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Don't forget about Lake Oswego's other star sophomore runner — Josie Donelson, the 6A girls 400 champion

“We want to see each other do our best, and it’s helped me push through and get to where I am as an athlete.”

By René Ferrán | Photo by Taylor Balkom 

Mia Brahe-Pedersen isn’t the only star sophomore on the Lake Oswego girls track team. 

While Brahe-Pedersen stole the show Saturday at the OSAA state championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, classmate Josie Donelson quietly put up one of the best 400-meter races in state history to win the Class 6A title.

Donelson moved to 16th on the all-time state list by holding off Central Catholic junior Lakely Doht-Barron down the final straightaway to win in 55.71 seconds.

Doht-Barron now sits No. 20 in the all-time rankings with her 55.99 time.

“Lakely is a great athlete. We’ve raced together and been teammates, so it’s great to have that friendly competition to get the best time that we could,” Donelson said.

“Really, I just wanted to go out there, have fun, and take in the feeling of being at Hayward. I wanted to get out hard, maintain that, keep calm, and just flow through the race.”

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Josie Donelson Lake Oswego Taylor Balkom

Donelson first broke through last spring when she finished second in the 400 at the culminating-week 6A state meet, then went on to win USATF state and AAU regional titles during the summer.

This season, she’s taken her running to another level, chipping away about 1.5 seconds from her personal best in the 400 while also developing into a solid 200 runner — she placed fourth behind Brahe-Pedersen this weekend, with her 24.52 moving her into a tie for 16th on the all-time state list for that race as well.

“It really helps to have such a strong support system here,” Donelson said. “We want to see each other do our best, and it’s helped me push through and get to where I am as an athlete, knowing they have my back.” 

Donelson hasn’t solidified her summer plans other than she will for sure return to Hayward next month for the Nike Outdoor Nationals as she looks to become just the ninth Oregon girl ever to break 55 seconds in the 400. 

“I want to get lower and lower, see what I can do,” she said. 

Best photos from Day 2 of 6A, 5A, 4A Oregon high school track and field state championships