EUGENE -- Tanner Omlid's been a state champion before. Twice on the basketball court, as he most recently led the Central Panthers to the 2012 Class 4A boys hoops title.
So even though he didn't win another one at Friday and Saturday's 4A Track and Field State Championships, Omlid was more than happy with what he was able to accomplish in just his first year on the team.
"It was a good experience being in front of thousands of people, you get to see yourself on the big board -- the jumbo-tron," the senior said with a smile after his throw of 173 feet, 9 inches earned him sixth place and a spot on the awards podium.
Omlid -- who also starred as the quarterback on Central's football team and played centerfield for the baseball team before making the switch to track this season -- said his newest sport was unlike any other.
"Track's a different sport," Omlid, bound to play basketball for West Point next season, said. "Like, everybody doesn't really hate anybody. In basketball, you have your rivals, but in track you just hang out with the people all day and you just become friends."
Omlid also placed eighth in Friday's long jump final with a leap of 20 feet, 8 3/4 inches.
Newport's Oshay Dunmore, headed to Oregon to be a heptathlete, won the event with a jump of 22 feet, 8 1/2 inches.
"I was happy to be in the finals," Omlid said of the long jump. "Then I was like, `Alright, I'll make it on the podium.' You just change your goals as you go along."
As for the crowd and the atmosphere, Omlid said that didn't affect him too much.
"Actually, it wasn't that nerve-wracking," he said. "I've been in front of a lot of people before.
Photo by Nicole Watkins
Central’s Justin Bruntmeyer runs the first leg of the 4 x 100 relay in Friday’s prelims.
"I was just happy. I mean, first year and you're going to Hayward, there's nothing really better than that."
The Central 4 x 100 relay team of Justin Bruntmeyer, Colby Jackson, Oscar Chavez and Toby Prescott competed on Friday but didn't advance out of the preliminaries with its time of 45.88 seconds.
For Bruntmeyer, the lone senior on the relay, the experience itself was something special.
"It was by far my favorite high school experience," Bruntmeyer said. "The crowd up there, it was crazy to look at - I felt like I was playing for Oregon.
"... We were a little disappointed with the position that we got, but it's crazy to be here. And those guys are young, so they're already talking about next year," Bruntmeyer said of Jackson, Chavez and Prescott, all sophomores. "I'm trying to talk with them, but I'm also a little sad I won't be here. But they're going to do great, and I'm sure they're excited."