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Track: Indian boys win fourth consecutive Cowapa League title

Scappoose will put nine boys' events and six girls' events in the state championships this weekend in Eugene


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Jarrett White and Nick Rust make the first handoff in the 4x100 meter relay at the Cowapa League championships on Friday afternoon. The Scappoose boys won both relay events, and took home their fourth league track title in a row.Well before the running of the 4x400 meter relay, the Indians knew they already had it in the bag. The first 17 events had made sure of that: the Scappoose boys were about to wrap up their fourth consecutive Cowapa League championship, and the eighth since 2003.

But the focus wasn’t on the points standings. As far as the coaching staff was concerned, all eyes were on the group of burnt orange-clad thoroughbreds clustered near the southern end of the track at Yamhill-Carlton High School.

The Scappoose 1600 meter relay team, already the fastest in the state, faced a decision. They had won the 4x100 event, with Jarrett White, Nick Rust, Braden Clark and Justice Oman winning by a full second.

Other than competing in the sprinting events, which Scappoose nearly swept, the six relay racers - four choice runners and two alternates - kept to themselves. And during the break for awards before the running of the final race, they sat together with head coach David Harley and assistant Sean McNabb, talking over their plan.

Oman, who had already snapped a 31-year old record for a win in the 400 at 49.43 and won the 200 by five hundredths of a second, was sick. Their 4x100 time, though still lightning quick, was the slowest in several weeks, and the last thing the Indians wanted was to threaten the chances of the fastest relay in Scappoose history to miss their chance at a state title.

But Oman ran anyway, lining up in the anchor position behind Mychal Hortert, Matt Shoun and Braden Clark. The Indians were close to even through the first leg, but once Shoun took the baton, the race was over. Clark added to their lead, and Oman drove the nail into the Cowapa League coffin, burying the second-place team by six seconds.

The win tacked on another 10 points to the Tribe’s winning score, giving Scappoose a 25-point gap ahead of Seaside.

The ‘Gulls got 142 points from both the boys and girls teams for the combined championship, but Scappoose will see athletes represent the Cowapa League in nine events on the boys’ side and six on the girls, demonstrating the depth and dominance of the Scappoose Track and Field program.

White, a sophomore, had a tall order in the 100 meter finals. He had put up the second-fastest 100 time for Scappoose this season behind Rust, but led after the preliminaries on Thursday, gunning for a shot at the state championships with a place in the top two.

White, Rust and Tillamook’s Wesley Stirk ran in stride in the finals, but White won the photo finish, beating Stirk by one hundredth of a second for the league crown.

Stirk advanced to state in all three of his events with a sweep of the 110 and 300 meter hurdles.

Along with Oman’s first place finish in the 200 was a near PR from Rust, who ran the event in 22.88 seconds for second place and the final spot in the state competition.

The finish in the 1,500 meters was a heartbreaker for junior Dan Carrier. As the leaders entered the final lap, a group of four runners broke away for the last push. Coming into the back straight, freshman Lucas Caruana of Astoria tripped - right into the path of of Carrier and senior Hector Rojo of Tillamook. The pair went down in a heap, and by the time Carrier and Rojo leapt to their feet, Seaside’s Jefferson Farmer was nearly out of reach.

Rojo held a slim lead as they rounded the corner toward the home stretch, and though Carrier made a go at second, he fell behind by two seconds and narrowly missed the state meet.

He’ll have another chance in a years’ time, but earlier in the day, he had something to take his mind off the third-place finish: second place in the 3,000 earlier that day, which earned him a trip to Eugene next weekend.

Tribe senior Kenny Klippel added to the growing list of Scappoose representatives, qualifying on the first day of the district championships with a first-place finish in the shot put and a second place finish in the discus competition.

The javelin was a two horse race between Tillamook’s David Waud and Garrett Markham of Banks. Waud eventually took a sizable lead, throwing a personal record 175-4 and Markham couldn’t match on his final throw, surrendering first place.

Junior Joey Krupsky claimed the final state championship spot for the Scappoose boys, taking second in the long jump with a leap of 39 feet even.

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Seniors Charlie Davidson and Abby Kessi embrace after finishing first and second, respectively, in the girls' 800 meter final. Both will advance to the state championships in the 800 for the fourth consecutive season.On the girls side, where Scappoose took third with 107 points just ahead of Yamhill-Carlton with 106, the meet spotlight belonged to Tribe senior Charlie Davidson.

She and fellow senior Abby Kessi swept the top two spots in the 800 for the fourth consecutive year, winning in 2:21.03 and 2:25.94, respectively.

Earlier in the day, Davidson had picked up a state berth in the 1500. Entering the final lap, Davidson pulled away from second-place Charlotte Blakesley of Seaside, but by the time the two had reached the straightaway and were less than 100 meters from the finish, Blakesley made a push.

The cheers of the onlooking spectators alerted Davidson to Blakesley’s rally, giving her a burst of speed to close out the race and win by little over a second.

Davidson’s final trick of the afternoon was in the girls’ 4x400 meter relay, where she helped Scappoose to take second behind Yamhill-Carlton along with Rachel Bode, Haley Wight and Eleanor Jones.

Jones, who also made the state championships in three events, will compete in both hurdles competitions next weekend after coming in a close second to Seaside junior Allison Kilday in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles.

Senior Alix Raya rounded off the list of state qualifiers, winning the long jump competition on Thursday afternoon with a career-best mark of 16-4.75.

Tickets for the OSAA State Track and Field Championships, which will take place on May 23 and 24 at Hayward Field in Eugene, can be purchased online for $10 before May 20, after which tickets must be purchased at the gate. Student tickets are available for $5.

State Qualifiers:

10 Jarrett White; 100 meter champion, 4x100 relay

12 Justice Oman; 200 meter champion, 400 meter champion, 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay

12 Nick Rust; 200 meter 2nd

11 Dan Carrier; 3000 meter 2nd

Boys’ 4x100 meter relay champions; White, Oman, Rust, Braden Clark

Boys’ 4x400 meter relay champions; Mychal Hortert, Matt Shoun, Clark, Oman

12 Kenny Klippel; Shot put champion, 2nd discus

11 Joey Krupsky; 2nd triple jump

12 Charlie Davidson; 800 meter champion, 1500 meter champion, 4x400 relay

12 Abby Kessi, 800 meter 2nd

10 Eleanor Jones; 100 hurdles 2nd, 300 hurdles 2nd, 4x400 relay

Girls’ 4x400 meter relay 2nd; Davidson, Jones, Haley Wight, Rachel Bode

12 Alix Raya; Long jump champion

TEAM SCORES:

Boys:

Scappoose 167

Seaside 142

Banks 129

Tillamook 109.5

Astoria 56

Yamhill-Carlton 44.5

Girls:

Banks 151.33

Seaside 142.33

Scappoose 107

Yamhill-Carlton 106

Astoria 99.33

Tillamook 46