The state track meet better get used to Matty Ladd and Gracie Arnold.
The pair of Cottage Grove underclassmen – Ladd a sophomore and Arnold a freshman – both finished in the top seven of the 4A high jump competition last Friday at Mt. Hood Community College.
“Coming here when you’re younger and knowing that you might come here again sets those expectations,” said Ladd. “Last year I got fifth and so this year my expectation was I want to get fifth or higher.”
Ladd did just that as she took fourth with a clearance of 5-02 feet. Locked in from the start, Ladd cleared 4-10, 5-00 and 5-02 on her first attempts.
“I think it was adrenaline and we also had like an hour warm up so we were ready to go,” said Ladd.
Arnold finished seventh in the competition with her clearance of 5-0.
“Coming in I wasn’t so focused on how I did and what I placed, it was just the experience of being here. I made it to state, I’ve got nothing to lose. That was my mindset pretty much,” said Arnold.
Not the only successful underclassmen in high jump, Cascade freshman Emma Gates won the event with a clearance of 5-05.
“Looking at the competition we’re going OK, ‘she’s a senior, she’s a senior, she won’t be here next year,’” said Arnold as her and Ladd plan for the future. “We’re setting goals already – next year fifth or higher and we’ll be back at it.”
Earlier in the day on Friday Arnold competed in javelin where she took 12th with a throw of 101-02.
“Jav I didn’t do as well as I would have liked but I’m still OK with how I finished. And I’m willing to put more work into it next year. And high jump I’m pretty happy about it and I’m excited for it,” she said.