EUGENE There wasn't a member of the Hermiston boys team who stood atop the podium at the OSAA Track and Field Championships.
But when the two-day meet at the University of Oregon concluded Saturday, the Bulldogs cashed in their grip of second and third-place medals for the best trophy in program history.
Hermiston, paced by leaper Jared Walchli and distance runners Alejandro Cisneros and Jose Macias, racked up 45 team points en route to a third-place finish. Marist (67) ran away from Lebanon (46) for the 5A team title.
Hermiston's girls, led by McKenzie Byrd and Jansen Edmiston, finished fourth for the second-straight year.
"That's definitely a feather in the cap," Hermiston coach Brandt Lind said of his team's finishes. "Obviously (Walchli, Cisneros and Macias) were the foundation of the boys' team and (Byrd and Edmiston) led our girls team, but we had others contribute, too. It's been a good day."
Senior harriers Cisneros and Macias, who fished 2-3 in the 3000-meter run on Friday, also finished 2-3 in the 1500 on Saturday.
Marist sensation Matthew Maton (3:53.08) ran away with another win, but Macias (3:59.61) was able to take runner-up honors this time while tying the Hermiston school record set by Cisneros this season.
Having just ended their prep careers, Macias and Cisneros (4:00.37) gave an emotional embrace to distance coach Jake Puzey moments after stepping down from the podium.
"(Puzey) has really helped me grow as a runner and a person. He's helped Alejandro and I a lot," Macias said. "We didn't win, but at least we gave our team another 14 points."
In the triple jump and high jump, Walchli racked up his share of points.
His career leap of 46-03 in the triple almost a foot longer than his previous best of 45-4 was enough for second place. Cameron Retherford of Benson Tech beat Walchli by setting the meet record with a leap of 47-04.
Walchli had little down time between the triple and high jump, where he finished third with a mark 6-7, two inches lower than his best.
"I'm definietly disappointed (about the high jump), but it happens. That's track," Walchli said. "Trying to go all out in the triple jump, then jumping over to high jump took a lot out of me, but I still should have jumped higher."
Sprinter Chris Behrendt also helped the Bulldogs by finishing sixth in the 200 (22.53).
On the girls side, Byrd, headed to Oregon State as a heptathlete this fall, weathered some adversity over the weekend.
After defending her state title in the javelin (142-04) and taking second in the high jump (5-4), Byrd scratched in the discus and took fifth in the shot put (37-00.25), an event she placed second in a year ago.
"I didn't do quite as well as I wanted to," Byrd said. "But sometimes that's how it rolls. I was blessed to come out here, compete and win a title in the javelin. There's not much to complain about."
Byrd's sophomore teammate, Edmiston, was one of the busiest athletes at Historic Hayward Field on Saturday, shining in all four of her events.
She placed second in the 100 (12.49), third in the 400 (59.17), fourth in the 300 hurdles (46.56) and teamed up with Ebony Wilson, Daryan Lewis and Audrey Lincoln on the fourth-place 4x100 team (50.37).
"To do four events, especially the 400 and 300 hurdles, in the same day is tough," Lind said. "You literally have to choreograph all 48 of her hours at the state meet to make sure she's ready."
Bylenga leads Pendleton
Pendleton mid-distance runner Nolan Bylenga had no idea where he stacked up in the 800-meter run.
Going into his first-ever state appearance in the race, the bushy-haired sophomore was initially wide-eyed going into Saturday.
He rose to the occasion, though, taking third in a time of 1:56.20 three seconds faster than his previous best.
Bylenga's third-place finish was the best of any Pendleton athlete over the weekend.
"I honestly had no idea how I'd do," Bylenga said. "I could have finished third or I could have finished last. Everyone just started out really fast and I just kept my pace; I used the last lap to catch them."
The Buckaroos took a major blow when four-event qualifier Donte Robinson hyperextended his knee during Friday's long jump.
Robinson went on to take fifth in the event (21-6.5), but the injury forced him to sit out for Saturday's high jump, javelin and triple jump.
He was forecast to earn a top 5 medal in each event.
Robinson's twin sister, Charmayne, competed in the triple jump, placing fifth (35-02.50).
Fifth was a popular spot for the Buckaroos on Saturday.
In the boys' 400, Andrew Porter ran a season-best 50.74 to take fifth. In the boys' 110 hurdles, Joel Boozer was fifth (15.29).
Boozer's sister, Hannah, ran a season-best 15.85 to take sixth in the 100 hurdles and thrower Marlene Bodmer placed seventh in the javelin (117-00).
Mac-Hi's Warne just shy of title
Mac-Hi junior Tristin Warne could barely stand up, let alone finish a grueling race.
Leading the 4A boys' 300-meter hurdles up until the final 10 meters, Warne's back leg hit a hurdle, tripping him up as he stumbled across the finish line.
It was just enough for Michael Capri (39.82) to beat Warne (39.97) for the title.
"My legs were so tired. I couldn't even move," Warne said. "When I saw him pass me at the end I was like 'No!'. When I hit that last hurdled I kind of fell apart."
It was still a career day for Warne, who also set a personal best while taking third in the 110 hurdles (15.28).
"My goal was to break into the 30s and did it," Warne said of the 300 race. "Next year I'm hoping to get into the 14s the 110s."
Mac-Hi's girls were paced by Kristi Childers, who took sixth in the 4A 100 hurdles (16.39).