Sylvia Eckman, Eliza Eckman and Ephraim Webber of Roseburg participated in Saturday’s TrackTown Youth League Championship meet at University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene.
Eliza Eckman finished second in the 1,500 meters for 13-14-year-olds in 5:07.04. She improved on her personal best by 12 seconds.
Kate Peters of Lake Oswego won the race in 5:01.12 and Jordan White of Nehalem finished third (5:07.76).
“I loved it,” Eliza said. “I didn’t realize until after I had finished (how close the third place runner was).”
Webber finished 11th in the boys 13-14 1,500 in 4:47.91. Daniel Quintana of Ilwaca, Washington, narrowly won the race in 4:15.59, Evan Gonzalez of Salem finished second in 4:15.60.
Sylvia Eckman won her heat in the 400 for 9-10-year-old girls in 1:19.92. Her time gave her a 14th finish overall in the one-lap race.
Esperansa Morales of Klamath Falls won in 1:09.76, followed by Ellis Heslam of Portland (1:10.62) and Desta Jamison of Salem (1:10.69). All top three runners ran in the first heat.
Eliza Eckman and Webber are on the track team at Joseph Lane Middle School. Sylvia Eckman attends Hucrest Elementary.
The competition started immediately following the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and will be the final competition to take place at Hayward Field before construction starts for the new stadium.
“USC had just won the NCAA title and these studs were walking around and some of the officials were teasing them if they wanted to run in another race,” said Nathan Eckman, father of Eliza and Sylvia and RHS’s cross country coach. “There were Olympians, this was just really special.”
All TrackTown Youth participants got to check in between noon and 5 p.m. and received two complimentary tickets to watch the NCAA meet.
The three young Douglas County athletes were top finishers at a regional meet on Mother’s Day, May 13, at St. Mary’s High School in Medford.
During the regional qualifier, Sylvia Eckman finished third in the 400 (1:27.03) and Eliza Eckman won the 1,500 in 5:23.11.
There were 16 regional meets where athletes ages 7-14 from around the state could qualify.