Mikaela Langston said that when she arrived at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, her jaw dropped in awe of who and what she saw around her.

“Before my jump when I walked onto the field I thought to myself, ‘This is where I belong’,” said the Orrs Island native and rising senior at Mt. Ararat High School. “The feeling of being around athletes who just competed at the Olympic Trials was insane.”

Langston, as well as Brunswick’s Tyler Patterson, were among a handful of Maine high school athletes who competed in The Outdoor Nationals last week in Eugene, Oregon. Langston competed in the triple jump that took place on Thursday, placing 29th out of 43 competitors on the girls’ side with her jump of 37-7.5. She broke the state record at the Class A state championship meet on June 5 with a jump of 38-8.5.

Langston said the experience at nationals opened her eyes to what she is capable of doing in the jumping pit.

“Now that I understand what I’m capable of I’m going to strive to be better year-round, I have a plan,” Langston said. “After it was over I thought to myself ‘I’ll be back here next year’.”

On the track, Patterson finished first in his heat for the 1-mile run, good enough for 17th overall.

Mt. Ararat senior Mikaela Langston competed in the triple jump at the high school outdoor national championships last weekend in Eugene, Oregon. Photo provided by Candice Wright

“Even though I was nervous, I couldn’t help but smile when walking onto the track with the history that (Hayward Field) has,” said Patterson, who will run at Cornell University next fall.

Patterson ran in the first of four heats in the event. He finished ahead of Ben Greene of Falmouth, who finished 20th overall with a time of 4:16.90. The boys 1-mile race had 42 competitors.

In the boys 3000-meter race walk, Rowan McDonald of Bonny Eagle finished 4th with a time of 16:03.84, while fellow Mainer Lucian Beardsley of Gorham finished 5th at 16:05.03. On the girls side, Maya Judice of Thornton Academy broke her personal record with a time of 16:49.43, good enough for 5th place.

In the mid-distance races, Victoria Bossong of Cheverus continued her historic season. Bossong finished the 400-meter dash in 54.21 seconds, a state record that was good enough for 4th place. Bossong also competed in the 800-meter run, finishing the race in 2:13.78, good enough for 18th place.

Delaney Hessler of Bonny Eagle, who participated in the girls 5,000-meter race, finished 24th at 17:52.82. Hessler also partook in the girls 4×800 meter relay with teammates Emmaline Pendleton, Hannah Stevens, and Addy Thibodeau. The Bonny Eagle team finished the race in 9:38.69, placing 15th.

Both Patterson and Langston came away with different thoughts after their first experience in an event as big as the outdoor nationals.

“This was the first time I’ve flown to a meet, so that was a new experience for sure. That and getting used to the time difference,” Patterson said. “Those are probably things I’m going to do in college so it’s good to get experience with that.”

“This was a once in a lifetime experience, that I could not pass up and I couldn’t have done it without the support in my corner,” Langston said. “We’re not done, this is just the beginning.”

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