MONMOUTH – The Perrydale High School Pirates girls track and field team clinched fourth place overall in the 1A Special District 1 state track and field championships, hosted by Western Oregon University on May 17-18, and senior Austin Burgess of Falls City High School secured a state championship title in the boys 400-meters race.
Junior Amity Deters was a big part in her team’s overall score.
She picked up three individual titles in the high jump, long jump and triple jump to add to her track and field resume, with marks of 5-03.00, 17-05.50 and 35-04.75, respectively.
Nabbing three accolades in a row is something she’s never done before.
“(State) went really well,” she said. “Last year I was state champion in high jump, and the year before that I didn’t get anything.”
Even though she swept the high jump, she said that was her most stressful event.
“I’ve had trouble with the mental part of (high jump), but, it’s just when I get up to the bar it looks so hard because it’s so high,” Deters said. “My mind is just not with it, even after I won. I don’t know why I was so stressed out, but yeah. I was just frustrated with how I kept messing up and couldn’t get it.”
After she cleared 5-01.00, Deters said she wanted to keep going, making it to 5-04.00 before knocking the bar down.
Before her final event on May 18, triple jump, Deters helped secure a third-place victory in the 4x100, punctuated by a gritty trip and a dive headlong onto the track as she crossed the finish line for a time of 53:05.
“That was a little rough, and I didn’t know how I could deal with that in triple jump, but it ended up not affecting it, and I ended up doing good,” she said.
To sum up what Deters is like as an athlete, head coach Brian Evans said, “at practice the week before state, she was upset and said her biggest fear was letting people down. Amity certainly didn’t let anyone down. I can’t say enough good things about her. She just continues to amaze me and we know she is not done yet. She’s only going to get better.”
Deters said in addition to improving next year, she hopes to talk with some colleges and sign on to compete in track and field.
“I’m happy and sad it’s over,” she said. “It’s a sport that’s stressful on my mind and body, but it’s my favorite sport.”
On the field, Sydney Lawrence uncorked a 111-09, setting a personal record and finishing the day in fourth place.
This is the junior’s first year throwing javelin.
“I thought I was going to get third, but then this one girl went up there and threw a pretty far one on her last one, so I was like ah, dang, now I’m getting fourth,” Lawrence said, “but, overall, I mean that’s pretty great for my first year throwing javelin.”
While she was competing in track and field, Lawrence was also playing for the Pirates softball team. Balancing the two wasn’t as difficult as she had originally thought.
“It wasn’t that hard. If I had a track meet, that day before I would do track practice instead of softball, or we’d switch, at 5 p.m. I’d go over to track and have softball before,” she said.
She plans to compete in track and field next year.
Senior Dustin Silver and junior Josh Crawford were the two Pirates competing on the boys squad.
Crawford nabbed a third-place finish in the high jump, with a mark of 5-10.00.
In the long jump, Silver leapt 19-00.00 for seventh place.
Silver and Crawford also joined junior David Domes and sophomore Connor Kelly in the 4x100. Though they ended up in 10th place, they PR’d with a time of 47:13.
Overall, Silver said he was pleased with how the weekend went.
“My main event, high jump, didn’t go as planned, it didn’t go very well,” he said. “In the 4x100, we PR’d and in high jump I made it to seventh. I didn’t think I was gonna make it to state at all, so.”
Silver has been playing baseball for the Pirates for the last three years, but since there was no opportunity for a baseball team this year, he decided to try out track and field.
“Track was the alternative, and I figured I’d give it a shot,” Silver said. “I liked it. And the cool part is, I’m actually pretty good at it.”
Austin Burgess didn’t think he was going to win when the gun went off in the boys 400-meters race.
“But afterward, when I won, I was like, oh wow,” Burgess said. “It was a good feeling; I was happy.”
Burgess started out in last place and slowly began moving up the ranks, giving it a final push in the last 60 meters.
“I’ve been told all season to just pace myself, and then let it all go at the end.”
His plan worked, and he was awarded with a state title before rushing off to finish the final jump in the long jump, where he took fifth place with a mark of 19-03.75.
“I could have done better,” he said of his long jump performance, “but I came back from the 400, and my legs were just dead.”
Head coach Ronnie Simmons was pleased with watching Burgess finish his high school career off with a state title.
“It was great; I am extremely happy for the young man, he deserves being a state champion,” Simmons said.
Junior Dylan Hendrickson pulled up in fifth place for the javelin with a 151-06 PR.
Senior Amara Houghtaling, juniors Natalie Batie and Neveah Lofte and freshman Katie Ross collectively came in seventh place in the girls 4x100 relay, with Ross crossing the line at 53:78.
Overall, “I thought state went well,” Simmons said. “The 4x100 relay put things together to have a season best. Dylan Hendrickson came right out and threw amazing. Really, really pleased with how things finished up. Super proud of all the track athletes.”