Meet of Champions

Sweet Home had 10 athletes who qualified for and competed in the Meet of Champions track meets Saturday.

This is a meet that is open to all athletes at the 3A, 2A, and 1A levels. To qualify, an athlete has to hit a qualification mark or time that is often as hard or harder than it is to get to the state meet.

Many of the events feature past state champions or competitors. Additionally, many of the athletes that were in these meets will be the same young ladies and men that will compete in the state meets the next three weeks.

The girls meet was held at Cascade High School and the boys meet followed at Stayton High School. Sweet Home had five girls in 11 events and five boys in six events.


Nicole Burnside was an automatic qualifier for the shot put and got into the meet as an alternate in two other events.

Burnside made the most of her opportunities as she placed in the shot put and had a lifetime PR in the javelin. She barely made the finals of the shot but then had a good last three throws. She was out near her PR for the season and her mark of 36-01.5 placed her fifth overall.

In the javelin, Burnside had a PR throw of 109-05. That is the 10th best throw in Sweet Home history yet could only get her to 11th place overall.

“Encouraging though is the fact that Nicole was beaten by only one Capital conference foe,” Coach Billy Snow said. “In the discus, Nicole was off her season best and took 19th at 88-06.”

Rachel Gaskey was an automatic qualifier in two events. In the discus, Gaskey had a best of 100-00 for the day which put her in 12th place overall. Gaskey’s shot was well off her season best and she ended up 19th in that event.

In the jumps, Lisa Brocard was an automatic entry in the triple jump as was Ashley Smith. Both girls were off from their season best with Smith having the better jump at 31-04 to 30-08.75 for Brocard.

On the track, Brocard also competed in a third event, the 100M high hurdles.

“Lisa had a near season PR at 18.11 (17.9 hand timed),” Coach Snow said. “Anne Helfrich was our fifth competitor, running the 1500M. Anne started off well but faded in the middle part of the race was finished 12th in 5:53.6.”


Matt Slauson led the way for the boys qualifying in two events, the discus and shot put.

In the first event, Slauson had a lifetime PR of 140-10, finishing fourth. The state champion from the previous year only finished three inches in front of Slauson so he felt pretty good about that. In the shot, Slauson was just short of his season best at 46-05 and was ninth in a pretty tough competition.

The plus was that Matt beat all the other Capital conference kids in that event.

Brad Seiber was a last minute addition in the discus and he took advantage of the opportunity, going third in his flight at 115-09.

In the pole vault, Keegan Burnett and Robert McGarry were both automatic qualifiers. Burnett stuggled with his approach and ended up no heighting for the competiton.

“It was a surprize to us because he has had some great practices this past week and has popped over 13 feet in practice without any problem,” Coach Snow said.

McGarry struggled early with his plant, as did many of the vaulters, but got it together at the higher heights. Robert finally cleared 13-04 to place second to a kid from Sherwood.

On the track, Jared Allen was Sweet Home’s only competitor. Allen had a lousy lane assignment for the fast heat, being placed out in lane seven, Coach Snow said.

Although it didn’t look like a real technically smooth race for Allen, he ran well. Hewas nipped by .03 of a second for third place. Allen’s time of 41.52 was a lifetime PR and puts him #5 in school history in that particular event.