Willamette HS to celebrate 50th anniversary of inaugural girls state meet

Fifty years ago, a 13-year-old girl named Margaret Johnson, who was competing for Woodrow Wilson Junior High School in Eugene, set a U.S. high school and age-group record in the 100-yard dash.

Johnson, who would go on to win a gold medal for Team USA in the 4×100-meter relay at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, established that record at the first Oregon state high school girls’ track and field championships.

The state meet, which was divided into 13-under and 14-over competitions, was held at Willamette High School on May 23, 1964. Janice Hughes of Pleasant Hill and Linda Mayfield of Grants Pass were named the meet’s outstanding performers that day.

On Wednesday, a plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the inaugural state high school girls’ track and field meet, will be dedicated during a special ceremony at Willamette High School’s stadium at 3:30 p.m.

Among the guests will be athletes, coaches and administrators from the 1964 meet, including meet director Jim Puckett, Janice Hughes Estes and Judy Olson Rowe. Other attendees include Doug Puckett, Bob Newland Jr., Lois Youngen, Erin Regali and Janet Heinonen.

Former UO women’s track and field coach Tom Heinonen will serve as master of ceremonies and Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy will also be in attendance.

In addition, there will be official recognition of the 50th anniversary of this event during the final day of competition at the OSAA high school championships at noon on Saturday at Hayward Field.