By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
EUGENE On the first day of the OSAA Track & Field State Championships, a pair of Bruins did more than just record personal bests in their events.
Freshman Ally Manley and senior Kyle Botnen both broke school records on their way to the podium Thursday.
Manley finished the race in 10:34.51, which shattered her previous best by almost 25 seconds and also topped the school record by more than six seconds.
"It's really cool," Manley said about being the new school record holder. "I felt good and I dropped a lot of time."
Manley spent most of the race in third place, ahead of Siuslaw's Raelyn Robinson.
However, on the first turn of the final lap, Robinson passed Manley and moved into third.
But Manley knew she still had some energy left in the tank and had to make her move to retake third.
"I knew I had to kick it soon," Manley said. "And I knew in order to pass her, I had to keep it up."
At last weekend's district track meet, Manley learned the hard way that she had too much left at the end of the race just barely finishing in third place in the 1,500-meter race after almost catching Jessianne Heley of North Bend in the final 100 meters.
"I knew I had to kick it earlier because I had too much left (last week)," Manley said.
And the extra spurt at the end paid off for Manley as she took the third place medal and grabbed the school record.
"I thought all season she could run in the 10:30's and she picked a great stage to do it," Coach Paul Angove said. "I loved the way she ran and her kick at the end."
Also setting a new school record was Botnen in the pole vault.
After being tied for the school record for the past year at 14 feet, Botnen was finally able to eclipse 14-03 at the state meet, which earned him fourth place overall.
Botnen easily cleared 13 and 14 feet on his first attempt, but struggled with his steps while attempting 14-03 missing on his first two attempts.
"I was a little nervous about it," Botnen said. "I kept switching between steps. But I finally decided to just go for it."
On his third and final attempt, Botnen nailed his steps and gracefully glided over the bar.
"It's a huge relief to finally make it," Botnen said.
Botnen also competed in the 200-meter dash Friday a race he has competed in only a handful of times this season and finished 13th overall with a time of 23.89
The only other Bruin to make the podium over the first two days of competition was senior Tabby Reneman with a seventh place finish in the discus with a throw of 114-10.
For the third year in a row, Reneman placed in the discus taking fifth place last year and fourth place her sophomore year.
"I'm not real happy with my performance, but usually when I choke in the discus I do well in the javelin," Reneman said. "It'll be interesting to see what happens."
Reneman will be the only Bruin competing today (May 24) in the final day of competition as she tries to place in two events by competing in the javelin.
In other events Thursday and Friday, the Bruins just missed qualifying for the finals in five different races with ninth place finishes.
The relay team which consisted of Botnen, senior Blake Peters and juniors Kevin Sthen and Linden Loren took ninth place overall in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
In the 4x100, the Bruins finished fifth in their heat, getting beat at the finish line by Henley, who finished .05 seconds ahead the Bruins.
The relay team suffered the same fate in the 4x400, getting beat by LaSalle in the final 50 meters, missing the finals by just .29 of a second.
The team set a new PR for the year in the 4x400 with a time of 3:30.92 and just missed a PR in the 4x100 with a time of 44.89.
"The relay team did well, they just got beat," Angove said. "Sometimes you just get beat by better teams."
Senior Steven Sanders ran a PR in the 800 Thursday, but also missed the finals by less than a second.
Sanders ran an excellent race and placed 10th overall with a time of 2:00.92.
In the 400 meter-dash Friday, Loren took fifth in his heat and ninth overall with a time of 51.87, .15 seconds away from qualifying.
Junior Kayla Hamm was close to qualifying in both the 100- and 300-hurdles on Friday, but fell just short with ninth and 11th place finishes, respectively.
Hamm finished the 100 hurdles with a time of 17.39 and the 300 hurdles in a time of 50.91.
Freshman Catherine Bones also competed in the long jump Thursday and finished 14th with a jump of 13-08.