Wiley guiles her way to meet record in vault.
SPRINGFIELD - Down to the last chance of her career to possibly win a district title, Amber Wiley vaulted herself not only atop the leaderboard but into the record book.
Wiley, a senior from Marshfield who had finished second during each of the past two years in the pole vault at the Midwestern League district meet, cleared a meet-record 11 feet, 9 inches on her third attempt to take the title Wednesday at Silke Field. Pirates sophomore Moriah Roberge was trying to extend her family's hold on the event, and she led based on fewer misses when the bar was set at 11-9, but Roberge missed on her final attempt at the height to give Wiley the title.
Wiley's winning mark surpassed the meet record held by Muriel Roberge, who reached 11-7 in 2005. Muriel Roberge won each of the last four pole vault titles in the district, and a third sister, Celina, won in 2002, making Wiley the first winner from outside that family since Thurston's Amy Davis in 2001.
"I waited four years to be a district champion, so I'm really excited," said Wiley, who missed three attempts at 12-1, which would have surpassed by an inch the school record shared by Muriel and Celina Roberge.
Wiley gave the Pirates one of their three wins in Wednesday's four events, and they lead the team race with 52 points entering Friday's conclusion to the meet. Freshman Jana Sadler took the 3,000 meters and senior transfer Tamara Beardsley won the discus, while Ashley Potter of Thurston defended her title in the long jump.
Wiley now has the top mark in the state at the 5A classification, a distinction previously held by Moriah Roberge at 11-7. Roberge, who tied for second with Wiley at last year's district meet but lost a spot at state in a jumpoff, will give her family a representative in the state meet at Hayward Field for the eighth straight year.
"I'm only a sophomore, so I think I have a lot of improvement to go," said Roberge, who said both sisters called her to wish good luck Tuesday but neither mentioned the family's winning streak. "(Wiley) deserves this, she's had a lot of pressure on her."
Beardsley had four of the day's top five throws in the discus, including her winning heave of 114-11, a 6-inch personal best. She was competing in her first Midwestern League district meet after transferring last summer from Kodiak Island, Alaska.
Beardsley won a league title there as a freshman but failed to reach 100 feet the next two years. It was only when she got to Marshfield, and after nearly going out for softball this spring, that she finally got back above 100.
"Track is taken so much more seriously in Oregon, and that definitely helps," said Beardsley, who said she overcame a pulled muscle in her left shoulder with the help of periodic massages from Pirates multi-event star Alison Worthen.
Finishing second was Willamette senior Natahsha Sutton, who barely missed out on a trip to state last year with third-place finishes in both the discus and shot put. Sutton took second with a throw of 106-5, then improved to 111-10 on her final throw.
"As I throw, I can tell what I'm doing wrong and then adjust," Sutton said. "It just happened to click this time. ...
"I've been trying to reach state for four years, so this is really big. It's really exciting for me."
Sadler led the 3,000 field through a slow start, then gradually pulled away to win in 11 minutes, 50.58 seconds. The freshman has now qualified for state in cross country, swimming and track for the Pirates.
Potter defended her long jump title with a leap of 17-8 3/4 . She also qualified first in the 100 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles, in the latter event trailing only Worthen, who will go for four wins Friday.
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|Title Annotation:||Sports; The Marshfield senior wins the MWL title, clearing 11 feet, 9 inches on her final attempt|
|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||May 10, 2007|
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