This weekend might be one of the first times that Alexa Efraimson races at Hayward Field, but it will certainly not be the last. Efraimson is slated to run in the open 800 and also anchor her Camas High School (Washington) distance medley relay as the 1600 meter leg for the Oregon Relays in Eugene. With the World Juniors trials and championships both being held later this summer at Hayward Field, a good opportunity for Efraimson and other elite high school athletes in the Northwest to get familiar with a venue that could be the place that they make a US team against international competition.
Efraimson, coming off a 9:55 3200 PR win at the Arcadia Invite, will look to get another PR in a second straight weekend and challenge her current lifetime best of 2:06.94 in the 800. Her DMR leg could be very exciting to watch, especially if she is a sizeable gap to make up on the leaders and has people to try and chase down while being in a class of her own among the anchors as a 4:32 miler.
The distance races are definitely the premier events at this event with neighboring states Washington and Idaho bringing in strong talent to bolster the depth in many of the races. The girls 800 field is definitely the best and deepest of the meet as beyond Efraimson, there are four more girls who have run 2:10 or faster in the 800 including Piper Donaghu of Grant (OR) at 2:09.84, Tess Michaelson of Lincoln (OR) at 2:10.11, Paige Rice of St. Mary's Academy at 2:10.32, and Hannah Derby of Bellarmine Prep at 2:10.59.
Piper Donaghu was an Oregon state champion at the distance in 2013, while her sophomore kid sister Ella Donaghue is the favorite and top seed in the girls 1500 by nearly 7 seconds with a 4:31.56 best. Ella was an Oregon state cross country champion and broke into the top 10 for her finish at the Nike Cross Nationals this past December. She won the Oregon Relays 1500 last year as a freshmen in her still standing personal best time in the event. Michaelson has pretty unique range from the 200 to 5K, but thrives most between 400 and 800 meters as a Oregon state champion last outdoor season in the 400, but also has run 2:11 to start off this season in the 800.
The top seed in both the boys 1500 and 3K belongs to Summit (OR) junior Matthew Maton with entry times of 8:28 in the 3K and 3:54 in the 1500. Maton will have his work cut out for him to be a double winner in both at the Oregon Relays with the Gig Harbor (WA) boys present in the trio of Logan Carroll, Tristan Peloquin, and Wolfgang Beck along with 2013 New Balance Nationals Indoor 5K champion Elijah Armstrong from Pocatello, Idaho.
Maton was the Oregon state cross country champion in the fall and last spring as a sophomore remarkably won state titles in the 1500 and 3K at a young age. Maton really shined in the post-season this fall winning the Foot Locker West Regional at Mt. SAC before claiming third place at the Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego. He also rolled out a 4:11 mile as a sophomore at the Portland Track Festival last June to make him one of the country's top high school distance runners who will be back next year as well.
More to come on the Oregon Relays.
More on 2014 Oregon Relays