Summit senior Collin Moore, state runner-up in the high jump last season, could push 7-feet this year. (Photo by Kris Cavin)
Summit senior Collin Moore, state runner-up in the high jump last season, could push 7-feet this year. (Photo by Kris Cavin)

It came as little surprise that Summit's track teams made a triumphant return to 5A last season after four years in 6A.

The Storm swept the team titles in the 5A meet, the girls resuming their reign that lasted from 2007 to 2018 and the boys picking up their sixth state championship.

But if Summit is going to extend its dominance this season – the boys and girls won at state by 47.5 and 43.5 points, respectively, in 2023 – it will need some breakout performers. That will be a bit more of a challenge considering turnout is down from 220 to 190.

“Caldera took a lot of our talent,” Summit coach Dave Turnbull said of Bend's newest high school. “You throw a fourth school into a city like Bend, the talent pool just gets spread around.”

Still, the Storm always seems to find a way to rise to the top.

“The boys look pretty strong again,” Turnbull said. “We returned a good talent pool, but we lost quite a bit. The girls are going to have to have a big meet at the end to be in the mix. In years past, we would back off at district and try to prime for state. We're not going to be able to do that with Caldera in our league.”

Summit's boys can build around several high state-placers from last year in seniors Noah Goodrich (first in triple jump), Collin Moore (second in high jump), Benjamin Hill (third in discus, fourth in shot) and Noah Laughlin-Hall (fourth in 1,500) and junior Hayden Boaz (fifth in 3,000).

Turnbull said he believes that Moore, who cleared 6-7 in the high jump last season, is ready for a big season after helping lead the Storm to the state basketball championship.

“I really do believe he'll jump 6-10 or 7-foot,” Turnbull said. “Just coming out of basketball, he's already got momentum going. He's over 6-6 by six inches. He's going to be jumping in practice at 7-2 to 7-4 this year to get him up over those higher heights, because he has to.”

Moore could challenge Summit's school record of 6-10, set by Bradley Laubacher in 2012. He will have plenty of help considering he is coached by Turnbull, who went 7-0 ¼ for Mountain View in 1984, and Damian Olson, who jumped a state-record 7-3 ½ for Bend in 1997.

“I feel left out over here,” Turnbull said of crosstown rivals Mountain View and Bend having better marks. “I want to get him up there.”

Summit has the top two returning state placers in the triple jump in Goodrich, the reigning champion, and senior Brian Maloney, who took sixth. The Storm also has the No. 1 returners in the 1,500 with Laughlin-Hall and the 3,000 with Boaz.

Turnbull said his distance runners “looked great” in a recent time trial.

“We've had a talented pool of boys distance runners in the past, and Hayden looks as good as any of them right now,” Turnbull said. “Noah's stride mechanics, because they're longer, they're a little more apt to run a better 3,000. Hayden right now, his foot speed looks fantastic.”

The Storm is counting on Hill to come through in the shot and discus. Turnbull said that Hill, who has a personal best of 149-4 in the discus, has a shot at the school record of 170-2, set in 2018 by Noah Turnbull, the coach's son and now an assistant coach with the team.

Summit graduated a strong class that included state champions Benjamin Strang (300 hurdles) and Spencer Elliott (shot), but the Storm will be gunning for another team title.

“We're planning on it,” Turnbull said. “We set it as a goal every year. If we can be close, we stay relevant every year. Even in 6A, we stayed relevant.”

Summit's girls have won a state-record 13 state championships, taking the top spot in each of their last 13 seasons in 5A. The Storm is looking a bit more vulnerable this season, however.

Junior Abigail Fagan (fifth in 200, sixth in 100) and senior Lia Cooper (sixth in 400) – members of both state runner-up relay teams – provide good building blocks.

“They'll be the ones we probably lean on the most,” Turnbull said. “We're going to need some help. We've got work to do on the girls side.”

Summit graduated two outstanding distance runners in Barrett Justema (first in 1,500, second in 800) and Ella Thorsett (second in 3,000, fifth in 1,500), but has a fast-rising distance crew from the 5A champion cross country team.

Sophomores Eva Dicharry, Skye Knox and Taylin Bowen finished seventh, 10th and 13th, respectively, in the state cross country meet. In the state track meet last year, Knox was fifth in the 3,000 and Bowen eighth in the 800.

Sophomore Kalyn Christ (fourth in 100 hurdles, eighth in high jump) should produce points. And versatile freshman sprinter and jumper Jacque Haffner is loaded with potential.

“She looks like a Division I athlete. She's very, very strong,: Turnbull said. “It I turn her into a heptathlete, she's getting a Division I scholarship.”