Huskies deliver surprises in district track and field

Scott Swanson

Sweet Home’s girls 4×100 girls relay team had won three straight district titles going into Saturday’s opening track event at Sky-Em District Championships finals at Husky Field.

But those wins came with Maria Kropf, school record holder in the 100 meters and now running at Grand Canyon University, blowing down the anchor leg. The Huskies were fourth-seeded Saturday, behind Junction City, Sisters and Cottage Grove.

That was when the gun went off. Twelve seconds later, as lead-off runner Devyn Makin handed the baton to fellow veteran Jessika Stewart, Stewart had a five-meter lead on the rest of the field and Sweet Home stayed in front all the way to the finish line, third runner Annie Whitfield and sophomore anchor Courtney Kent holding off the competition for the win in 51.27 seconds, one-tenth of a second ahead of Junction City.

“Courtney Kent, we asked a lot of her,” said Coach Billy Snow. “Her getting that baton in front of those other two girls in that short relay, I kept waiting for them to chew her up and it never happened. That was an incredible little run.”

It was a better ending than any of the three seniors, all of whom have been to state in the event three times and have tasted two state titles, thought possible, they said.

“Our season started off really slow,” Makin said. “We didn’t quite know how we would do in the finals. Because we had three seniors, we wanted it so bad. It’s the best feeling. I can’t explain it.”

“It was amazing, to be honest,” Stewart said. “I was going to be happy with third place. Getting first was beyond my wildest dreams. We were ranked fourth today and I just wanted to do my best. It was a mixture of all of us doing our very best – our hand-offs were good and everything came together at the right time.”

Added Whitfield: “That was one of the best times I’ve ever had. Making state is great, but winning district with these girls is even better. They underestimated us and that feels great.”

That, and other clutch performances by the Huskies got them to second place in the team standings, with 126 points, behind Sisters (178½) and ahead of Cottage Grove (116).

On the boys side, Sweet Home finished third with 129 points behind a La Pine squad loaded with talent (172) and a deep Cottage Grove team (140).

“We had a great meet,” Snow said. “The problem was La Pine just had a better meet.” The Hawks qualified for 12 state berths on the boys side, sweeping the pole vault and the long jump in the process.

The Husky boys made their own statement in the 4×400 relay, which was as dramatic as the girls’ win in the short relay. Seeded third, behind Cottage Grove and Sisters, the Huskies trailed both teams by about five meters on the second handoff, when Scottie Stockman took the baton from Chris Carpenter. Stockman caught Sisters’ Brandon Pollard at the 300-meter mark and although Pollard pulled away by a couple of steps at the final handoff, that was enough for Sweet Home anchor runner Nick Hall, who caught Sisters’ Easton Curtis on the back stretch and then pulled away on the home stretch to qualify the Huskies for state.

“When I got the baton, I just kind of knew what I needed to do,” Stockman said. “I think I owe a whole lot of it to wrestling. (Leadoff runner) Trever (Olson), it’s his first year ever in track. Wrestling helped out with the way we train. Snow and Kistner helped us a lot. It’s a great feeling.”

The boys short relay team of Spencer Knight, Nick Hall, Kyler Gaskey and Carpenter also qualified, finishing second to La Pine.

Other bright spots for the Husky boys were individual champions Hall in the 400 and 300 hurdles, freshman Jakob Hiett in the 3000, and Jake Johnson in the discus. District champions for the girls were Makin in the long jump, Whitfield in the javelin and Nicole Ramussen in the 3000.

Sweet Home finished the day with a total of 11 individual state qualifiers; the others were Hiett in the 1500, Daniel Danforth in the 3000 and Jade Corliss in the girls shot put.

“Jade Corliss, going in, she wasn’t close to first or second,” Snow said. “She did what she was capable of and people in front of her faltered.”

The Huskies just missed in several other events, with third-place finishes by Carpenter in the long jump and the 100, Stockman in the pole vault, freshman Ashton Stutzman in the high jump and 110 hurdles, Danforth in the 1500, Makin in the 100, Rasmussen in the 1500 and Whitfield in the 100 hurdles.

But it was all the Huskies who made the difference, Snow said .

“Both of them, boys and girls, scored way more than we thought they would,” he said. “(Assistant Coach) Jim (Kistner) and I don’t know how many times we saw a Sweet Home kids come around that last turn and all of a sudden they were in the race. They’d come down that home stretch with the crowd yelling, people cheering and there they were.

“We had a lot of kids score in events, whether third or eighth. We weren’t even expecting them to score.”

Johnson, winner in the discus, said the Huskies held up across the board.

“Everybody did well,” he said. “It was pretty amazing. What I’m most proud about is nobody crumbled under pressure.”

It was a big day for personal bests, with 15 recorded on the boys side and 18 by the girls.

Some of those performances included:

n Sophomores Nick Mattson and Faith Swaney in the pole vault, placing fifth and seventh respectively;

n Freshman Jordan Miller, seventh in the girls javelin with an 8-foot PR of 90-11;

n Junior Crystal Crites, who was heavily taped after being injured all year, sixth in the triple jump with a foot-and-a-half PR of 30-1;

n Sophomore Sadie Gordon, who threw a nine-foot PR of 93-5 in the discus to finish fourth;

n Freshman India Porter, who dropped a second and a half in the 400 to finish fifth in 1:04.14.

n Shot putters Zane Jackson, Ben Terry and David Skeen, who finished fifth, eighth and ninth respectively, all with PR’s;

n The 1-2 finish by Hiett and Danforth in the 3000. “I kept waiting for them to come back to the crowd,” Snow said, referring to the 25-second lead the two built over third-place finisher Teagan Settlemeyer of Cottage Grove. “They never did.

“Jakob Hiett, as a freshman, going out there and winning one, and then coming really close to winning another. He just gave (1500 winner) Brandon (Pollard of Sisters) too much of a lead and he waited too long to go after him.

“It’s good to see. There’s a kid who does everything we ask, who works hard, who has a good attitude.”

n Rasmussen in winning the 3000, “every time she got challenged, she fought if off,” Snow said. Rasmussen finished third in the 1500 after experiencing back problems that have plagued her this season.

There were some disappointments as well – Spencer Knight false-starting in the 200 and getting nosed out of medal contention in the 100, Crites and Dakota Snow producing “huge” leaps in the triple jumps that didn’t count because of minute scratches, Carpenter missing state by half an inch in the long jump and getting nosed out of another trip to state in the 100.

“In track and field you always have heartbreaks,” Billy Snow said. “Spencer bounced back in the relay. We tell the kids they can mope about it, then it’s time to move on.”

“Ashton is disappointed that he didn’t make state, but he has nothing to hang his head about.

“Haley Kent, unfortunately, came out late (for track). Then she had a heck of a cold and sore throat. I know she was disappointed in what she was able to do, but she’s a gutsy girl.

“We didn’t have the top dogs we had a few years ago, but the kids stepped up. It was fun to see.”

He said he particularly appreciated the help from volunteers “who made it special for the kids.”

“There must have been 50 to 60 people helping out over the weekend,” he said. “I had several coaches come up to me and say this is the best facility they’ve been to this year.

“The people who helped out were tremendous.”

Snow said the state meet, this Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, will be a good experience for the young Huskies. Friday’s events start at 10:30 a.m.; Saturday’s start at 9:30 a.m.

“There’s no one event that we’re sitting on top of, that we could say we’re a shoo-in for,” he said.

Hall may be a solid prospect in the 300 hurdles and the 400, along with Whitfield, who’s in her fourth javelin competition, and Johnson, who got a taste of state last year in the discus.

“Annie has been there a number of times,” Snow said. “She knows what it’s like. It’s going to be a tough field.”

Whitfield goes into the meet ranked third behind Kacie Hargett of Newport (142-9 at district) and Bailey Bars of Hidden Valley (139-7). But she said her goal is to break her own record of 144-2 and go for 150 feet and win, after second-place finishes as a sophomore and junior.

“I want to finish big,” she said.

Johnson, who didn’t finish in the medals last year, knows he’s up against some tough competition in Hidden Valley’s Jefferson Jarvis (174-11) and Oshay Dunmore of Newport (165-10) as well as several other competitors ranked just ahead of him in seventh. The discus competition is being moved this year into the stadium, which will give it more prominence for the crowd.

“My goal is to beat the school record (153-8) and finish in the top four. As long as I get on the stand, I’ll be happy,” said Johnson, who’s best thus far is 147-9.

The distance runners will be competitive if they find people “they should be near and sneak into the scoring column,” Snow said.

He said the boys relays have improvements to make that could drop their times and the girls just need to deliver another all-out performance.

“I think there’s a little more in the 4×400,” he said. “Nick and Scottie are such chasers and Trever did such a great job on that opening leg. And this is only the second time Chris has ever run it.

“The girls short relay, they have to have another great day. I think there’s three or four teams that are kind of out there and behind them it’s kind of wide open. If we go down there and they get keyed up like they did at districts, anything could happen. Experience is not a problem.

Sky-Em League

District Championships

Top 3 plus Sweet Home Finishers

*Prelims place and time

+ personal best time or mark

State Qualifiers

Boys Results

Team Scores – (1) La Pine 172; (2) Cottage Grove 140; (3) Sweet Home 129; (4) Sisters 88; (5) Elmira 78; (6) Junction City 47.

100 – (1) Garrett Lewellen (E) 11.29; (2) Conner Gibson (JC) 11.42; (3) Chris Carpenter (SH) 11.44+; (10) Spencer Knight (SH) 11.72*.

200 – (1) Jeremy Derosiers (LP) 22.80; (2) Conner Gibson (JC) 23.48; (3) Gaige Macomber (CG) 23.64; (11) Trevor Olson (SH) 25.09*.

400 – (1-tie) Nick Hall (SH)+, Jeremy Derosiers (LP) 50.52; (3) Easton Curtis (S) 51.24; (6) Scottie Stockman (SH) 53.67+; (8) Trever Olson (SH) 55.72+.

800 – (1) Austin Place (CG) 2:01.55; (2) Easton Curtis (S) 2:01.66; (12) Justin Webb (SH) 2:23.67*.

1500 – (1) Brandon Pollard (S) 4:19.28; (2) Jakob Hiett (SH) 4:20:81; (3) Daniel Danforth (SH) 4:22.98; (10) Justin Webb (SH) 4:50.49.

3000 – (1) Jakob Hiett (SH) 9:31.45+; (2) Daniel Danforth (SH) 9:39.72; (3) Teagan Settlemeyer (CG) 10:02.64; (7) Ian Wingo (SH) 10:20.25.

110 Hurdles – (1) Garrett Lewellen (E) 15.24; (2) Colton George (LP) 15.42; (3) Ashton Stutzman (SH) 17.00+; (11) Eric Flierl (SH) 19.54+*; (12) Dakota Snow (SH) 19.76+*.

300 Hurdles – (1) Colton George (LP) 40.52; (2) Nick Hall (SH) 40.67+; (3) Garrett Lewellen (E) 43.19; (6) Alex Seitz (SH) 45.85+; (9) Chace Hutchins (SH) 46.37*.

4×100 Relay – (1) La Pine 43.97; (2) Sweet Home (Spencer Knight, Nick Hall, Kyler Gaskey, Chris Carpenter) 44.64+; (3) Cottage Grove 44.87; (4) Elmira 45.15; (5) Junction City 45.23; (6) Sisters 48.12.

4×400 Relay – (1) Cottage Grove 3:31.58; (2) Sweet Home (Chris Carpenter, Trever Olson, Scottie Stockman, Nick Hall) 3:32.86+; (3) Sisters 3:33.90; (4) Junction City 3:39.04; (5) La Pine 3:40.49; (6) Elmira 4.00.53.

Shot Put – (1) Travis Harrison (LP) 45-4; (2) Brandon Phemister (CG) 45-3; (3) Tyler Lehman (CG) 43-10; (5) Zane Jackson (SH) 41-8+; (8) Ben Terry (SH) 40-8+; (9) David Skeen (SH) 40-1+.

Discus – (1) Jake Johnson (SH) 139-0; (2) Travis Harrison (LP) 123-4; (3) Devon Cram-Hill (LP) 120-3; (9) Zach Pratt (SH) 100-11; (10) Quinn Wise (SH) 92-0*.

Javelin – (1) Zach Borrelli (CG) 164-1; (2) Brandon Phemister (CG) 152-4; (3) Kyle Contreras (LP) 151-9; (7) David Skeen (SH) 133-2; (8) Kyle Rose (SH) 132-5; (13) Jake Johnson (SH) 120-3*.

High Jump – (1) Jake McAllister (S) 6-0; (2) Nolan Messman (E) 5-11; (3) Ashton Stutzman (SH) 5-10+; (10-tie) Jakob Hiett (SH), Anthony Vincent (SH) 5-4*.

Pole Vault – (1) Deion Mock (LP) 14-6; (2) Dylan Seay (LP) 13-6; (3) Scottie Stockman (SH) 11-6; (5) Nick Mattson (SH) 10-6+.

Long Jump – (1) Jeremy Derosiers (LP) 22-0; (2) Dylan Seay (LP) 20-2½; (3) Chris Carpenter (SH) 20-2½; (8) Spencer Knight (SH) 18-11¼+; (13) Kyler Gaskey (SH) 17-4¼.

Triple Jump – (1) Dylan Seay (LP) 41-6; (2) Jacob Richerson (S) 41-2; (3) Justin Wintch (JC) 40-4½; (10) Brycen Mitten (SH) 36-0½*; (12) Dakota Snow (SH) 35-5*.

Girls Results

Team Scores – (1) Sisters 178.5; (2) Sweet Home 126; (3) Cottage Grove 116; (4) Elmira 105; (5) Junction City 76; (6) La Pine 52.5.

100 – (1) Ahsha Mootz (CG) 12.68; (2) MaKenna Burgess (JC) 12.93; (3) Devyn Makin (SH) 13.23+; (7) Jessika Stewart (SH) 13.68; (8) Courtney Kent (SH) 13.73+.

200 – (1) Ahsha Mootz (CG) 26.18; (2) Kristine Dunn (CG) 26.58; (3) Jamilla Gambee (JC) 27.03; (4) Devyn Makin (SH) 27.33+; (13) Jazmin Yoder (SH) 29.69*; (14) Haley Kent (SH) 29.73*.

400 – (1) Kristine Dunn (CG) 59.85; (2) Jamilla Gambee (JC) 1:01.49; (3) Meghan Locke-Zimmerman (JC) 1:03.81; (4) India Porter (SH) 1:04.14+; (11) Jazmin Yoder (SH) 1:08.30*; (13) Haley Kent (SH) 1:10.60*.

800 – (1) Zoe Falk (S) 2:25.25; (2) Aria Blumm (S) 2:27.14; (3) Hannah Bolton (JC) 2:28.19; (4) Jordan Miller (JC) 2:28.19; (9) Christina Ulmer (SH) 2:58.01*+; (10) Anastasiya Domashenko (SH) 3:10.23*.

1500 – (1) Zoe Falk (S) 5:03.83; (2) Frances Payne (S) 5:04.32; (3) Nicole Ramussen (SH) 5:12.41; (5) Paige Sanders (SH) 5:26.07+; (11) Kimber Swanson (SH) 5:57.72.

3000 – (1) Nicole Ramussen (SH) 11:07.67+; (2) Frances Payne (S) 11:09.89; (3) Hannah Bolton (JC) 11:25.74; (6) Paige Sanders (SH) 11:50.06+; (11) Kimber Swanson (SH) 12:58.15.

100 Hurdles – (1) Chelsea Reifschneider (S) 16.00; (2) Alisha Haken (S) 16.67; (3) Annie Whitfield (SH) 17.49+; (8) Sabrina Davis (SH) 18.79;

300 Hurdles – (1) Chelsea Reifschneider (S) 47.21; (2) Meghan Locke-Zimmerman (JC) 49.53; (3) Holli Glenn (LP) 50.30; (4) Courtney Kent (SH) 50.85+; (8) India Porter (SH) 54.23+; (9) Sabrina Davis (SH) 55.13*.

4×100 Relay – (1) Sweet Home (Devyn Makin, Jessika Stewart, Annie Whitfield, Courtney Kent) 51.27+; (2) Junction City 51.37; (3) Cottage Grove 51.53; (4) Sisters 51.58; (5) Elmira 54.79; La Pine – DQ.

4×400 Relay – (1) Cottage Grove 4:06.46; (2) Sisters 4:08.06; (3) Junction City 4:21.01; (4) Sweet Home (Sabrina Davis, Courtney Kent, Jordan Miller, Haley Kent) 4:32.57; (5) Elmira 4:33.46; (6) La Pine 4:34.62.

Shot Put – (1) Tricia Ingraham (CG) 37-3½; (2) Jade Corliss (SH) 34-2½+; (3) Sylvia Dean (CG) 34-2; (4) Annie Whitfield 32-10; (8) Macy Cockrell (SH) 29-2½+.

Discus – (1) Ashley Agenbroad (LP) 108-3; (2) Tricia Ingraham (CG) 103-6; (3) Ericka Ansell (JC) 94-5; (4) Sadie Gordon (SH) 93-5+; (6) Kaitlyn Watts (SH) 90-10+; (9) Laura Mauer (SH) 87-3.

Javelin – (1) Annie Whitfield (SH) 136-11; (2) Kelsey Shaw (E) 126-11; (3) Jacie Palmer (E) 99-88; (7) Jordan Miller (SH) 90-11; (12) Kelsie Zartman (SH) 72-6*.

High Jump – (1) Kelsey Shaw (E) 5-1; (2) Alisha Haken (S) 5-1; (3) Michaela Barton (E) 5-0; (9) Crystal Crites (SH) 4-4.

Pole Vault – (1) Sara Small (S) 11-0; (2) Paris Piva (E) 9-3; (3) Olivia Chandler (S) 9-0; (7) Faith Swaney (SH) 7-0.

Long Jump – (1) Devyn Makin (SH) 16-3; (2) Zoe Falk (S) 16-1; (3) Emily Ford (S) 14-11½; (7) Sabrina Davis (SH) 14-0¼+; (14) Haley Kent (SH) 12-10*.

Triple Jump – (1) Alisha Haken (S) 34-2; (2) Holli Glenn (LP) 33-3; (3) Bailey Bremer (S) 32-9¼; (6) Crystal Crites (SH) 30-1+; (12) Sonya Corliss (SH) 34-5½*.