Kragness earns top award at Meet of Champions

Sweet Home had three girls and six boys competing in the Meet of Champions Saturday. The meet is designed to bring the best competitors from the high school ranks in the 3A and 2A levels with some 1A schools involve also, according to Coach Billy Snow. All 3A, 2A and many 1A schools are invited and the qualifying marks to get in are pretty steep, Coach Snow said. The field is limited in almost all cases to 16 competitors per event.

The girls meet is held at Cascade High School while the boys meet is held later in the day at Stayton High School.

Girls Results

Nicole Burnside (shot and javelin), Ashley Smith (long jump and triple jump) and Lisa Brocard (long jump and triple jump) were the Husky qualifiers. For all three girls, this was their first experience at a meet like this and getting here and competing in a meet for girls only was a great experience for the, Coach Snow said.

In the shot put, Burnside was just short of her season best at 33-06. Her put was good for 11th place overall. In the javelin, Burnside again threw just short of her PR at 96-06, which was good enough for 14th place.

In the long jump, Brocard and Severns were both off their season bests but still competed well, Coach Snow said. Severns went 14-11.25 and Brocard went 14-01. Places were not available.

In the triple jump, both girls were in the 31-foot range. Brocard went 31-11.5, good enough for ninth place overall. Her mark was a PR by a foot and puts her No. 8 on the all time list for SHHS. Severns had some problems with her check mark and improved each jump, finishing at 31-01.5 for 11th place. Both girls were two of the only three freshmen in both of the horizontal jumps.

Boys Results

In seven events the boys recorded five PRs on the day. Keegan Burnett tied his season best 11-06 and had three good attempts at 12-00 before settling for ninth place overall.

The short relay team of Mike Severns, Justin Temple, Jared Allen and Matt Kragness ran a season best 45-04 and won the slow heat. The hand-offs were good and Kragness ran an awesome anchor leg to pull Sweet Home from third to first. After the fast heat, the time held up for third place overall behind Madras and Seaside.

Kragness came back to dominate his two individual races. In the 400M, Kragness had the lead by the 270M mark or so and steadily pulled away to win that event in 50.51, his fastest time ever. Forty minutes later, he came back to run a good race in the 200M and bury the field down the home stretch, running to a victory in 26.77, his second fastest time of the year. Both the wins, along with his run on the short relay anchor and long relay anchor were enough for the coaches to vote Kragness as the Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet.

“This is quite an honor given the level of competition,” Coach Snow said.

In the 800M, Justin Temple ran a smart race but couldn’t close a gap coming down the home stretch. He ran a PR 2:07.31, good enough for 13th place overall.

In the 300 intermediate hurdles, Jared Allen had a great race in a stacked field, including the No. 3 3A state placer and the No. 1 2A state placer from last year.

“Unfortunately, Jared was stuck out in lane 8 where he could not see the competition,” Coach Snow said. “He ran a good race and came across in 42.01, just a quarter second off his season best. His time held up for seventh place overall.”

In the final event of the night, Nick Graves, Jared Allen, Justin Temple and Matt Kragness ran a solid 4 X 400M race.

“Unfortunately, Nick came up lame with a hip problems coming down the home stretch and barely made it to the exchange zone,” Coach Snow said. “Still, the quartet ran a 3:35.51, good enough for seventh overall. If we can get everyone healthy, this foursome can run a lot faster.”

Calendar: The Huskies will compete Friday at the Twilight Meet at Stayton. Starting time is 3 p.m.