Emem Ntekpere was worried on Thursday at the 4A/3A district track and field meet at McKenzie Stadium.
To watch the Skyview senior outrace the field in the 4A girls 300-meter hurdles, it’s hard to imagine why.
“I was nervous that I was going to stutter-step on a hurdle and trip over one,” Ntekpere said. “I did stutter on one, but I didn’t trip.”
Has that happened before? Falling over a hurdle?
“Yeah,” she said. “I got a concussion one time. And then I ate it at regionals last year. But this year, it is not happening.”
It didn’t happen Thursday as she sailed to victory in a personal record of 45.86 seconds, outdistancing the next runner by more than three seconds.
The victory was Ntekpere’s third individual title at the two-day meet that ended Thursday. She won the 100 hurdles and high jump on Wednesday.
“Those went really good,” she said. “I got first place in hurdles and I PR’d with a 15.68, so I was really happy with that. … In high jump, I got (5 feet, 4 inches). I almost got 5-6, but I clipped it with my heel. I was so close.”
Kyle Chen’s foot clipped the final hurdle in the 3A boys 300 hurdles. But it didn’t keep him from winning in 42.47 seconds.
“Oh my God, I hate that last hurdle,” the senior said. “It’s so close but so far from the finish line.”
Chen also won the 110 hurdles on Wednesday and feels ready for next week’s bi-district meet in Kent, also known as regionals.
“I’m looking forward to regionals and state,” Chen said. “Last year, I qualified for state, but I didn’t place. This year, my goal is to place there, mainly in the 110 hurdles.”
Like Ntekpere in the 4A meet, Kelso’s Josie Settle was the multi-event standing in the 3A girls meet.
After easily winning the 100 hurdles and triple jump, Settle added titles in the 300 hurdles (44.85) and long jump (17-2).
Mountain View freshman Zamorah Frazier was a three-event winner, taking the 200 meters (26.40) to go with wins in the 100 and high jump on Wednesday.
Evergreen’s Claire Rogge was a dual-event winner by winning the 3A girls 3,200 (12:23.38). Kelso’s Rielee Gourde won the pole vault, outheighting the 3A boys by clearing 11-7. Gourde won the javelin on Wednesday.
Other 3A girls winners Thursday included Heritage’s Margarita Mahei (800, 2:47.91) and Kelso’s Ruby Sereday (shot put, 37-8.5) and Josie Saccio-Devine (discus, 93-1)
Skyview’s Dea Covarrubias completed a sprint double by winning the 4A girls 200 (25.95). Union’s Charlotte Wilson earned a distance double by winning the 3,200 (11:04.09).
Other 4A girls winners Thursday were Camas’ Eliisa Marshall (800, 2:16.40), Hannah Kim (shot put, 33-4) and Karina Cooper (pole vault, 10-9), plus Battle Ground’s Faizah Ford (long jump, 17-10.5).
Camas’ James Puffer added a win in the 4A boys 800 (2:00.20) to his win in the 1,600 Wednesday. Other 4A boys winners Thursdays were Union’s Ben Hallead (200, 22.48), Camas’ Hayden Reich (3,200, 9:52.89) and Torin Pasa (discus, 144-10), and Skyview’s Colby Warner (300 hurdles, 41.96), Cole Milkowski (high jump, 6-0) and Jake Kennedy (long jump, 21-10.5).
Kelso’s Kamren Mattison picked the distance dual win by taking the 3A boys 3,200 (10:16.48).
Evergreen picked up wins from LaDaimien McCord (200, 22.76), Ryder Keplar (high jump, 6-1) and Josiah Alanis (long jump, 22-8.5). Prairie got wins from Ayden Walker (800, 2:00.04) and Will Foster (discus, 142-4).