Umatilla’s Zayne Troeger and Heppner’s Hunter Nichols have been chasing each other around the track for four years.
Friday was the last go-round for the rivals as they ran against each other at the Dick Horyna Invite in Stanfield.
Nichols won the 3,000 and 400 (53.0) on Friday, placed second in the 800 (2:04.80), and ran the anchor leg on the Mustangs’ 4x400 relay team that finished second to the Vikings, who had Troeger running the final lap.
“We were talking at the starting line of the 3,000, and realized this would be the last time,” said Troeger, who will run cross-countr- and track at Eastern Oregon University. “There’s never a dull moment running against your future teammate. That’s what makes the sport fun — the relationships you make.”
Nichols said he’s appreciated how hard Troeger has made him work, but is looking forward to being teammates next year at EOU.
“I’m excited to run with with him, instead of butting heads,” Nichols said. “We have been racing a long time — the next chapter will be something new.”
Troeger led the 3,000 until the final lap, where Nichols pulled ahead with about 500 meters to go and held on for the win in a time of 9 minutes, 29.04 seconds.
“That was a fun race,” said Troeger, who clocked a 9:31.48.
Nichols will run against a new batch of opponents at the Special District 5 district meet Friday in John Day.
“I’m excited for district,” he said. “New teams I’ve never raced against. I have run against them in cross-country, but this is different.”
Troeger ran with Arrik Russell, Julian Gutierrez and Eric Hoyos on the 4x400 relay that turned in a time of 3:36.23. They have their sights set on the school record of 3:31.
Gutierrez also leaped a personal best 19-11 1/2 to win the long jump as the Vikings won the boys team title with 132 points. Heppner was second with 123.
Also winning events for the Vikings were Anthony Ibarra in the pole vault (12-0), Jose Alaniz in the triple jump (38-3), and Mark Quinnonez in the discus (131-1).
Seth Thomas of Ione won the 100 in a time of 11.58.
Pilot Rock senior Saber Harp topped the field in the 300 hurdles, clocking a personal best 42.37. Riverside freshman Marco Landeros was second with a PR of 42.50.
Harp also was second in the 110 hurdles (17.66) to Umatilla’s Trent Durfey (17.12).
“I try to stay in the zone,” Harp said. “I hear the footsteps and that pushes me harder. In the 110s, I know I hit a hurdle or two and that slowed me down.”
Harp is looking for another trip to state. He placed eighth in the 300s last year and 11th in the 110s.
“I’m hoping to get a state championship,” he said.
Pilot Rock also got a win from Christian Haskell in the javelin (157-5 1/2).
Heppner’s Derek Howard easily won the shot put with a mark of 49-8, with Sam Carlson of Griswold second at 47-9 1/2.
The Nichols family made a clean sweep of the 3,000, as Madelyn Nichols won the girls race in a time of 11:45.86 — a personal best.
“I’m just trying to get prepared for district,” said Nichols, who won the race by almost 30 seconds. “With our new district, there are a lot more distance runners who are competitive.”
Nichols also won the 1,500 with a PR of 5:12.88.
In the girls 4x400 relay, Umatilla led from start to finish, but almost got caught at the finish line as Weston-McEwen’s Kaitlin Wenz made up a lot of distance on the final lap.
“I tried to catch her (Abigail Cardenas), that was the plan,” Wenz said. “She came out hot and I was banking on my kick. Just came up short.”
Umatilla won the girls team title with 103 points, with the TigerScots second with 90.
Riverside’s Hannah Payne won the 100 (13.45) and the 200 in a personal best time of 27.48.
Ana Zacarias of Irrigon won the 400 (1:02.42), Bryce Thul of Weston-McEwen won the 300 hurdles (49.27), and ran a leg on the winning 4x100 relay team. Emily Lambert of Pilot Rock won the shot put (34-2 1/2) and was second in the discus (104-2). Rachel McCarty of Stanfield-Echo won the javelin (101-7 1/2).
Griswold picked up two wins on the day — Hannah Christman in the 800 (2:25.25), and Arianna Krol in the discus with a PR of 113-8.