GRESHAM — Seaside senior Gretchen Hoekstre knew it was a special throw right away, but she had to wait a few moments to learn just indeed how special.
Hoekstre was already tops on the leaderboard when she stepped into the discus ring for her first throw of the finals Saturday at the 4A state track and field meet hosted by Mt. Hood Community College.
She spun in a tight circle and flung the metal disc high into the air. It hung there for a long breath before landing deep in the sector. Fans packed onto a grassy hillside on the north end of the stadium erupted in whoops and hollers, and Hoekstre gave a fist pump on her way out of the ring.
She paused by the event signboard waiting for her mark to be displayed. The officials spun the dials to show 157 feet even (official mark was 156-11). Hoekstre jumped away pumping her arms over her head, while rejoining the celebration with her fans across the track.
The mark beat the meet record, held by one of her heroes, Laura Bobek of Astoria, by more than four feet.
“She had a goal, and she likes to get those records. She admires Laura, and that was a little motivator to push her through to that mark,” Seaside throws coach Krystal Pike said. “She was feeling good and relaxed, and everything just hit right when it needed to.”
Hoekstre spun another deep one out there on her final attempt, touching down at 155-3. Four of her six attempts went over 145.
Hoekstre climbed to the top of the awards podium, collected her first-place medal, then rushed off to the shot put ring to compete in her next event.
She won it on her first throw, sending the ball 43-8¾.
Meanwhile, Astoria finished seventh in the girls team standings with 31 points, highlighted by Sophie Long’s win in the 800-meter final Saturday.
She was a member of the three-person breakaway pack at the bell and made her winning surge late on the backstretch.
“I wanted to stay with that front pack and use my speed at the end,” Long said. “Right before we hit 200 to go, I could tell the girl in first was getting tired, so I took my chance. After that I was just trying to get to the finish, thinking about how good it would feel to be done.”
She clocked in at 2:20.57 for the two-lap race.
Teammate Kes Sandstrom finished third in the discus (125-8), Elizabeth Barnett was fifth in the pole vault (9-0) and Nara Van De Grift was sixth in the triple jump (34-4 3/4).
Astoria also got points from each of its relay teams.
On the boys side, Astoria senior Ian Hunt had the team’s top performance by clearing a personal-best of 6 feet on his first attempt. He then moved to a bench on the infield and watched seven competitors drop out at that bar.
“It was exciting to get that clearance on my first try today — it set me up for a good spot on the podium,” Hunt said. “I was feeling the adrenaline of being at state, and that bar didn’t seem as high as it usually does.”
He would go out at 6-1, but held the tiebreaker (fewer misses) over La Grande’s Terence Clay to lock down third place.
Hunt would pull on his warmups and dash across the stadium to get into the starting blocks for the high hurdles where he would place fifth, accounting for all but two of the Fishermen’s 12 team points.
Colton McMaster finished seventh in the discus (141-7).
In the 3A boys meet, Warrenton junior Mark Warren tallied points across all three throwing events, highlighted by a win in the shot put with a personal best of 53-0 ¾.
He traded the lead with Salem Academy’s Mason Strunk in the preliminaries before hitting his best throw in the third round. Warren went over 50 feet three times, while Strunk fouled his final two throws to finish a thumb print back in second place.
“I knew coming in that I would have to compete,” Warren said. “Mason and I have been pushing each other all season. It was intense, but it was a lot of fun.”
Warren came in fourth in the discus also with a personal best of 137-4 and took third in the javelin (167-7) Friday to tally 21 team points.
“It feels great to compete in all three events for my team, but I would have liked to have done even more.”
Fernanda Alvarez led the Warrenton girls by placing seventh in the discus (101-8) and eighth in the shot put (36-0).
Warrenton’s Adriana Dejesus took seventh in the 800-meter final (2:29.38), and Kaisa Liljenwall was seventh in both the 100-meter hurdles (17.39) and the 300-meter hurdles (50.02).
In a late result from Friday, Seaside’s Parker Conrad placed sixth in the 4A boys javelin final with a throw of 159 feet, 1 inch.
Piña-Morton takes fifth in 1,500
In the 2A/1A state meet at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Knappa junior Robert Piña-Morton ran a 4:18.09 for fifth place in the 1,500-meter final. A day earlier, he set a personal best in the 3,000-meter final.
Knappa sprinter Kanai Philip finished ninth in the preliminaries for both the 100 and 200-meter races, one place out of qualifying for the finals.