MILTON-FREEWATER - Once again, Weston-McEwen's Kayla Johnson fought through an injury to be No. 1.

Johnson, who still has a cast on her left wrist from the state basketball tournament, took home first place in the 100-meter run and the long jump at Friday's Carnival of Speed at Mac-Hi.

She also finished second in the 200, which also is the event where the cast became a factor.

"I didn't feel it until the last 50 meters of 200," Johnson said. "Then it felt like I was pulling a 10-pound weight up."

Johnson, who was the top points earner on the girls side, was the area standout on a day dominated by out-of-area teams.

Moscow, Idaho, took the girls title with a team score of 115.5.

Moscow, which also took third place on the boys side, made the best impression on Mac-Hi coach John Milleson.

"They're back for the first time since '99 or '98, and they showed strong in all the events that they were in," Milleson said. "They came with a partial team, and this is their first meet."

The Weston-McEwen girls finished in sixth place (45). Arlington (23) finished 10th, the Pendleton junior varsity team (17) placed 12th, Riverside (15) was 13th, Mac-Hi (12) finished 15th and Echo placed 19th with six points.

On the boys side, Mac-Hi's Casey Smith won the 400 with a time of 52.08. Echo's Curtis Bodewig won the high jump with a leap of 6-2.

La Grande won the overall boys title with 96 points.

Host Mac-Hi was the top local finisher in boys competition, placing fifth with 49 points. Riverside (28) placed 10th, Weston-McEwen (15) placed 15th, the Pendleton junior varsity team (11) was 17th, Echo (10) finished 18th and Arlington (8) placed 20th.

Pendleton wheelchair athlete Brandon Caswell, who is attempting to qualify for national competition, finished with times of 1:59.57 (800), 3:56.83 (1,500) and 8:04.43 (3,000).

"I qualified, I think, in all the events I did (Friday)," Caswell said, speculating about national competition.

Caswell also liked the track, which was re-done last summer at a cost of $150,000. There were a few problems with the equipment, but Milleson said it's nothing that can't be fixed.

"For it being a new track and our first time running our system, we know where our problems are and we're going to correct it," Milleson said.

For Johnson, Friday was the first of several meets where she will have to deal with her bum left wrist.

Johnson's cast is scheduled to come off on April 23. Her wrist will be re-examined the following Monday, and she'll find out how much longer it will be needed.

Johnson was fine with Friday's times, but hopes she can do even better without the cast.

"I'm hoping maybe there will be a drastic difference when I take it off," Johnson said. "That would be awesome, but I'm happy with my times."

Her goal is to repeat as state champion in the 200 and the long jump. A victory in either, or in the 100, where she finished second last season, would give her three state championships during the 2004-2005 school year. She participated on the TigerScots' volleyball and basketball 2A title teams.

Her main competition for a repeat will likely to be Vale's Kimiko Kamo, who currently holds the state's best times in the 100 and 200.

The state meet is May 20-21, and Johnson said the cast should be long gone by then.

"I'm almost 100 percent positive that it will be gone for state," Johnson said. "I'll make them cut it off."


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