1A Track Preview: League By League Breakdown, Top Returning Athletes, Team Title Predictions

The week of icebreakers are over with and after Spring Break, the real meets begin and the results of all that hard work will start to be on display. As part of a class-by-class breakdown, we start in Class 1A and what Oregon’s smallest classification has in store this season. In a league-by-league preview, we start in Special District 1 and work our way through the landscape:

Special District 1

2021 Champion: St. Paul

Top Returners: Gracie Koch, Sierra Hale, Sophie Sery, Halsie Hempfling, Ashlyn Watt, Breanna Steele, Olyvia Oeverman, Geneva Smith, Racquel May, Emily Powers, Megan Desmond, Leesie Matthiesen, Lily Alyward, Makayla Ferguson, Julia Mitchell, Patience Knight, Cristina Lopez-Delgado, Vanessa Makarenko, Alysha Colburn, Julia Fast

Honorable Mentions: Katie Ross, Krista Haas, Alivia Swearingen, Jesalynn Griffiths, Hannah Stark, Meredith Coleman, Abby Stoughton

Analysis: St. Paul and North Clackamas Christian will be running the district in 2022, both return armies of athletes that lead many events. Gracie Koch, Stella Koch, and Halsie Hempfling will lead the path ahead for the Buckaroos, while the Saints have Ashlyn Watt, Breanna Steele, Racquel May, and Makayla Ferguson to obtain those crucial points that will ultimately determine the district champion this year. Two strong teams, but only one can ultimately be the champion.

Prediction: St. Paul

Special District 2

2021 Champion: North Lake

Top Returners: Patience Haff, Gabby Mendias, Vanessa Koon, Mia Piscopo, Tabitha Baker, Anastasia Shanks, Ella Mather, Bailey Krantz, Rylee Williamson, Autumn Thelander, Opal Burruss, Lolly Frost, Audri Ward, Alexzandra Miles, Abrianna Roberts, Alyssa Stanley, Dani Bates, Emily Murphy, Makenzei Russell, Clara DeRoss, Zada Koon, Harlee VanFossen, Trinidy Blanton, Alison Vanloon, Emily Murphy, Julie Roth, Lauren Stallard, Harlee VanFossen, Gabby Mendias

Honorable Mentions: Natalie Hescock, Madison Newman, Katelyn Kleine, Emalie Sprinkle

Analysis: North Lake had a great squad that got them a district title and state runner-up in 2021. Patience Haff, Gabby Mendias, Dani Bates, and Emily Murphy return in 2022 to defend their district title and pick up another state trophy this year, facing a formidable challenge from North Douglas en route to that goal. Keep an eye on the Warriors youthful core of Audri Ward, Tabitha Baker, Mia Piscopo, Natalie Hescock, and Lolly Frost, they might be enough to overthrow North Lake for the district championship in 2022.

Prediction: North Douglas

Special District 3

2021 Champion: Horizon Christian (Hood River)

Top Returners: Haylee Andrews, Taylor Mills, Ellie Rinella, Olivia Nickson, Hailey Heideman, Abby Beal, Emily Crawford, Myana Stock, Kallyn Wilkins, Shana Orellano, Valina Bruggeman, Augustina Decker, McKenzie Olson, Sophie Hulke, Laney Tuthill, Ashley Bailey, Brooke Beachamp, Chloe Wenz, Kylie Iverson, Ellie Rinella, Allison McFall, Megan Aamodt, Holly Miles

Honorable Mentions: Lena Thiemann, Julie Hull, Morgan Geary, Sadie McCoy, Bailey Holycross, Allie Masterson, Maddie McMurray, Abby Colby, Jennifer Estey, Ji-Ha Nam, Zandra Bakken

Analysis: Horizon Christian or Condon? These two are separated by the slimmest of margins entering 2022, providing some intriguing competition for this district title. Both teams have a wealth of talent returning as the best in district: Ellie Rinella, Taylor Mills, Olivia Nickson, Kallyn Wilkins, Valina Bruggeman, Augustina Decker, and Megan Aamodt are the names to watch from these squads. In the field events, Dufur is the team to watch in district this season.

Prediction: Horizon Christian (Hood River)

Special District 4

2021 Champion: Crane

Top Returners: Taylor Joyce, Riley Lucas, Lizzy Nielson, Ayla Bingham, Autumn Dobbs, Charlee Morehead, Austyn Turner, Presley Speelmon, Iona McDonald, Kendra Counsel, Danielle O’Reilly, Kelsie Siegner, Kortney Doman, Ariana Samples, Allyssa Dudley, Avalon Perkins, Betty Ann Wilson, Lindsey Bertalotto, Jill Gammett, Alyssa Jennings

Honorable Mentions: Klair Venell, Evalyn Nunez, Dania Sather, Madelyn Adams, Paige Gifford-lamb, Caitlin Titus, Paige Marlia, Ashley Edmondson, Colleen Carlsen, Sadie Wagster, Taylor Shold, Sadie Wagster

Analysis: Defending state champion Crane sits atop this district again in 2022, with the Mustangs pursuing yet another state title with a great returning roster. Elgin took 3rd at state in 2021, but long gone is that squad and in comes Adrian to take the runner-up spot, inserting themselves as the second-best squad in the district entering 2022. This one isn’t a close call though; Crane is running away with their never-ending supply of talented athletes.

Prediction: Crane

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