Auburn Mountainview’s Carson Porter-Keese posted a swift time in last year’s 800-meter district finals but was denied a state berth. This year, he hopes to reach the 4A meet. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

Auburn Mountainview’s Carson Porter-Keese posted a swift time in last year’s 800-meter district finals but was denied a state berth. This year, he hopes to reach the 4A meet. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

Hungry Lion, others ready to finish strong

All-City Meet begins big push for local athletes

Auburn Mountainview’s Carson Porter-Keese knows it will be difficult separating himself from the pack.

Porter-Keese, one of the state’s top half-milers, is poised for warmer weather and stronger competition as May presents a series of key season-closing track and field meets, beginning with the All-City Meet at Auburn Memorial Stadium on Thursday. Action gets underway at 3:30 p.m.

“I feel good, I feel confident,” said Porter-Keese, who darted to a pair of tune-up wins at 800 and 1,600 meters on his home oval against Kentridge last week, stopping the clock in 2 minutes, 3.18 seconds and 4:52.17, respectively. “I believe I can peak at the right time.”

Porter-Keese, who will defend his 800 title in the All-City meet, has the West Central District’s second-best time in the half-mile so far this spring at 1:57.65, behind the pace of Bellarmine Prep’s Spencer Fischer (1:54.75). That time ranks No. 16 among all half-milers in the state, according to athletic.net.

When called up, Porter-Keese anchors a formidable 1,600 relay foursome that includes Christopher Penn, Bill Benjamin, Jadon Smith. Porter-Keese, Benjamin and Smith belonged to a state-qualifying relay team a year ago.

To get to state, Porter-Keese will have to navigate strong competition in his own back yard.

“The district finals is definitely a challenging race. The competition is really high,” said Porter-Keese, a senior. “Placing at district means placing at state … so it’s a pretty big deal.”

It was at the district meet a year ago when Porter-Keese set a personal-best time of 1:55.60. He wants nothing more than to be ready to pop a 1:54, his goal, at district.

“I’m slowly working up to that,” he said.

Elsewhere

Auburn Riverside’s Jaden Robinson will defend his 100- and 200-meter All-City titles this week. Robinson, bound for Oregon State University on a football scholarship, has the state’s ninth-best time in the 100 (10.92). … Auburn Mountainview junior Christopher Penn will be a factor in the sprints, coming into the meet ranked No. 7 in the 200 (personal-best 22.24). … Penn joined his brother, Jeremiah, Isaiah Kennard and Talan Alfrey in posting the state’s sixth-best time in the 400 relay (42.91) during the April 26 dual meet against Kentridge. … Auburn’s Omar Young, a junior, enters the All-City meet with the state’s third-best throw in the discus (176 feet). … Auburn Mountainview’s Kacey Provo, a junior, is fifth among all state pole-vaulters (14-7). … The Ravens’ Aulane Mpouli set a personal-record 25.12 in last week’s dual against Federal Way. That time is No. 7 among all state sprinters. Mpouli is the defending All-City champion in the 100.

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