The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

By Scott Swanson
Of The New Era 

Huskies qualify for state track in 10 events


May 17, 2016

NATHAN HAGER runs with the leaders during the 800, in which he passed an opponent down the home stretch to finish seventh with a big personal best.

Eight individual Sweet Home athletes and the girls short relay team qualified last weekend for the state 4A track and field championships, putting Huskies in 10 events.

Head Coach Allyson Bodenbach said she and the other coaches were "extremely pleased” with the Huskies’ performance.

"There was nothing that went terribly wrong,” she said. "There was nobody that didn’t get in that should have gotten in. I think they’re all pretty excited.”

Cottage Grove, which is loaded with talent on the boys side, finished first in the boys team race with 180 points, well ahead of Junction City (145). Sweet Home’s boys were fifth with 83 points.

On the girls side, Sisters won its second straight district title with 185 points, ahead of Cottage Grove (155.5), Junction City (96) and Sweet Home 92.5.

The most successful Husky was Bethany Gingerich, winning district titles in the 200 and the 400. Sweet Home’s other district champion for the girls was Dana Hiett in the triple jump.

Also qualifying for state berths for the girls were the girls 4x100 relay team of Josie Knight, Sarah Dunkley, Natasha Rasmussen and Gingerich, which placed second behind Sisters, and Knight, who finished second in the shot.

The boys had two district champions, TJ Baham in the pole vault and Egan Shamek in the long jump. In addition to them, qualifying for state were Trey Reed (400), Dillon Stutzman (pole vault), and Garrison Whitfield (javelin), all finishing as runner-ups.

The javelin was one of the Huskies’ stronger events, with Stutzman and freshman Lance Hanson finishing in the top eight to score. Although Shamek missed state in the triple jump by one place to finish third, Wes Parker finished fifth and Hanson was seventh for the Huskies to score in that event.

Bodenbach said the biggest surprise was probably Gingerich’s wins in both the long sprints and running the anchor leg of the girls 4x100 relay team, with Knight, Sarah Dunkley and Natasha Rasmussen.

"Bethany had a great meet,” Bodenbach said. "I think she exceeded everybody’s expectations, including herself, doubling in the 200 and the 400. She was not feeling good on Staturday. so it’s a real testament to her.”

In Thursday’s prelims, Gingerich cut nearly a second off her season’s best to run 60.48 in the 400 and a second off her previous best in the 200, finishing in 26.32 – both in the prelims.

"I did not expect to do that good, especially on Thursday,” she said. "That was insane. I couldn’t believe it.”

After missing the finals in the state 400 as a freshman last year, she’s eager to do better this time around, she said.

‘Hopefully, I will compete better this year than last year.”

The relay team’s qualification for state was the second in a row for the Huskies after a string of four straight league titles was broken in 2013 and 2014.

"Qualifying for the 4x100 was fantastic,” Bodenbach said.

One of the most dramatic finishes for the Huskies came in the boys pole vault, in which Stutzman and Baham were seeded 1-2.

Baham won the district title outright by clearing 12-8, but Sisters’ Dyut Fetrow, a first-year vaulter as a senior, made things interesting as he tied Stutzman for second at 12-4 – a personal best of 14 inches for Fetrow, forcing a jump-off for the second state berth.

Both Stutzman and Fetrow cleared 12-8 and Stutzman did it again as Fetrow missed, to secure the state berth.

"I didn’t think I was going to be in a jump-off,” Stutzman said. "That kind of threw me for a loop. It kind of took me by surprise. I was happy that I did clear (12-8)” which is a new PR for him.

"I think I can get 13 (at state).”

Baham said he expected to qualify for state, but he was happy to PR on the way there.

"I knew I needed a PR but I didn’t know if I would get one,” he said, adding that he hopes to use a longer pole this week, which could get him more height at state.

"That was a fantastic finish to see Dillon get out there and compete the way he did,” Bodenbach said. "Obviously, TJ having a PR. That was pretty cool.”

For Knight, who placed third last year in the shot, her final districts was a success in that she earned a state berth, but she wasn’t very happy with her best throw of the day, 34-3½, which was about three feet short of where she’s been in competitions the last few weeks.

"I was seeded first, so I wanted the first-place win,” she said after finishing second by about a foot to Sutherlin’s Cassidy Bell. "But I ‘m looking forward to state and improving there. My body’s a little out of it this week, at least for throwing. So I need to recoup and work on what I need to work on for next week.”

Hiett said she was a little disappointed that her winning jump was about a foot short of her personal best, but "I was kind of proud of how I did.

"It’s kind of been a hectic weekend she said,” after competing in the pole vault and the triple jump literally simultaneously – fortunately for her and Olson, the runways were side by side.

"It’s really awesome,” she said of winning. "I’ve been decent at a lot of things for a long time. It’s exciting to find something I can really excel at.”

Whitfield did not compete in last year’s district meet, so he was happy to qualify this year, his senior season, though he was bothered that he finished second.

"We had some really good competition today,” he said of his duel with Elmira’s William Weaver, who threw 159-10, 3½ feet beyond Whitfield’s best effort, which was nearly 25 feet short of his season best, which would have put him in state as the third seed.

"They made me work for it. Second place didn’t come easy. Next week will be a fight. It will be a real good competition to see who comes out on top.”

For Reed, who got caught at the finish line by Cottage Groves’ Connor Howard, who won all three sprint events and anchored the Lions to a state berth in the short relay, this will be his third trip to Hayward Field, making him by far the most experienced Husky going to state.

Last year, as a sophomore, he missed the final in the 400 by a fraction of a second after going out too fast in and getting caught by the pack at the finish.

"I’ve done a lot better throughout the season,” Reed said. "I really think this is good year to get up there in the rankings. I know I can be up there in the top three, top two on the podium. Or even number one.

Anything can happen.

"I’ve gotta put that in the past, move on to state and focus on the prize.”

Also returning to state is Shamek, who finished fifth last year in the long jump. He is seeded fourth, but within three inches of the next two higher seeds.

"I’m feeling pretty confident,” he said. "I have some pretty tough competition coming up.

"I just have to calm down. I was just looking at the crowd (last year) and my nerves got the best of me. I just have to focus.”

There were other stalwart efforts beyond the state qualifiers, Bodenbach noted.

"We had a lot of kids shine.”

One was Hanson, a freshman who, in his third triple jump competition ever, in which he was seeded last out of 15 competitors, knocked three feet off his personal best to finish in the medals in seventh place with a leap of 37-2.

"That was really cool,” Bodenbach said.

Another was junior Nathan Hager, who was seeded eighth coming into the boys 800, and ran a gutty race down the home stretch in the final to finish seventh in 2:08.83, a three-second PR and nearly 10 seconds better than the time he ran in the first of his four efforts at that distance this season.

"To go sub-2:10 when he started the season at 2:18, and then he puts points on the board...” Bodenbach said.

The state meet begins 9 a.m. Friday, May 20, with field events, and running events starting at 9:30. Saturday’s field events start at 9:30 a.m., with track events beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students age 5 through high school. They can be purchased online at or at the gate.

2016 Sky-Em District Meet

Boys Results

Top Three and Sweet Home Finishers

**Prelims Time/Mark

State Qualifier

##State Qualifier Due to Meeting Standard

!Personal Best Time/Mark

Team Scores – (1) Cottage Grove 180; (2) Junction City 145; (3) Sisters 117; (4) Elmira 104; (5) Sweet Home 83; (6) Sutherlin 22.

100 – (1) Connor Howard (Cottage Grove) 11.15; (2) Zach Rogers (Junction City) 11.17; (3) ##James Palodichuk (Junction City) 11.22; (4) ##Michael Tharpe (Cottage Grove) 11.30; (7) Egan Shamek (SH) 11.64 (**11.33); (10) Nick Rietz (SH) **12.00!.

200 – (1) Connor Howard (Cottage Grove) 22.95; (2) Zach Rogers (Junction City) 22.97; (3) James Palodichuk (Junction City) 22.98; (8) Nick Rietz (SH) 24.58 (**24.34!).

400 – (1) Connor Howard (Cottage Grove) 50.90; (2) Trey Reed (SH) 51.11; (3) Colton Mannhalter (Sisters) 52.16; (9) Noah Taraski (SH) **56.24; (11) Wes Parker (SH) **56.24. (Note: Reed is seeded fifth going into state.)

800 – (1) Benjamin Swancutt (Junction City) 2:01.06; (2) Finn King (Elmira) 2:02.11; (3) Izaak Kanzig (Sisters) 2:02.46; (7) Nathan Hager (SH) 2:08.83!; (12) Noah Dinsfriend (SH) **2:19.93.

1500 – (1) Jadon Bachtold (Sisters) 4:14.00; (2) Shane Orme (Elmira) 4:15.00; (3) Konrad Raum (Cottage Grove) 4:19.75; (12) Ricky Yunke (SH) 4:52.42; (14) Tanner Sayers (SH) 4:52.42.

3000 – (1) TJ Hooks (Sisters) 9:37.03; (2) Jadon Bachtold (Sisters) 9:38.23; (3) Konrad Raum (Cottage Grove) 9:39.75; (11) Ricky Yunke (SH) 10:44.48!; (12) Tanner Sayers (SH) 10:44.51.

110 Hurdles – (1) Michael Tharpe (Cottage Grove) 14.98; (2) Nicholas Boykin (Elmira) 15.65; (3) Ethan Frolov (Elmira) 16.29; (7) Matt Davis (SH) 16.69 (**16.28); (10) TJ Baham (SH) **17.36.

300 Hurdles – (1) Keegan Greaney (Sisters) 40.28; (2) Nicholas Boykin (Elmira) 40.80; (3) Michael Tharpe (Cottage Grove) 41.60; (6) Matt Davis (SH) 43.90; (9) TJ Baham (SH) **45.18; (12) Noah Dinsfriend (SH) **48.55.

4x100 Relay – (1) Junction City 43.47; (2) Cottage Grove 43.72; (3) Sisters 44.98; (4) Sweet Home (Egan Shamek, Justin Carpenter, Matt Davis, Trey Reed) 45.11; (5) Elmira 48.09.

4x400 Relay – (1) Sisters 3:28.81; (2) Junction City 3:32.63; (3) Sweet Home 3:35.31; (4) Cottage Grove 3:38.83; (5) Elmira 3:45.74.

Shot Put – (1) Tristan Needham (Sutherlin) 48-0¾; (2) Brad Geisler (Cottage Grove) 47-2; (3) Quin Vandenberghe (Junction City) 45-5¼; (10) Hayden Nichol (SH) **37-1!; (13) Jake Swanson (SH) **33-9½!; (14) Noah Moore (SH) **32-8¼.

Discus – (1) Brad Geisler (Cottage Grove) 133-3; (2) Seth Green (Cottage Grove) 128-8; (3) Tristan Needham (Sutherlin) 128-1; (15) Hayden Nichol (SH) **91-2; (16) Garrison Whitfield (SH) **88-7.

Javelin – (1) William Weaver (Elmira) 159-10; (2) Garrison Whitfield (Sweet Home) 156-3; (5) Dillon Stutzman (SH) 144-2; (8) Nathan Hager (SH) 128-1. (Note: Whitfield is seeded 11th, but if he can beat his personal best of 179-9, that would have put him in third going into state.)

High Jump – (1) Brandon Land (Junction City) 5-9; (2) Blake Edwards (Junction City) 5-9; (3) Joshua Claflin (Cottage Grove) 5-8; No Sweet Home Competitors.

Pole Vault – (1) TJ Baham (SH) 12-8!; (2-tie) Dillon Stutzman (SH), Dyut Fetrow (Sisters) 12-4 (Note: Stutzman earned state berth by winning jump-off. Baham is seeded 12th going into state and Stutzman is seeded 15th, behind five competitors who cleared 13-0 at districts. Senior Hunter Drops of Marshfield is top-seeded at 15-6.)

Long Jump – (1) Egan Shamek (SH) 21-8; (2) Jayden Tucker (Cottage Grove) 21-2; (3) Zach Rogers (Junction City) 20-1; (7) Justin Carpenter (SH) 19-2¾. (Note: Shamek is seeded fourth behind top-seed Dillon Zheol of Estacada’s 22-4¼. The two competitors seeded ahead of Shamek finished districts within two inches his mark.)

Triple Jump – (1) Jayden Tucker (Cottage Grove) 41-10; (2) Tucker Porter (Cottage Grove) 39-6; (3) Egan Shamek (SH) 39-3; (5) Wes Parker (SH) 38-3½; (7) Lance Hanson (SH) 37-2!.

Girls Results

Team Scores – (1) Sisters 185; (2) Cottage Grove 155.5; (3) Junction City 96; (4) Sweet Home 92.5; (5) Elmira 88; (6) Sutherlin 34.

100 – (1) Erynn Ricker (Sisters) 12.83; (2) Hannah Albrecht (Cottage Grove) 13.00; (3) Mandi Calavan (Sisters) 13.04; (4) Josie Knight (SH) 13.46 (**13.39).

200 – (1) Bethany Gingerich (SH) 27.20 (**26.32!); (2) Hannah Albrecht (Cottage Grove) 27.26; (3) Mandi Calavan (Sisters) 27.55; (4) Kate Hawken (SH) 28.66 (**27.88!). (Note: Gingerich is seeded eighth in the 200, but within .3 seconds of the next three higher-seeded competitors.)

400 – (1) Bethany Gingerich (SH) 1:00.48!; (2) Hannah Albrecht (Cottage Grove) 1:00.65; (3) Macadia Calavan (Sisters) 1:01.60; (5) Kate Hawken ( (SH) 1:04.48 (**1:04.34); (9) McKenzie Yoder (SH) **1:08.43!. (Note: Gingerich is seeded sixth in the 400.)

800 – (1) Shayla Solomon (Junction City) 2:26.83; (2) Victoria Griswold (Elmira) 2:29.91; (3) Hudson Weybright (Cottage Grove) 2:33.12; No Sweet Home Competitors.

1500 – (1) Breanna Wright (Cottage Grove) 4:59.54; (2) Shayla Solomon (Junction City) 5:06.68; (3) Camerin Feagins (Sutherlin) 5:21.23; (13) Ashley Wickline (SH) 6:11.50.

3000 – (1) Breanna Wright (Cottage Grove) 11:33.88; (2) Hudson Weybright (Cottage Grove) 11:41.29; (3) Camerin Feagins (Sutherlin) 11:58.69; (11) Kayleen Keeney (SH) 13:20.70; (12) Allison Wickline (SH) 14:00.01.

100 Hurdles – (1) Sabrina Reifschneider (Sisters) 16.13; (2) Michaela Miller (Sisters) 16.55; (3) Celeste Pelham (Cottage Grove) 17.22; (5) Josie Knight (SH) 17.27; (9) Dana Hiett (SH) **18.37!.

300 Hurdles – (1) Sabrina Reifschneider (Sisters) 48.31; (2) Michaela Miller (Sisters) 48.43; (3) Emillia Carpenter (Elmira) 49.98; (9) Sierra Swanson (SH) **54.10!; (10) Madelyn Neuschwander (SH) **54.72!.

4x100 Relay – (1) Sisters 50.82; (2) Sweet Home (Josie Knight, Sarah Dunkley, Natasha Rasmussen, Bethany Gingerich) 51.80; (3) Junction City 52.34; (4) Elmira 54.65; (5) Cottage Grove 54.77.

4x400 Relay – (1) Sisters 4:13.38; (2) Cottage Grove 4:15.89; (3) Junction City 4:22.33; (4) Sweet Home (Sarah Dunkley, McKenzie Yoder, Kate Hawken, Bethany Gingerich) 4:24.18; (5) Elmira 4:34.71.

Shot Put – (1) Cassidy Bell (Sutherlin) 35-2¼; (2) Josie Knight (SH) 34-3½; Kamryn Knox (Junction City) 32-0; (9) Eleanor Hewitt (SH) 28-4¼; (12) Emily Ramsey (SH) 25-11¼.

Discus – (1) Grace Wilson (Junction City) 101-3; (2) Miranda Harrison (Elmira) 94-2; (3) Cassidy Herbert (Cottage Grove) 93-8; (7) Eleanor Hewitt (SH) 82-6; (14) Shania Baxter (SH) **68-5!; (15) Shelby Dinsfriend (SH) **68-1.

Javelin – (1) Julianne Meeter (Sisters) 114-8; (2) Emillia Carpenter (Elmira) 112-5; (3) Melissa Powers (Cottage Grove) 105-4; (4) Shania Baxter (SH) 95-6; (6) Kendyl Stutzman (SH) 90-6; (12) Hailey Nicholson (SH) 75-3.

High Jump – (1) Emillia Carpenter (Elmira) 5-0; (2) Keara Murphy (Cottage Grove ) 5-0; (3) Melissa Thielman (Cottage Grove) 4-10; (6) Caylie Trewin (SH) 4-8; (8) Sierra Swanson (SH) 4-8.

KENDYL STUTZMAN competes in the javelin at districts.

Pole Vault – (1) Erynn Ricker (Sisters) 9-6; (2) Tessa O’Hern (Sisters) 9-0; (3) Marissa Shults (Elmira) 8-6; (5) Dana Hiett (SH) 7-6; (6) Gracie Olson (SH) 7-0.

Long Jump – (1) Erynn Ricker (Sisters) 15-10¼; (2) Kamryn Knox (Junction City) 15-6½; (3) Keara Murphy (Cottage Grove) 14-9¾; (7) Natasha Rasmussen (SH) 14-2½.

Triple Jump – (1) Dana Hiett (SH) 32-8½; (2) Michaela Miller (Sisters) 32-2; (3) Alex Olsen (Elmira) 30-6½; (8) Gracie Olson (SH) 28-3½; (10) Caylie Trewin (SH) 27-11. (Note: Hiett is seeded 12th going into state, but her personal best of 33-7¼ would put her in top eight seeds.)


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