Historic Hayward Field – On the final day of the OSAA State Track and Field Championships the St. Mary’s girls found themselves in a must win situation in the final race of the day in order to podium for the seventh time in the past ten years. The Crusaders were sitting 7th in the team standings with five events left in the competition and that’s when they began to roll.
Emma Bennion started the run to the podium with a 2nd place finish in the 800m in a personal best time of 2:21.77. Fellow sophomore Katie Rietmann followed with a tremendous effort in the shot put. On her last throw of the day, and with one competitor remaining, Rietmann had the best throw of her career at 39′ 9.5 to take the lead, which ended up being good enough for 2nd place as the defending state champion from La Pine had to throw her best throw on her last attempt.
Bennion then lined up to defend her title in the 300m Hurdles, and didn’t disappoint. Finding herself in third place with 100 meters to go, Bennion dug in and won the event going away in a time of 46.66.
With one event remaining the Crusaders had moved into fifth place, down by 4 points to Nyssa, with both teams lining up in the same heat for the 4×400 meter relay. Win, and get a trophy, anything less and go home empty-handed. Knowing that, the team of Meghan Michels, Maddie Wheelock, Aessa Catt, and Emma Bennion saved their best for last. Michels started the race and came into the first handoff with a 5 meter lead, Wheelock took the baton and found herself just ahead of Nyssa at the turn, by the time she handed off to Catt they had a 10 meter lead and were in control of the race, with Nyssa, Blanchet, and the defending champion Cascade Christian trying to run her down. Catt opened the lead down the home stretch to 20 meters and handed the baton to the anchor Bennion. With 200 meters to go, Bennion was in control and crossed the line in a time of 4:04.42, the fastest finals time since 2011 when the St. Mary’s squad of Krieser, Petersen, Steinsiek, and S. Bennion set the current 3A state record of 4:02.59.