Too many thirds aren’t a charm for Huskies at district track

Scott Swanson

Three just wasn’t a charm for the Sweet Home track and field team last week at the Sky-Em district championships at Elmira.

Though the Huskies qualified athletes for seven events at this weekend’s 4A state championships, it was the nine third-place finishers who barely missed a trip to Hayward Field in Eugene this Friday and Saturday. The top two finishers at each district meet around the state qualify for state unless another athlete meets a specific challenging time or mark that is an automatic qualifier.

Sweet Home actually had 10 third-placers, but Haley Kent will compete in the 200 because Sisters’ Natalie Ambrose, who placed second in the 200 and first in the 400, will only run in the latter, Coach Billy Snow said.

The good news was two individual district titles for the Huskies: Jakob Hiett’s win in the boys 3000 and Ben Terry’s repeat championship in the shot put.

In addition, for the boys, Hiett also qualified in the 1500, after finishing second to Sisters senior Brandon Pollard, and was joined by Spencer Knight in the 100, freshman Trey Reed in the 400, and Ashton Stutzman in the high jump. On the girls side, India Porter also qualified with a second-place finish in the triple jump.

Despite just two district titles, all those second- and third-place finishes paid off for the boys in a second-place team finish behind the host Falcons, who won going away with 194 team points, thanks largely to a strong sprint crew that dominated the short events. Sweet Home had 134, ahead of Cottage Grove (107) and Sisters (95).

On the girls side, senior sprinter Ahsha Mootz paced Cottage Grove to the title with a total of 157 points while Sisters and Elmira tied for second with 122. Sweet Home was fifth with 83.

“That’s a lot of third-place finishers,” said Coach Billy Snow. “Some of them, you’re saying, ‘Wow, what a great result.’ Others, you’re saying, ‘What a heartbreak.’ The empty feeling that nine thirds leaves you with, that’s track and field.”

Senior Spencer Knight said the whole meet was “kind of rough” for the Huskies.

“I just think everybody just seemed a little bit off,” he said. “It was just weird. Everybody just seemed a little bit drained. It might have been the heat. There were just a series of disappointments for everyone.”

Snow said that despite the close misses, Sweet Home actually did about as well or better than he figured his team would. He had the Husky boys pegged to finish second with 120 points, so they actually exceeded his hopes. He had the girls picked for fifth, but they came through with a few more points than he’d anticipated as well.

“I would not trade this group for another,” He said. “They were a great bunch of kids. Taken as a whole, I think they competed pretty well.”

Some of the outstanding performances of the day, he said, came from those third-place finishers.

Chase Hutchins got pinned on the rail in the final 300 meters of the 800, which has been a relatively new event for him this season, and finished third.

“Chase was basically a rookie in that race,” Snow said. “He hadn’t run that many. You have to get in some races like that so you know how to handle that. But he PR’d.”

Seeing Stutzman, Knight and Terry qualify for state was “nice,” he said.

Knight, who missed a atate berth last year by a hair’s breadth after running a time that would have put him solidly on the medals stand at state, said he felt his hamstring tighten up Saturday during the 100 final but kept going.

“I started off pretty decent, and halfway through I a felt twinge in my right hamstring, and then I just kind of thought to myself it wasn’t worth pulling back out. This was either go to state or not. When I leaned forward, it kind of tightened up again. But I just have to move on this week and get it healthy, get it ready for state. It felt really good to finally make it.”

Snow said he’s confident Knight will “be fine” by Friday’s 100 prelims. “I think he’ll be good.”

Even though none of the javelin throwers made state, the Amanda Hubbard, Jordan Miller and Hannah Mather finished third through fifth and the boys came close to doing the same thing, Kyle Rose and Brycen Mitten placing third and fourth and Garrison Whitfield taking eighth in his first district meet.

“Our girl javelin throwers were dominant,” Snow said. “It was impressive to watch. We scored a ton of points. (Assistant Coach) Randy (Whitfield) did a great job with those kids.”

Stutzman’s high jump finish was also a big one, Snow said, considering the senior was coming off an ankle injury. Stutzman cleared 6-0 and just nicked the bar at 6-1 to finish second.

Also turning heads was freshman Trey Reed, who battled his way to second in the 400.

“Trey will be the youngest in the (state) field by far, but that kid’s not intimidated,” Snow said.

For the girls, Josie Knight came through with points in the 100, 200 and shot, he noted. Courtney Kent missed a trip to state in the 300 hurdles by 1/100th of a second after battling a hip injury.

Distance ace Nicole Rasmussen missed out on a fourth-straight trip to state in the 3000, finishing third in 80-degree heat that sapped all the runners.

““That was a good time,” Snow said. “In any other league she would have been going. That’s just the way the weekend went. We had some things go good, just not enough of them.”

He noted that other bright spots were India Porter’s big – almost four-foot – PR in the triple jump, sophomore Sierra Swanson’s fourth place in the high jump, and junior Eric Flierl’s third place in the 300 hurdles, with sophomore Matt Davis close behind.

“Matt had a great race,” Snow said.

One of the most exciting events of the meet, in his estimation, was the boys 1500, which pitted Pollard and Hiett in a race that the Sisters senior won by a second and a half, in 4:00.56.

“Jakob and Brandon going at it – that might have been the highlight of meet, seeing those two pounding each other.”

It was a highlight for Hiett, who relishes good competition, after cruising to an easy win in the 3000 on Thursday.

“The 3000 was fun and I just kind of ran that because there’s not much competition,” he said. “But the 1500 was really a battle between me and Brandon and I knew coming in that Brandon had some excellent times for the 1500, so that was fun. He’s my favorite person to race against. That felt really good and it was cool to PR.

“ But it was really hard, running the open 400 afterwards. I just felt from that last corner, I could just tell that my legs were drained.”

Snow said the goal this weekend at Hayward Field will be to make the finals and let things play out.

“We told the kids in individual races, ‘Your goal is to PR and that’ll get you to the finals.”

Hiett, who finished fifth in the 3000 last year as a sophomore, said he’s looking forward to running against Siuslaw seniors Mitchell Butler, who has signed with Oregon, and Mack Marbas, who beat Hiett in the 1500 early this season, the only time the two have raced this year.

“The Siuslaw guys will be my main competition in the 3K,” he predicted. “That will be a fast race. It would be especially cool to win. I know I can run a lot faster than I did (on Thursday).

“The 3000 is the one I’m really focusing on because I want to see if I can win. It would be super cool, because Mitchell Butler has signed with the U of O, so to beat a U of O recruit would be rather impressive, especially if you’re a junior.

“In the 1500, I just want to go out there and give it my all and see what I’ve got.”

Sky-Em District Track Championships

Top Three and Sweet Home Finishers

Top eight finishers are scorers. All other finishes are prelims.

*State Qualifier +Personal Best Time/Mark

Boys Results

Team scores – (1) Elmira 194; (2) Sweet Home 141; (3) Cottage Grove 107; (4) Sisters 95; (5) La Pine 69; (6) Junction City 50.

100 – (1) *Bo Highburger (E) 11.29; (2) *Spencer Knight (SH) 11.39; (3) Jordon Stoppel (E) 11.43; (13) Nick Rietz (SH) 12.38.

200 – (1) *Harley Gilpin (E) 23.20; (2) *Zach Beltz (E) 23.74; (3) Jaycob Dodge (CG) 23.78; (6) Trey Reed (SH) +24.33; (15) Nick Rietz (SH) 25.44.

400 – (1) *Jaycob Dodge (CG) 51.84; (2) *Trey Reed (SH) +52.18; (3) Keegan Kriz (LP) 52.22; (6) Jakob Hiett (SH) 54.46.

800 – (1) *Brandon Pollard (S) 1:58.55; (2) *Morgan McAdams (JC) 2:04.12; (3) Chace Hutchins (SH) +2:05.73; (16) Issac Justham (SH) 2:23.14.

1500 – (1) *Brandon Pollard (S) 4:00.56; (2) *Jakob Hiett (SH) +4:02.06; (3) Jadon Bachtold (S) 4:20.59; (6) Ian Wingo (SH) +4:32.81; (12) Issac Justham (SH) 4:50.79.

3000 – (1) *Jakob Hiett (SH) 9:07.72; (2) *Gannon Jones (E) 9:19.66; (3) Jadon Bachtold (S) 9:33.35; (8) Ian Wingo (SH) +10:05.82; (9) Julian Hesberg (SH) +10:21.29.

110 Hurdles – (1) *Nicholas Boykin (E) 15.84; (2) *Micheal Tharpe (CG) 16.13; (3) Matt Davis (SH) +16.62; (5) Eric Flierl (SH) +16.72.

300 Hurdles – (1) *Nicholas Boykin (E) 41.24; (2) *Jake McAllister (S) 41.67; (3) Eric Flierl (SH) +42.64; (6) Matt Davis (SH) 43.81; (8) TJ Baham (SH) +47.29.

4×100 Relay – (1) *Elmira 43.72; (2) *Cottage Grove 44.89; (3) Sweet Home (Eric Flierl, Spencer Knight, Egan Shamek, Trey Reed) 45.12; (4) Junction City 45.94; (5) Sisters 46.47; (6) La Pine 46.84.

4×400 Relay – (1) *Elmira 3:29.81; (2) *Sisters 3:32.45; (3) Junction City 3:38.55; (4) Cottage Grove 3:39.14; (5) Sweet Home (Chace Hutchins, Eric Flierl, Jakob Hiett, Trey Reed) 3:40.92; (6) La Pine 4:03.39.

Shot Put – (1) *Ben Terry (SH) 47-5¼; (2) *Bo Highburger (E) 46-11½; (3) Zane Wardwell (E) 44-4¾; (4) Brycen Mitten (SH) 41-3¾; (15) Eric Whitlow (SH) 26-3.

Discus – (1) *Zane Wardwell (E) 140-9; (2) *Tanner Hansen (LP) 134-8; (3) Brad Geisler (CG) 120-2; (4) Ben Terry (SH) +117-2; (10) Gavin Baskin (SH) +95-2; (14) Eric Whitlow (SH) 65-1.

Javelin – (1) *Justin Petz (LP) 161-2; (2) *Darren Voigt (CG) 153-10; (3) Kyle Rose (SH) 149-10; (4) Brycen Mitten (SH) 148-2; (8) Garrison Whitfield (SH) 130-8.

High Jump – (1) *Jake McAllister (S) 6-1; (2) *Ashton Stutzman (SH) 6-0; (3) Garrett Nepper (JC) 5-10.

Pole Vault – (1) *Justin Petz (LP) 15-6; (2) *Jeff Linn (E) 12-4; (3) Joseph Petz (LP) 11-4; (6) Dillon Stutzman (SH) 10-6; (7) TJ Baham (SH) 10-0.

Long Jump – (1) *Harley Gilpin (E) 21-1; (2) *Justin Petz (LP) 20-10¾; (3) Jake McAllister (S) 20-6¾; (4) Spencer Knight (SH) +20-5¼; (5) Egan Shamek (SH) 20-2¾; (12) Tucker Porter (SH) +18-1¾.

Triple Jump – (1) *Jayden Tucker (CG) 40-0; (2) *Desmond Walker (JC) 39-7; (3) Jacob Klein (CG) 39-2½; (4) Egan Shamek (SH) 38-8½; (7) Tucker Porter (SH) 37-3.

Girls Results

Team Scores – (1) Cottage Grove 157; (2) Sisters 122; (3) Elmira 122; (4) Junction City 93; (5) Sweet Home 83; (6) La Pine 51.

100 – (1) *Ahsha Mootz (CG) 12.63; (2) *Kendra Daniels (E) 13.26; (3) Kirstyn Groshong (E) 13.28; (5) Josie Knight (SH) 13.58; (14) Sarah Dunkley (SH) 14.35.

200 – (1) *Ahsha Mootz (CG) 25.77; (2) Natalie Ambrose (S) 26.84; (3) *Haley Kent (SH) +27.17; (6) Josie Knight (SH) +28.29; (16) Natasha Rasmussen (SH) 29.37.

400 – (1) *Natalie Ambrose (S) 59.59; (2) *Jamilla Gambee (JC) 1:02.24; (3) Macadia Calavan (S) 1:02.90; (9) Natasha Rasmussen (SH) 1:06.56; (11) India Porter (SH) 1:07.04.

800 – (1) *Zoe Falk (S) 2:24.75; (2) *Hudson Weybright (CG) 2:25.04; (3) Madison Boettner (S) 2:30.24; (12) Jordan Miller (SH) 2:43.90; (14) Maria Daniels (SH) +3:00.56.

1500 – (1) *Zoe Falk (S) 4:52.03; (2) *Aria Blumm (S) 4:52.34; (3) Breanna Wright (CG) 4:57.14; (4) Nicole Ramussen (SH) 5:01.47; (8) Sierra Swanson (SH) +5:24.17; (9) Kayleen Keeney (SH) +5:27.08.

3000 – (1) *Aria Blumm (S) 10:45.04; (2) *Breanna Wright (CG) 11:03.96; (3) Nicole Ramussen (SH) 11:09.03; (5) Kayleen Keeney (SH) 12:09.81; (6) Sierra Swanson (SH) 12:34.91.

100 Hurdles – (1) *Kirstyn Groshong (E) 16.26; (2) *McKenna Boen (LP) 16.43; (3) Bailey Mills (E) 16.87; (11) Dana Hiett (SH) 20.23.

300 Hurdles – (1) *Jamilla Gambee (JC) 47.00; (2) *Kirstyn Groshong (E) 47.90; (3) Courtney Kent (SH) 47.91.

4×100 Relay – (1) *Cottage Grove 50.24; (2) *Sisters 51.35; (3) Junction City 52.49; (4) Elmira 52.84; (5) La Pine 53.63; Sweet Home DNP – Disqualified.

4×400 Relay – (1) *Sisters 4:04.57; (2) *Cottage Grove 4:11.23; (3) Elmira 4:29.35; (4) Junction City 4:30.66; (5) Sweet Home (Natasha Rasmussen, Jordan Miller, India Porter, Haley Kent) 4:33.31; La Pine DNP – Disqualified.

Shot Put – (1) *Sylvia Dean (CG) 37-2¼; (2) *Taylee Pratt (JC) 33-8; (3) Conner Borigo (CG) 32-1½; (4) Josie Knight (SH) +32-0; (11) Kaitlyn Watts (SH) +26-9½; (12) Sadie Gordon (SH) +25-7¾.

Discus – (1) *Taylee Pratt (JC) 107-2; (2) *Erick Ansell (JC) 93-4; (3) Kaitlyn Watts (SH) 91-8; (5) Sadie Gordon (SH) 89-1; (13) Adriana Perez (SH) +70-11.

Javelin – (1) *Kelsey Shaw (E) 149-1; (2) *Destiny Dawson (CG) 118-9; (3) Amanda Hubbard (SH) +108-8; (4) Jordan Miller (SH) +104-11; (5) Hannah Mather (SH) 93-8.

High Jump – (1) *Kelsey Shaw (E) 5-2; (2) *Kendra Daniels (E) 4-8; (3) Melissa Thielman (CG) 4-8; (4-tie) Sierra Swanson (SH), Sara Bass (CG), Jamilla Gambee (JC) 4-6; (9) Dana Hiett (SH) 4-4.

Pole Vault – (1) *Chloee Sazama (LP) 9-6; (2) *Tessa O’Hern (S) 9-2; (3) Kirsten Hoobler (CG) 7-10; (9) Dana Hiett (SH) 6-6.

Long Jump – (1) *Michaela Miller (S) 16-10; (2) *Zoe Falk (S) 16-9¼; (3) Kelsey Shaw (E) 16-4¾; (13) Alex Olin (SH) +13-3½.

Triple Jump – (1) *Grieta King (E) 34-2 ½; (2) *India Porter (SH) +33-9; (3) Brittnie Haigler (LP) 33-2; (16) Alex Olin (SH) +29-1; Haley Kent (SH) DNP – Fouls.