, 23.66), Mountain View’s Branden Chou (800, 2:03.40) and Nikolas Strait (discus, 127-4), Prairie’s Solomon Ogbeama (300 hurdles, 42.93), Heritage’s Quincy Lopez (high jump, 5-10) and Kelso’s Judah Calixte (long jump, 20-3.5).
Skyview’s Emem Ntekpere picked up her third district title of the meet by winning the 4A girls 300 hurdles (47.87). Union’s Ariel Ammentorp was a dual winner on Thursday, winning the shot put (37-4.5) and discus (125-0). Other winners were Camas’ Eliisa Marshall (800, 2:24.34), Bethany McKinstry (3,200, 11:23.86) and Karina Cooper (pole vault, 11-0), and Battle Ground’s Faizah Ford (long jump, 16-2.5).
Thursday’s 3A girls winners included Prairie’s Brianna Morrell (200, 27.63), Suzie Johnson (800, 2:25.31) and Kara Mattson (long jump, 17-8), Kelso’s Rielee Gourde (pole vault, 11-4) and Evergreen’s Beatrice LeGore (3,200, 11:48.40).