Athletes from a couple of the area’s smaller schools will take center stage Saturday during the annual Prefontaine Rotary Invitational track meet at Marshfield.
This year’s event includes 32 schools ranging in size from Class 4A to Class 1A, including five from California, and will take most of the day.
The first field events begin at 10 a.m., including the shot put, javelin, high jump, pole vault and triple jump for girls and the discus, pole vault and long jump for boys (two pits will be used for the pole vault).
The running events begin at 11.
The events mirror those in a regular high school meet, with the exception of the Prefontaine Mile (instead of the usual 1,500) in honor of Marshfield great Steve Prefontaine, who the meet is named after.
That race will feature Bandon standouts Hunter Hutton and Josh Snyder on the boys side and Sailor Hutton for the girls. The Hutton twins won the boys and girls 1,500-meter titles at the state meet last spring. Hunter also is defending Class 2A champion in the pole vault. He and Snyder will double back in the 800, where Hunter has dipped under 2 minutes this spring.
Among the other stellar athletes to watch Saturday are Pacific’s Justin Hall and Josh Engdahl, who led the Pirates to the Class 1A state title last spring. Hall is the defending state champion in both hurdles races and Engdahl won the 800, though this week he will focus on the 400 and 300 hurdles.
Other area standouts to watch are North Bend javelin and discus thrower Ty Hampton and sprinter Jonathon Chilcote; and Marshfield sprinter Zach Kellar, shot putter Tyler Post and pole vaulter Chase Howerton.
Saturday’s meet also serves as sort of a preview for the end of the season. North Bend, Marshfield and Crook County all figure to be among to the top boys teams at the Class 4A state meet in May.
Crook County features freshman Zachary Guthrie, who has soared over 21 feet in the long jump this spring and is close to Chilcote’s top time in the 100; sophomore Jonas Rice, who has a slightly faster time than Hall in the high hurdles; and juniors Noah Chaney, who has cleared 14-9 in the pole vault, and Jacob Curry, who has gotten over 6-1 in the high jump. The Cowboys also are seeded first in both relays Saturday.
The top area girls include North Bend long jumper Chelsea Howard, Marshfield pole vaulters Khaley Aguilar and Jamie Anderson, and Coquille shot putter Heather Marshall.
The girls sprints also will give fans a chance to see a pair of dynamic freshmen — Majia Shaw of Laguna Beach, Calif. and Jadyn Vermillion of South Umpqua.
The hurdles feature Lizzie Dolan of McKinleyville as favorite.
Kenna Woodward of Crook County will challenge Marshall in the shot put and is favored in the discus.
The high jump, meanwhile, includes Harrisburg’s Alexis Thomas, Marshfield’s Jaycee Smith and Coquille’s McKenna Wilson, who are among the state’s best in their respective classifications.
Laguna Beach, which is making the trip from Orange County north to the meet for the first time, has a number of top girls in several events and strong boys in the distance races.