Central track team sends five to state meet

INDEPENDENCE -- It wasn't first place.<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But for the Central boys 4 x 100 relay team of Toby Prescott, Justin Bruntmeyer, Colby Jackson and Oscar Chavez, that didn't matter.



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Central’s Tanner Omlid competes in the javelin in Saturday’s Oregon West Conference championships. Omlid won the event.

CLASS 4A TRACK AND FIELD STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Where:

Hayward Field, University of Oregon, Eugene.

When:

Friday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

Tickets:

$10 adults, $5 students.

TV:

Watch preliminaries and finals at www.osaa.tv/

CENTRAL STATE QUALIFIERS

(Top 10 ranking in 4A)

4 x 100 relay -

-

Colby Jackson, Justin Bruntmeyer, Toby Prescott, Oscar Chavez.

Long jump --

Tanner Omlid.

Javelin --

Omlid (5).

INDEPENDENCE -- It wasn't first place.

But for the Central boys 4 x 100 relay team of Toby Prescott, Justin Bruntmeyer, Colby Jackson and Oscar Chavez, that didn't matter.

They're going to state.

"I've never known that second place felt so good," Bruntmeyer said with a laugh after his squad, seeded third coming into Saturday's Oregon West Conference track and field championships, pulled off a second-place, state-qualifying finish with a time of 45.68 seconds.

"It was definitely worth it. It may not be first, but it's a chance at state, which is fun."

The four join Central senior and district javelin champ Tanner Omlid as the Panthers' representatives at Friday and Saturday's Class 4A championships at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene.

Omlid also qualified with his second-place finish in the long jump (19 feet, 11« inches).

The Central boys finished fourth in the team standings with 74 points.

Photo by Nicole Watkins

Toby Prescott finished fifth in the 100-meter final Saturday.

Newport won the title with 213 points, Cascade (155 points) finished second and Philomath (136) was third.

The relay squad benefited from a bit of misfortune by the No. 1 seeded team of Alex Munsee, Zach Trask, Isaiah Savage and Matt Trask of Philomath, which dropped the baton on the first handoff to dash its chances at the state meet.

That can be the nature of relays, Central coach Eli Cirino said.

"It's a lot of pressure on these last races and Philomath couldn't get their baton out on the first exchange," he said. "We were just talking before the race that's how relays are -- you never know what's going to happen. I'm going to celebrate our guys' opportunity."

It marks the seventh-straight year that Central has qualified for the state meet in the event and the second-straight time for Prescott, a sophomore.

"It's awesome, it's amazing," he said. "I didn't really expect it in this race, and I feel pretty bad for Philomath because they're all seniors and I know most of the guys. But state! ... It's two years in a row for me, so that's really exciting."

It was also extra special for Bruntmeyer, the lone senior of the four, who will see Hayward Field for the first time Friday.

"It means a lot. We worked really hard all year, we had bumps every now and then with handoffs, but once we started to crack down on it, everyone just worked together and the team just gelled," he said. "It turned out to be really great."

Photo by Nicole Watkins

Central senior Jessie Shockey placed third in the triple jump with a mark of 32 feet, 3 inches in Saturday’s Oregon West Conference championships, just missing out on a trip to this weekend’s Class 4A track and field state championships in Eugene.

Omlid continued to do what he does best -- win.

The senior, just a few months removed from his second state championship in basketball, won the javelin with a throw of 163 feet, 1 inch.

It wasn't a personal record, but Omlid -- in his first season of track and field -- said he's ready to see what he can do on high school's biggest stage.

"I'd like to be throwing a little further -- and jumping just a little further -- but any time you get to go to Hayward, it's been a good season," Omlid said with a grin.

His main goal now is to break the school javelin record of 178 feet. His highest mark this season isn't too far from that: 175.

"It's just three more feet," he said. "I want to go out with a bang."

Finishing in third place for the Panthers and just missing a state berth were Zane West (400) and Jeffrey Biester (tied for third in the triple jump with Omlid).

Girls

The Central girls squad finished in fifth place in the team standings with 57 points. Newport won the meet with 218 points, Cascade (178 points) finished second and Philomath (127) was third.

Senior Jessie Shockey was the top placer for the Panthers with her third place in the triple jump (32-3). Shockey entered the finals as the No. 2 seed based on the preliminaries but was edged by Stayton's Anna Smith (32-7«) to knock her out of the state meet.

Other notable finishes included Sai Tapasa's fourth place in the shot put and Amina Kriznik's fourth place in the 3,000 meters.



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