Competing in the last meet before Sky-Em Districts, Cottage Grove hosted the annual Wally Ciochetti Invitational last Friday.
Under the bright lights at the night meet, it was Cottage Grove junior Jimmy Talley who shined for the Lions on the track. It was Talley taking second in the 3,000 meters Friday night as Newport’s Leo Johns, who holds the fastest time in 4A this season, won the event. While Johns holds the fastest time, Talley is now second in 4A this season.
In the field events, Cottage Grove got first place finishes from junior Mitchell Krokus and sophomore Matty Ladd. Krokus, who has the second longest jump in 4A this season, won the triple-jump competition at 42-05.50. Ladd took first in high jump at 5-2 which is tied for the fifth-best mark in 4A. Freshman Gracie Arnold was third in the high jump competition with a clearance of five feet.
Ladd also took fifth in the 100 and seventh in triple jump. Junior teammate Payton Cameron finished eighth in triple jump.
Other top-eight finishers for Cottage Grove include: Arnold at fourth in javelin, senior Riley Hutchins sixth in javelin, sophomore Annah Nyburg fourth place in the 800, senior Paesen Timm sixth place in the 1500, senior Drake English fifth in high jump, freshman Isaac Stere seventh in high jump, junior Fernando Soto-Cruz seventh in the 400, sophomore Drew Chapman seventh in the 3000, sophomore Adelle Kent seventh in pole vault and sophomore Evan Snauer seventh in javelin.
On Friday and Saturday the Lions will compete at the Sky-Em district meet at Marist High School.
Heading into the pivotal meet, Talley has the top time in the 3000 while Krokus sits at the top of the league in triple jump and second in long jump. In high jump, English, Stere and senior Erick Giffen are all ranked in the top-three in high jump.
For the Cottage Grove girls, the team has a handful of competitors who are looking to punch their ticket to the state meet. Arnold and Ladd have the top marks in high jump while Arnold also has the farthest javelin throw of the season. Riley Hutchins is currently third in javelin.
Heading into the meet, Raina Herzog (shot put), Avery Hutchins (high jump), Adelle Kent (pole vault) and Payton Cameron (triple jump) all sit in fourth place.
The Lions have been named coed district champions for the past three seasons.