While the bigger schools' track teams face off in Pendleton and Milton-Freewater, two more area towns will play host to district meets as the Eastern Oregon League will hold their championships in Boardman at Riverside High School and many of the local schools will compete for the Blue Mountain Conference titles in Stanfield.

Both local Class 3A teams, Riverside and Umatilla, are facing new competion in the fledgling EOL.

Vale, Nyssa and Grant Union seem to be the top contenders for the first EOL track titles, but both Riverside and Umatilla should have a few state qualifiers and possibly even a district champ or two.

"This is by far the most difficult track district in the state," Umatilla coach Kelly Swarat said. "If we were still in the 2A league, my boys would be fighting Heppner for the district trophy."

Riverside senior Robert Turner has the best shot at a title as he leads the state in Class 3A in the high jump, but Umatilla senior Jacob Maurer and junior Terry Johnson should also push for a win in the 110 meter high hurdles and 3,000 meter run, respectively.

Others that have a good shot at a state berth include Riverside sophomore Jessica Donovan and freshman Kelli Jones; and Umatilla junior Alma Garcilazo, sophomore Peter Stice and the boys 4x100 meter relay team.

The BMC meet should see Stanfield and Heppner battling for the boys title.

"Just based off of the seeding, if everything holds true to form, we figure on the boys side Heppner will win it, we'll be second and Weston-McEwen will finish third," Stanfield coach Eric Jensen said. "If things go well for us it could come down to the last two or three events."

The Heppner boys will be led in scoring by both relay teams, seniors Caleb O'Neal, Casey O'Neal ad Zach Kurtz, junior Tim Hauer and freshman Jordan Hatfield, all of whom should be finalists and have a very good shot at a state berth in at least one event.

Elgin looks to be the front runner in the girls division and Weston-McEwen coach Loran Monaco said he could see Enterprise shaking things up in the boys division.

Two-sport Stanfield athlete Tyler Watson is first and second in the state in the 100 and the 200, respectively, and should be joined at the state meet by senior classmate Jessica Erwert, who leads the state in the javelin throw.

Weston-McEwen's Johnc Jackson will give Watson a run for his money in the 100, though, sitting less than half of a second behind him in second in the state rankings.

TigerScots senior Kim Post also looks like a shoe-in for the state meet as she is second in the league in the shot put and javelin.

Pilot Rock also should have a few wins from seniors Kelsey Walker, and Phil King and sophomore Chance Bandy, all of whom are ranked first in the league in their respective events.

"I think all three of those have a chance to win," coach Chris Humphreys said. "Kelsey Walker has been dealing with some health issues. She's had a couple of track meets to try to get back so I'm hoping that this week she can build on that."

Freshman Erica Drake is another athlete Humphreys said could earn her way into the state meet.

Irrigon's best bet for a state berth seems to be their boys 4x100 team, which is currently ranked third in the league.

The rest of the local teams will compete in the Big Sky Conference's final meet in at Sherman in Moro.

Ione is a sentimental favorite, as they will be competing in memory of teammate Stormy Kendrick, who died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest in March.

"That's kind of been a rallying cry this year, to do well in his honor," coach Ryan Rudolf said. "We even have a patch on our uniforms to signify what he meant to us."

The girls team finished second at pre-districts to Sherman County and Rudolf said he sees no reason why they shouldn't repeat that.

He added that unless Sherman fails to show up, they are almost guaranteed the girls title while Dufur appears to be the boys' front runner.

Condon-Wheeler's Ryan Standiford is leading the state in the javelin while Helix's Kaitlyn Muller tops the standings in the triple jump.

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