BAKER CITY - Ronald Gladden will represent Wallowa High School May 16 at the state's track-and-field championships.
The sophomore long distance runner qualified for Class 1A's 1,500-meter finals by finishing the Old Oregon district's race, May 9 at Baker High School, in second place. Gladden followed the winner, Blake Huff of Pine Eagle High, by less than four seconds. Gladden completed the four laps in four minutes and 38 seconds, his best time ever.
In the girls' 1,500, Wallowa junior Natalie Millar ran her quickest time of this season (5:37.56). Last year, she won gold in Old Oregon and earned a spot in the state meet. But a return trip for this spring's championships eluded her. At Baker, she settled for third place behind Lindsay Martin of Imbler and Adrian's Sammy Bowns.
Many teammates on Wallowa's young team made their best performances in the season finale. Freshman Justin Gladden ran his quickest in the boys' 400. He also advanced to the district finals in the javelin throw. Joining him in javelin, classmate Zac Cherry set a personal record. Another freshman, Andrew Horton, threw the shot put his longest distance.
Meanwhile, juniors Tiffany Zollman and Anna Chrisman both posted record times in the girls' 200-meter sprint.
However, Ronald Gladden extended his sophomore season an extra week. The state's 1,500-meter race is scheduled for May 16 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.