Lake Oswego senior Mia Brahe-Pedersen is chasing after national records in the 100 and 200 this year. (Photo by Jon Olson)
Lake Oswego senior Mia Brahe-Pedersen is chasing after national records in the 100 and 200 this year. (Photo by Jon Olson)

As good as Lake Oswego's girls track team has been in recent years, this season promises to be one for the books.

First, there's USC-bound senior Mia Brahe-Pedersen, one of Oregon's all-time high school superstars. Brahe-Pedersen owns state records in the 100 and 200 meters and is in position to go after national marks and possibly earn a spot on the Olympic team this year.

There's senior Josie Donelson, a Vanderbilt commit who enters the season on the brink of shattering state records in the 400 and intermediate hurdles.

And with Brahe-Pedersen and Donelson leading the way, the Lakers will be looking to improve on their state record in the 4x400 relay and take down the state mark in the 4x100 relay.

The records the Lakers set this season could stand for a generation.

“We're excited for the whole team for what can be done,” coach John Parks said. “It can be one of the greatest years of girls high school track and field, at least on the track.”

The dynamic between Brahe-Pedersen and Donelson is a powerful catalyst for the Lakers, who won the 6A team championship in 2022 and shared the title with Tualatin last year.

“Mia's gotten stronger in the longer stuff, and Josie's gotten stronger in the faster stuff,” Parks said. “And they've rubbed off on all the other kids that have trained with them.”

Brahe-Pedersen ran the 100 in 11.00 seconds and the 200 in 22.43 last year. This season, she is taking aim at the national records of 10.89 (Shawnti Jackson, 2023) and 22.11 (Allyson Felix, 2003).

But before she can start cutting loose, she needs to get healthy. She tweaked a hamstring in her first winter indoor meet – the VA Showcase in Virginia on Jan. 13 – and has not competed since.

“We were on pace for some unprecedented performances this year, and that happened,” Parks said. “She's back to 90 percent running. If she had to race now, she could. She's just not quite ready to take the risk.”

Parks is hopeful that Brahe-Pedersen will run March 29-30 in the Florida Relays at the University of Florida, but is taking a cautious approach. The focus of the season is making sure she is ready to go full tilt by May, which means she may not be geared up for the Arcadia Invitational (April 5-6), Oregon Relays (April 19-20) and Nike/Jesuit Twilight Relays (April 26).

“We don't choose to run many meets against the local competition because it's not competitive enough to get her fired up to run,” Parks said. “Your body can only handle so many of these hard efforts, and she doesn't like to go slow.”

Brahe-Pedersen has a good shot at national records in the 100 and 200 and a puncher's chance to make the Olympic team in both events, although it's more realistic to earn a spot on a relay, which takes the top six qualifiers. Last year, she narrowly missed a relay berth for the national team in the World Championships.

“If she can stay healthy, she can break both national high school records and she can make the Olympic team,” Parks said. “It's hard, but I don't put anything past her.”

Brahe-Pedersen will be going for third official 6A titles in the 100 and 200 after winning unofficial titles in both events as a freshman. At the Nike Outdoor Nationals last summer, she repeated as champion in the 200 and won the 100.

Donelson is coming off a big junior year in which she claimed her second 6A title in the 400 and won the 300 hurdles, a new event for her. Given her progress in the offseason, Donelson is poised to claim state records in both events.

“Her speed is vastly improved, and her hurdle technique has improved,” Parks said. “We're seeing spectacular things,”

Her state-winning 400 time of 53.94 just missed the state record of 53.93 (Sasha Spencer, North Salem 1997). She beat the 400 record twice during the indoor season (53.88, 53.44) and could climb into the 51s when she runs in the Florida Relays, according to Parks.

Donelson started running the 300 hurdles in late April last year and made dramatic improvement, clocking 42.60, No. 3 all-time in Oregon and within sight of the state record of 42.23 (Harley Daniel, Oregon City, 2022). She has continued to make big gains in offseason workouts.

“Everything has been at two seconds under the state-record pace,” Parks said. “Our goal is to be the national leader in the event.”

Last year, Brahe-Pedersen and Donelson teamed with Riley Ha and Marina Turpen to set the state record in the 4x400 relay (3:48.49). Parks believes the Lakers have what it takes to not only shatter that record, but threaten the national mark (3:35.49, Long Beach Poly, Calif., 2004).

“We're going to be way better,” Parks said.

Ha, a senior, and Turpen, a junior, are possibilities on the long relay. But others have emerged as candidates, such as junior Sofie Howard and senior Cenaiya Billups, daughter of Portland Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups.

The 4x100 state record (46.53, Benson, 2003) has been tantalizingly within reach the last two seasons for the Lakers. Behind Brahe-Pedersen and Donelson, they ran 46.58 in 2022 and 46.90 in 2023 to stand second and fourth all-time.

“We want to get the state record. I think we'll get it,” Parks said.