Jun. 25—Over the past 10 months, Tyrone Gorze has won races at the district level, at the state level and the regional level.
At what has seemingly become his home away from home the last couple of months, Thursday night he took things national.
The rising Crater senior, running unattached, added yet another achievement to his already crowded trophy room, capturing the victory in the men's 5,000-meter run at the USATF Under-20 Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Gorze's winning time of 14 minutes, 8.08 seconds was a second ahead of the University of Pennsylvania's Dylan Throop.
"It was definitely a special experience and one I will never forget," Gorze said by phone Friday. "Meets at Hayward always seem to be at that high level of just the enjoyment that you feel. Not even like racing well, but just getting the opportunity to race there is a really cool experience."
With the win, Gorze will get the chance to run at the U20 World Championships in Cali, Colombia, later this summer in August.
Gorze is the first runner from an Oregon high school to qualify for the world championship meet since 2018 when Micah Williams, then a junior at Benson, made the 4x100 relay field.
And yes, his passport is already set to go.
"It's pretty nerve-wracking," said Gorze of running in an international field, "but I feel like racing at some of these larger races that we have in the United States has prepped me well for this large of a race."
Gorze wasn't the only Comet in Thursday's late-night race, as Crater rising sophomore Josiah Tostenson finished 12th with a time of 14:40.08 that broke the national freshman record.
Tostenson, who edged out Gorze to win the boys 1,500 at last month's Class 5A state track and field championship meet at Hayward Field, was the youngest participant in the field, one that featured three other high schoolers along with 11 college participants from NCAA Division I and II schools.
Gorze had bested his younger teammate the previous day of the 5A meet by winning the state title in the 3,000 (8:17.26).
"I've been racing with Josiah for a while now and it was pretty calming to see Josiah there on the line with me," said Gorze. "Especially with it being your teammate, that's pretty cool to see."
"I think he was pretty happy with his result," continued Gorze. "He raced a really, really strong race, and I think he got his time goal for sure. He's a lot like me in the way that he's a competitor, so he's always wanting to strive for more."
Running at Hayward for the fourth time since the beginning of the high school track season, Gorze was in front by the time the field finished the fourth lap and hit the 2,000-meter split. He was able to grow his lead to as much as five seconds over Throop as they headed into the final 1,000 meters.
Gorze had enough left in the tank to hold off Throop (14:09.22) and Wisconsin's Jacob Bourget (14:09.74) down the final stretch.
"I felt like I stuck with my race plan that I had going into the race, which was kinda break off from the pack and race my own race and not worry about what was going on behind me," said Gorze. "At the start of the race, I kinda stayed out and just chilled for the first mile and then after that I took control of the race and took the lead. Some of the guys started to catch me at the end, but I had enough left that last 200 meters to secure the win."
The added bonus for Gorze was evident — getting to run a night race at Hayward after the 3,000 and 1,500 at the state meet were in the late morning or early afternoon.
"Running at Hayward at night was something special and I've only done that once before," said Gorze. "It was a different kind of experience, really."
Thursday night's win was the latest in what has been a banner junior year for Gorze.
Gorze followed up a dominant run to win the 5A state cross-country individual title in leading Crater to the team championship with a victory at the Eastbay West Region Cross-Country Championships in Southern California. Gorze then placed sixth at the Eastbay national meet.
He has thus gone on to have an equally impressive track season this spring.
Gorze captured the title in the boys 3,000 at the 5A state meet at Hayward, with Tostenson finishing in second as was the case at the state cross-country meet.
Two weeks ago on June 11, Gorze posted the sixth-fastest 10-kilometer time ever by a high school boy at the Portland Track Festival.
Just a week ago, Gorze was part of a distance medley relay team with Crater teammates Tostenson, Jeffrey Hellman and Aidan Chenoweth that finished second at the Nike Outdoor Nationals, which were also held at Hayward.
And now Thursday's win, which will see him take a trip to South America just a couple of weeks before his senior year at Crater gets started.
"Especially with the stuff that I've done in the late-cross-country season and then this track season, it's been cool to see some of the hard work has really started to pay off," said Gorze. "The goals I've had in my mind at the beginning of this season are now becoming a reality and that's really cool to see."
What were some of those goals?
"Obviously compete at a higher level than I've been doing," he said. "Maybe not like wins or anything, but definitely stay competitive at state and nationals and stuff like that."
Now, in a matter of five weeks, Gorze is set to take that one step further and compete with some of the best runners in his age group from across the world.
And you better believe that he's not going to be slowing down between now and then, either.
"It is the summer and summer training, so I'll keep myself busy," he said with a laugh.
Reach reporter Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @penzatopaper.