Matt Kragness to state in three events

The varsity district track meet for the Capital Conference was held May 18-19 at North Marion High School. Prelims and several finals were held on Friday and then all running events, except the 3000 and the remaining field events were held on Saturday.

Sweet Home took 20 boys and 14 girls to the meet. Most, but not all, were in multiple events and competed both days according to Coach Billy Snow.

“We had a meet overall,” Coach Snow said. “Our goals going in were different for each person but as a team, we wanted to score enough points to have an impact on the team race at the end. Our kids competed well and as is typical every district meet, we had some highs and we had some heartbreaks. For all the kids and the coaches, as we look back on the season, we had a lot of fun and really grew as athletes, competitors and as a team.”

As a team, we qualified two individuals for the state meet next weekend at the U of O. Jake Dahlenburg became our first district champion in the pole vault since Vern Malone in 1988. Matt Kragness completed a rare triple, qualifying in the 100M, 200M and 400M and will run all three at state.”

Boys results

Going in, coaches had the boys pegged for fourth, expecting them to score about 77 points.

“We faltered just a bit, scoring 71 points but the rest of the form chart really fell apart due to some surprises and some scratches,” Coach Snow said. “For the meet, we had 12 personal records in 35 attempts, a bit short of our goal of 50 percent PRs.”

Team scores were: Molalla, 142; Cascade, 127; Stayton, 97.5; North Marion, 91.5; Central, 89; Sweet Home, 71; Sisters, 42.

Day one…

In the pole vault the Huskies scored big points with all three vaulters. Robert McGarry vaulted well and got 10-00 with no misses, his goal going in.

“We were hoping to hit his PR of 10-06 but that was not to be,” Coach Snow said. “His mark was good for seventh place overall.”

Keegan Burnett vaulted well but had a lone miss on his first height of 10-06. At 12-00, Dahlenburg and Burnett both cleared the bar on their first attempts while everyone else picked up a miss. This punt them into first and second place. Only a Central High athletes negotiated the height.

At 12-06 the Central athlete and Dahlenburg made their first attempts. Burnett had two good attempts at the height but couldn’t quite negotiate the bar, settling for third place.

“This was a heartbreaker because Keegan has improved by two feet this year and has become a very consistent vaulter,” Coach Snow said. “I was really hoping to get him into the state meet but it wasn’t to be.”

Dahlenburg cleared 13-00 on his first attempt to seal the win. It was a PR with a single miss.

“It was an incredible day of vaulting for him,” Coach Snow said.

Mike Severns was the Huskies’ lone competitor in the long jump and was not pegged to score. Severns jumped well and his best of the day was 18-06 which placed him 10th overall.

Jared Allen was Sweet Home’s lone high jump entrant and somehow developed a quad injury that prevented him from jumping up. He had to run through and take a no height in the event.

In the discus, Sweet Home’s three competitors were Matt Slauson, Aron van Dijk and Noah Gray. All were off a bit from their season bests and did not make the finals.

On the track, the only final was the 3000M. Chris Burford and Richard Westvik were S.H. entries and ran good races but ended up out of the scoring spots. Burford ran 10;08.23 and Westvik ran 11:07.33.

In the track prelims, everything went according to form except Allen’s injury came back to haunt him in the intermediate hurdles. Not being able to push off his leg forced him to change his hurdling and running form. He was consistently off on his steps and chopping or hitting hurdles. He jogged down the homestretch and surprisingly still made the finals in eighth place.

Justin Temple ran a PR 53.90 in the 400M to advance. Mike Severns’ time of 11.93 in the 100M prelims makes him the No. 1 frosh in school history in that event. David Burford had a solid PR in the 200M, going 25.56 but not making the finals.

Day two…

In the field, Husky throwers came back from a disappointing first day and had a good day overall, Coach Snow said. In the shot, Aron van Dijk and Matt Slauson both placed. van Dijk’s 40-5 put was good for sixth and Slauson’s PR of 39-10.25 placed him seventh.

“Aron was hoping for a better day here and a possible state berth but he still had a great season and ends with a PR of more than 43 feet. Matt’s mark puts him NO. 3 on the freshmen list. Matt will be the leading sophomore coming back next year and will be a force to the throwers in years to come,” Coach Snow said.

In the javelin, first timer Casey Aiello battled and finally got a PR over 150 feet, going 151-01 to take sixth. “Casey was a great addition this year and added some big points for our team each week,” Coach Snow said. “As a senior, Casey had nothing to prove to anyone by coming out for track but we were certainly glad he did.”

Sam Rodgers and Noah Gray also competed well in the javelin, both getting PRs. Gray went 122-07 and Rodgers was just ahead at 123-00.

On the track, the Huskies’ biggest disappointment came in the short relay.

“We had really wanted to get the foursome of Mike Severns, Justin Temple, Jared Allen and Matt Kragness through to the state meet,” Coach Snow said. “This group had really jelled and was running good the last half of the season. They actually did not run a bad race but just got beat. Our handoffs were not the best and that cost us a bit but some other teams just ran better. Our time of 45.16 was two-tenths of a second off our season PR but was still good enough for fourth.”

In the 1500M, Chris Burford came back and ran a 10 second PR but could not crack the scoring column. Nick Graves, battling a hip injury, game ran his final high school race as did Andrew Allen. Both those guys are going to be missed for their work ethic and leadership, Coach Snow said.

In the 100M, Matt Kragness cruised to the first of his three wins. Knowing he had a long day ahead of him, and hopefully a hard weekend coming up, the goal was to win, not run for times, Coach Snow said.

“Matt’s time of 11.27 is equivalent to a hand time of 11.1 and made him number four seed going into the state meet,” Coach Snow said. “Mike Severns was off from his time the previous day and ran eighth place, quite an accomplishment for a freshman.”

In the 400M, Kragness garnered his second win of the day, running 51.06, well ahead of second place. That time places him the No. 4 seed at state.

Justin Temple was well off his season PR and finished eighth.

Andrew Allen was the long Husky rep in the 800M and ran a near PR of 2:14.70 but did not break into the scoring column.

In the 200M, Kragness finished his three wins with a solid 22.81 time. His time will place him tied as the fourth seed in this event at state.

In the intermediates, the Huskies had wanted Jared Allen to false start because his quad was still bothering him.

“To our surprise, he warmed up and started the race,” Coach Snow said. “Despite some obvious limping and strides being off, Jared ran a 42.91 to take fourth place overall.”

In the final event, the Huskies got a great effort from a new foursome, Coach Snow said. Jared Allen, Justin Temple, Casey Baarson and David Burford ran “as good a race as we could have hoped for” Coach Snow said.

“We thought they could run low 3:40’s if everything went right and they did exactly that. Allen lead off with a 55.4 split and Temple ran a solid 54.2. Baarson had a liftime PR of 56.9 and Burford ran a PR of 55.9 to close out the time of 3:42.52 for sixth.”

Girls results

Sweet Home’s girls had a great meet all over the board, Coach Snow said.

“As a group, the girls had 17 PRs in 29 attempts which is really cooking,” Coach Snow said. “On the track, the girls only missed two PR opportunities. We originally had the girls pegged fifth and that’s where they ended up. But other than Cascade, we were the leader in scoring more points than the form charts predicted.”

Team scores: Cascade, 206.5; Sisters, 152; Stayton, 112.75; Molalla, 77.75; Sweet Home, 49.75; North Marion, 34; Central, 25.25.

“We really had a couple heartbreakers the first day,” Coach Snow said. “In the shot put, Nicole Burnside did everything possible to earn her way to state but fell just short. Her put of 35-02 was a season PR and makes her NO. 9 on the school’s all time list, but she could not squeeze out of third place.”

Last year, Leah Proctor threw less than that for second place and would up third at state, Coach Snow said.

“We just have a tough league in this event this year,” Coach Snow said.

Rachel Gaskey continued to compete with the older girls. Her put of 30-04.5 was off her season best but still placed her seventh.

“Rachel has had a great year and will be an impact player in the league standings for years to come,” Coach Snow said.

Christine Smith went 23-06.5 which did not place.

In the javelin, the same three girls battled again and the results were unfortunately identical to the shot put. Burnside held several throws over her previous PR with a best of 107-01. However, a girl from Stayton passed her on her final throw by several inches to nudge Burnside to third.

Burnside’s throw places her No. 6 on the school junior list. Gaskey had another lifetime best in the javelin, going 92-11 for the No. 4 Husky frosh mark. Gaskey was seventh overall. Smith’s near PR of 71-04 was not enough to score.

In the long jump the Huskies had a mixed bag of success. Lisa Brocard jumped well, going a near PR of 14-08.75 for sixth place. Ashley Smith had trouble getting her step on to the board and never got a legal jump.

“Both of these girls provide the team with a solid 1-2 punch in the jumps this year and are very coachable kids,” Coach Snow said.

On the track the Huskies had a great day. In the only final, the 3000M, Anne Helfrich ran a lifetime best of 11:47.3 to take the sixth place.

“Anne’s a tough-as-nails runner and is just starting to tape into her potential as a runner,” Coach Snow said.

Megan Snow and Maria Andrade both encountered some challenges in the race. They went out with the pack but after two laps couldn’t hang on to the pace. Snow developed cramps and battled through to an 11th place finish. Andrade has been battling a lower leg injury. Her coaches had hoped she could get through one race but it was not to be. She had to dropout after four laps.

“Maria has been a leader for our younger girls in track and cross country and we hate to see her have to leave on a note like this,” Coach Snow said.

In the sprints, Stephanie Kragness was two for two in PRs. In the 100M, her time of 14.02 was good enough for ninth overall, just missing the finals. In the 200M, she ran another PR of 30.26 but did not make the finals.

In the 800M, Michele Andersen ran a lifetime PR of 2:52.82 but did not make the finals. The story was the same for Andrea Martin in the 300 hurdles. She ran a two second PR but just missed the finals, placing ninth.

“We were pleased with the girls despite not making the finals,” Coach Snow said. The exciting thing is all these girls are back and the experience and confidence will pay some dividends on down the road.”

Day two…

In the field, the Huskies had three more finals. In the jumps, Ashley and Lisa were competing and splitting time between the high jump and the triple jump. In the high jump, Ashley negotiated 4-06 on her second attempt and ended in a four-way tied for seventh place. In the triple jump, both girls were on their marks well and competed well.

“We made some adjustments with Ashley’s run up and the girls did a great job of warming up. Ashley went a near PR of 32-10.5 to take fourth place overall. Lisa had three jumps at 31-10 just off her season best to take seventh,” Coach Snow said.

In the throwing events, Rachel Gaskey, Nicole Burnside and Shaina Burnett competed in the discus. Burnside’s best was 94-01 just short of her season PR to take fourth. Gaskey had her second PR of the meet to earn her third seventh place finish at 88-03, Her throws moves her to No. 6 on the frosh list. Burnett had a near PR of 72-11 but did not score.

On the track, the short relay had an awesome race, Coach Snow said, thanks to good hand-offs. The foursome of Ashley Smith, Lisa Brocard, Liz Aman and Stephanie Kragness ran a season best 54.58 to take fifth.

“This was a great foursome this year and they ran 1.5 seconds faster than our team last year but did not score,” Coach Snow said.

In the 1500M, Anne Helfrich and Megan Snow both had PRs. Helfrich went out hard and her PR of 5:28.04 placed her seventh. The time also makes her No. 9 on the frosh list. Snow had a PR at 5:50.86 but did not score.

In the high hurdles, Christie Dompier ran another PR in only her third race of the season and ended up sixth.

“Christie had developed a severe foot injury during the winter and spent the first third of the season in a walking cast,” Coach Snow said. “We had her do lifting and pool work as much as possible. Then, when she got a doctor’s clearance, she pulled a quad muscle the second night out doing some block work. She waited another three weeks or so and then just gutted it out for the last three weeks. One of the things we preach in track is to not give up or quit. That’s the easy way out and unfortunately too many kids choose that route. Neither Christie or myself knew where she would end up but to come back from all that adversity and finish sixth is incredible and a testimony to Christie’s commitment. She is a great kids and a coach’s dream.”

In the final event, the Huskies ran their first 1600M relay in more than a month. The foursome had not ran together before but were able to rely on experience of Liz Aman and it proved a good call.

The goal was to get the baton around the track and run near PR splits.

“If they did that, we figured they would run around 4:50.0 or so. Anne Helfrich led off with a 72.5 and was followed by Andrea Martin at 71.7. Steph Kragness ran a 73.2 in her first attempt at this distance and Aman closed with a 69.6 for a sixth place finish of 4:47.3 and a PR by 23 seconds.

The state meet is Friday and Saturday. Dahlenburg vaults Friday at 11 a.m. and Kragness runs prelims in all three events. The times are 100M at 12:20 p.m.; the 400M at 1:15 p.m.; and the 200M at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students on Friday or $7 for adults and $5 for students on Saturday.

“I would like to thank the number of people who helped us through a trying season,” Coach Snow said. “The parents of all our kids who have to travel every week because our track is in such a state of disrepair deserve a big thank you. The kids really appreciate it. Alan Temple, Tim Little, Jessie Schra and Jesse White helped out with some coaching duties at various time and allowed us to give the kids the attention and support they deserve. Larry Johnson deserves a congressional medal for stepping up and sacrificing his own time to allow us to have the right coaching staff available at the end of the season.”