Track & Field

Falls City’s Serenity Roberts (right) crosses the line at the end of a girls 100-meter dash at Dallas.

Itemizer-Observer

Arguably the biggest week of the track and field season is here.

While the May 19-20 state championships in Eugene offers the biggest titles and trophies, this week’s district meets around the state give athletes their chance to peak at the right time against familiar rivals and competition. Bragging rights and more are on the starting and finish lines.

Dallas and Central will head to West Albany for the Class 5A Mid-Willamette Conference district meet. Prelims and the 3,000-meter finals are scheduled for Wednesday, with all other finals on Friday.

West Salem will bid for 6A state berths at the Mountain Valley Conference district meet Thursday and Friday at McKay.

Perrydale and Falls City will be among 19 schools in the 1A Special District 1 championships Friday and Saturday at Portland Christian.

For all district meets, the top two finishers in each event qualify for state, along with a few wild cards based on times/marks from around the state, plus anyone meeting the qualifying standard.

Here’s a look at how the Dragons and Panthers, Titans, Pirates and Mountaineers shape up going into these district championships.

Dallas

The Dragons don’t have the depth this year to make a run at a MWC district meet team title, coach Bill Masei realizes, “but we have quality kids.”

Foremost among those are senior throwers Justin Parnell, Logan Person and Maddy Straus.

Parnell has the second-best MWC marks this year in the shot put and discus.

“Justin’s been super consistent, but he’s looking for that huge PR,” Masei said.

Masei considers Parnell equally strong in the shot and discus and “top three or four in the state in both.”

Parnell also plans to throw the javelin at the district meet.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he scores in all three throws,” Masei said.

Person also has been consistent, and is versatile.

In the javelin, he has a season-best of 165-6 that leads the conference. At the district meet, he could throw in the 150’s or into the 160’s or even reach 170, Masei said.

“It depends a little more on the weather for him than for Justin in the shot and discus,” Masei said.

Person, the Dragons’ star running back in football, “is an athlete throwing a spear,” Masei said. “He’s got long arms and great approach speed, with good balance.”

Person also competes in the long jump and triple jump and is just outside the MWC top 10 in both.

“He’s a dark horse in both” to qualify for state, Masei said.

Other Dallas boys to watch at district include juniors William Walker (hurdles) and Carlos Jantz (400).

Straus will be trying to overcome an elbow injury. She hasn’t thrown in competition since April 6. But her javelin PR of 136-4 still ranks first in the league by more than 20 feet. It came in her first meet, the March 17 Dragon Ice Breaker Invitational.

Dallas’ big points in the girls district meet also could come from a collection of middle-distance runners, led by junior Marley Lamb in the 800 and senior Kaitlyn Van Well in the 400. They have teamed with Straus and sophomore Greta Scales on a 4x400 relay team that has the No. 2 MWC time.

The Dragons also will be looking to score in the girls hurdles, jumps and discus.

In the 100 hurdles, senior Avery Shinkle is fifth-ranked in the MWC. Junior Heather Callaway leads the Dallas entries in the high jump. Shinkle and Callaway are threats to score in the long jump.

Senior Camillla Myssen, an exchange student form Denmark, has come on of late in the discus, especially. She had no experience in track and field before this season but now ranks third in the league with a discus toss of 100-5.

In their final MWC meet, held May 2 at South Albany, Silverton, South Albany and Dallas went 1-2-3 in both boys and girls scoring.

For the Dragons, Walker won the boys 110 hurdles, Person was first in the javelin and Parnell was first in the discus and second in the shot.

The Dallas girls won the 4x400 relay by five seconds, clocking 4:24.99.

Freshman Ah Pymm McDaniel’s PR of 2:32.19 captured the girls 800, and freshman Ivy McIntosh was second in the 400 with her best time, 1:05.81.

Central

Coach Eli Cirino said the Panthers made their choices on district meet entries based on each athlete’s “best chances to do well rather than trying to score as many points as we can.”

In the girls meet, the top contenders are likely to be senior Sophie Bliss in the hurdles, sophomore Amanda McArthur in the long and triple jump, and the short relay team.

Bliss is ranked second in the MWC in the 100 hurdles and first in the 300 hurdles. Her biggest competitors are North Salem’s Jordan Koskondy and Jackie Bier.

On the boys team, senior Elijah Jones’ steady improvement in the pole vault makes him a leading contender. He is No. 2 in the league with a 13-3 clearance, four inches shy of the leader.

Juniors Jack Burgett and Myles Crandall are among the league’s best at 400 meters; Burgett ranks second, and Crandall has turned in some fast relay splits.

Senior Kaleb McArthur will battle in the long and triple jump. He’s tied for No. 2 in the MWC in the long jump, five inches back of the lead.

The relay teams are aiming for high finishes, too, with sophomore Jordan Vega Ramos (100, 200) and juniors Kohler Hernandez (100, 200), Kirik Kantola (100, long jump) and Javier Landeros (400) all having run legs. Central has the second-fastest 4x100 time in the conference this season and the fastest 4x400. Silverton and others are challengers.

“We have tremendous depth in our league and will probably get a few wild cards in some events,” Cirino said. “So those finishing third to sixth (at district) still have a shot, in some cases.”

The Panthers had a final run-through before district when they played host to Corvallis and Lebanon on May 3. In the boys meet, Corvallis totaled 87 points, Central scored 49 and Lebanon had 45. Corvallis’ girls scored 99, followed by Central with 40 and Lebanon with 31.

Central’s boys firsts came from Hernandez (PR 11.49 in the 100), freshman Gabriel Haines (PR 41-0 in the shot put), Jones (PR 13-3 pole vault) and in both relays. In the 4x100, Crandall, Hernandez, Burgett and Vega Ramos clocked 44.07. In the 4x400, Burgett, Crandall, Hernandez and Landeros ran 3:34.81.

For the Central girls, Bliss won the 100 hurdles and long jump, and Amanda McArthur was first in the triple jump.

West Salem

The Titans have some strong contenders for the MVC championships.

The list includes senior thrower Natalie Cunningham (top-ranked in the shot put by nearly six feet, No. 3 in the discus), senior Phoebe Beckett (second-ranked in the discus, fourth in the shot put), sophomore sprinter Olivia Jolivette (No. 1 in the 100, No. 3 in the 200, No. 5 in the long jump), and senior Alison Calvin-Stupfel (first in the high jump, second in the triple jump, fourth in the long jump).

Also poised for district are 100 hurdler/senior Darian Ehrmantraut (ranked second in the MVC), 300 hurdler/freshman Madison Forest (third), and javelin throwers Nyah Hawley, a senior (third) and Morgan Dorsey-DuQuesne, a junior (fourth).

Top-ranked boys on the track are sophomore Mihaly Akpamgbo (third in the 100, fourth in the 200), senior Tyce Chaney (second in the 200, fourth in the 400), junior Logan Schwartz (fourth the 800 and 1,500), junior Brady Bliven (second in the 1,500, sixth in the 800), sophomore Jack Meier (third in the 3,000).

Top field contenders include senior Jesse Goodwin (No. 2 shot put, No. 4 discus) and senior Grant Powell (No. 2 long jump, No. 3 triple jump).

The Titans’ only meet last week was a May 3 league dual at home against Sprague. Final team scores: Sprague boys 74, West Salem 70; and West Salem girls 92, Sprague 52.

Girls individual winners for West Salem: Jolivette (200 PR of 26,54), Maya Garcia Schafer (3,000); Ehrmantraut (PR 16.66 in the 100 hurdles), Forest (PR 48.71 in the 300 hurdles), Cunningham (shot), Beckett (discus and javelin) and Calvin-Stupfel (high jump, long jump and triple jump).

The Titans also swept the girls relays. Emorie Loewen, Sophia Johnson, Lola O’Brien and Jolivette were first in the 4x100, and Loewen, Forest, Johnson and O’Brien took the 4x400 in a season-best 4:14.73.

On the boys’ side, Akpamgbo won the 200 (PR 23.06), Goodwin won the shot and discus, Makai DeBerry was first in the javelin (PR 138-4), and Mobolaji Majekodunmi was the high jump and long jump winner.

Perrydale

In Saturday’s Perrydale Invitational, the Pirates competed against athletes from 11 other schools.

Damascus Christian led the girls scoring with 351 points. Southwest Christian (230), St. Paul (211) and Perrydale (87) were the next three.

Perrydale was ninth in the boys’ scoring. Southwest Christian rang up 327 points. St. Paul was second with 162.

Pirates senior Finn Janesofsky took second in the pole vault, clearing 10-0, and he was fourth in the javelin with his personal best of 118-2.

Senior Mason Deters placed third in the boys discus with a PR of 93-10.

The Pirates were first and third in the girls discus. Senior Jenna Tompkins won the event at 68-11, and freshman Emma Fox threw her PR of 65-1. Tompkins added a fifth in the javelin.

Sophomore Julia Fast ran fourth in the girls 1,500.

Now it’s on to the district meet at Portland Christian. In the league rankings, Janesofsky is second in the pole vault with a best of 10-6. The leader, Justin Wammack of Jewell, has made 12-0. But Damascus Christian’s Elijah Argubright is the only other vaulter who has gone higher than 9-0 (making 9-6).

Perrydale junior Mason Crawford is second in the triple jump, eight inches behind St. Paul’s George Pohlschneider. Crawford also is fourth in the long jump.

Deters is No. 8 in the shot put and 10th in the discus.

Senior Jesalynn Griffiths is second in the girls pole vault at 8-0, where the state qualifying standard is 8-1. Fast ranks fifth, and sophomore Izzie Keene sixth. Keene also ranks eighth in the javelin.

Tompkins is No. 5 in the javelin.

Falls City

At the Perrydale Invitational on Saturday, the Falls City girls and boys both placed seventh out of 11 and 12 teams.

Freshman Serenity Roberts was third in the 100 hurdles. Sophomore Sophia Abeling tied for fourth with her PR high jump of 4-4 and took seventh in the triple jump and 100 hurdles.

Among boys, Falls City junior Kirk Davis was fourth in the long jump and triple jump, sixth in the 200 with a PR of 26.50 and sixth in the 400.

Freshman Chris Sickles posted a PR of 20.29 for fifth in the 100 hurdles and a PR of 53.43 that was good for third in the 300 hurdles.

Dawson Teal, a sophomore, unleashed his PR shot put of 33-7 to earn third.

The Mountaineers will be likewise busy in this week’s district meet at Portland Christian. Coach Dean Munkers was hoping to take a full crew.

“Like at all our other meets, we’re looking to improve our marks and not really worried about what the competition does,” he said. “It’s been a fun season, and I expect to see everyone record at least one personal best.”

Best scoring opportunities for Falls City could be Roberts in the long jump and hurdles, Abeling in the triple and high jump, Davis in the long and triple jumps and Sickles in the hurdle races.

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