AAPS track & field athletes excel at The Outdoor Nationals track meet in Oregon

By Jo Mathis / AAPS Editor 

Presented by Nike, the competition featured some of the top high school runners in the country and was held at the same stadium that the Olympic trials had been held the previous week.

Click here for full results.

Pioneer boys track coach Don Sleeman said he admires his runners’ commitment to getting to the national competition.

“They’re all juniors, so this will give them an excellent experience to build upon for their senior year,” said Sleeman. “It was exciting to see Owen (Johnson) run his fastest mile ever after sitting out the entire spring season with a foot injury. Just having four young men of this caliber to work with would make any coach excited about an upcoming season.”

Pioneers Owen Johnson, Fred Wallace, Henry Monte-Sano, and Matt Ruud at the Outdoor Nationals in Eugene, Oregon.

Pioneer High School results included:

4 x 1-mile relay:  Henry Monte-Sano, Owen Johnson, Matt Ruud, Fred Wallace (13th place)

4 x 800 relay: Henry Monte-Sano, Owen Johnson, Matt Ruud, Fred Wallace (15th place)

4 x 1-mile relay: Sarah Forsyth, Cookie Baugh, Sylvia Sanok-Dufalio, Rachel Forsyth (4th place – medal winner)

4 x 800 relay: Sarah Forsyth, Emily Cooper, Sylvia Sanok-Dufalio, Rachel Forsyth (11th place)

Distance Medley Relay (DMR): Cookie Baugh, Rachel Forsyth, Sylvia Sanok-Dufalio, Sarah Forsyth, (4th place – medal winner)

Gabriella Newman – High Jump (7th place)

Pioneer runners left to right: Emily Cooper, Cookie Baugh, Sylvie Sanok Dufallo, Sarah Forsyth, Rachel Forsyth.

Pioneer girls track coach Ian Forsyth noted that his daughter, Rachel, was sick all weekend, so last-minute adjustments were made with the DMR so that Cookie stayed with the 1200, Rachel ran the 400 instead of 1600, Sylvie ran the 800 instead of 400 and Sarah ran the 1600 instead of 800.

“It’s very difficult to switch your mindset at the last second —literally just before they checked in for the race—and they responded extremely well, each running fantastic legs,” he said.  “Overall they had a great trip and performed well under strenuous conditions.  Sarah especially had an incredible weekend running a full mile personal best the first day in 4:57 and a 1600 personal best the next day in 4:57.  This kind of competition should translate positively into the upcoming cross country season.”

Huron’s team included (L-R): Jaliyah Girma Walls, Mackenzie Robinson, Kay-Lee Mcswain and Fatouma Conde.

Huron High School results included:

Huron boys: 100 dash. Trey Gardette (8th place)200 dash

Huron Girls: Fatouma Conde (6th prelims/7th in Finals)

4 x 100 relay: Jaliyah Girma-Walls, Mackenzie Robinson, Kay-Lee McSwain, Fatouma Conde (2nd place, medal winners)

“Nationals was a great way to end my high school track career,” said Fatouma, a two-time conference champion sprinter who is Number 2 in the state for the 100- and 200-meter dash, “and see how much progress my team and I have made thus far.”

Her coach, Candice Price, is incredibly proud of the runners, all of whom became all-Americans.

“They won their heat in the preliminary rounds, went into the finals as Number Two, and finished second in the U.S. only behind  Detroit Renaissance another Michigan team.”

She said the commitment to the sport shows by the senior runners made them regionally and nationally recognized, noting that Kaylee plans to attend Wayne State on an athletic scholarship, Fatouma has offers from Iowa,  EMU, Kansas, Minnesota, and Ohio State, and Trey Gardette has offers from four universities.

She is happy that Mackenzie will be returning to run for Huron next year.

Trey Gardette (left) celebrates with Coach Candice Price (in cap) and fellow Huron runners