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Sweet Home, Oregon
May 23, 2012     The New Era Paper
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May 23, 2012

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:I T "ra - May 23, 2012 Page 13 SPORTS Huskies deliver surpris es in dist :ict track ;tnd field By Scott Swanson Of The New Era Sweet Home's girls 4x100 girls relay team had won three straight district titles going into Saturday's Opening track event at Sky-Em Dis- trict Championships finals at Husky Field. But those wins came with Ma- fia Kropf, school record holder in the 100 meters and now running at Grand Canyon University, blowing down the anchor leg. The Huskies were fourth-seeded Saturday, behind Junction City, Sisters and Cottage Grove. That was when the gun went off. Twelve seconds later, as lead-off runner Devyn Makin handed the ba- ton to fellow veteran Jessika Stew- art, Stewart had a five-meter lead on the rest of the field and Sweet Home stayed in front all the way to the fin- ish line, third runner Annie Whitfield and sophomore anchor Courtney Kent holding off the competition for the win in 51.27 seconds, one-tenth of a second ahead of Junction City: "Courtney Kent, we asked a lot of her," said Coach Billy Snow. "Her getting that baton in front of those other two gifts in that short relay, I kept waiting for them to chew her up and it never happened. That was an incredible little run." It was a better ending than any of the three seniors, all of whom have been to state in the event three times and have tasted two state titles, thought possible, they said. "Our season started off really slow," Makin said. "We didn't quite know how we would do in the finals. Because we had three seniors, we wanted it so bad. It's the best feel- ing. I can't explain it." "It was amazing, to be honest," Stewart said. "I was going to be hap- py with third place. Getting first was beyond my wildest dreams. We were ranked fourth today and I just want- ed to do my best. It was a mixture of all of us doing our very best - our hand-offs were good and everything came together at the right time." Added Whitfield: "That was one of the best times I've ever had. Making state is great, but winning district with these girls is even bet- ter. They underestimated us and that feels great." That, and other clutch perfor- mances by the Huskies got them to second place in the team stand- ings, with 126 points, behind Sisters (178) and ahead of Cottage Grove (116). On the boys side, Sweet Home finished third with 129 points behind a La Pine squad loaded with talent (172) and a deep Cottage Grove team (140). "We had a great meet," Snow said. "The problem was La Pine just had a better meet." The Hawks qual- ified for 12 state berths on the boys side, sweeping the pole vault and the long jump in the process. The Husky boys made their own statement in the 4x400 relay, which was as dramatic as the girls' win in the short relay. Seeded third, behind Cottage Grove and Sisters, the Huskies trailed both teams by about five meters on the second han- doff, when Scottie Stockman took the baton from Chris Carpenter. Stockman caught Sisters' Brandon Pollard at the 300-meter mark and Photos by Scott Swanson Jessika Stewart, left, takes a sizeable lead on the field in the girls 4xlO0 relay district championship after the handoff from Devyn Makin, in rear. although Pollard pulled away by a couple of steps at the final handoff, that was enough for Sweet Home an- chor runner Nick Hall, who caught Sisters' Easton Curtis on the back stretch and then pulled away on the home stretch to qualify the Huskies for state. "When I got the baton, I just kind of knew what I needed to do," Stockman said. "I think I owe a whole lot of it to wrestling. (Leadoff runner) Trever (Olson), it's his first year ever in track. Wrestling helped out with the way we train. Snow and Kistner helped us a lot. It's a great feeling." The boys short relay team of Spencer Knight, Nick Hall, Kyler Gaskey and Carpenter also qualified, finishing second to La Pine. Other bright spots for the Hus- ky boys were individual champions Hall in the 400-and 300 hurdles, freshman Jakob Hiett in the 3000, and Jake Johnson in the discus. Dis- trict champions for the girls were Makin in the long jump, Whitfield in the javelin and Nicole Ramussen in the 3000. Sweet Home finished the day with a total of 11 individual state qualifiers; the others were Hiett in the 1500, Daniel Danforth in the 3000 and Jade Corliss in the gifts shot put. "Jade Corliss, going in, she wasn't close to first or second," Snow said. "She did what she was capable of and people in front of her faltered." The Huskies just missed in sev- eral other events, with third-place finishes by Carpenter in the long jump and the 100, Stockman in the pole vault, freshman Ashton Stutz- man in the high jump and 110 hur- dles, Danforth in the 1500, Makin in the 100, Rasmussen in the 1500 and Whitfield in the 100 hurdles. But it was all the Huskies who made the difference, Snow said. "Both of them, boys and girls, scored way more than we thought they would," he said. "(Assistant Coach) Jim (Kistner) and I don't know how many times we saw a Sweet Home kids come around that last turn and all of a sudden they were in the race. They'd come down that home stretch with the crowd yelling, people cheering and there they were. "We had a lot of kids score in events, whether third or eighth. We weren't even expecting them to score." Johnson, winner in the discus, said the Huskies held up across the board. "Everybody did well," he said. "It was pretty amazing. What I'm most proud about is nobody crum- bled under pressure." It was a big day for personal bests, with 15 recorded on the boys side and 18 by the girls. Some of .those performances included: Sophomores Nick Mattson "The PRIMAS Real Deal" ING MOTORS SERVING THE VALLEY FOR 42 YEARS  I I I I I I I I I I I I , $ 5"n, Oi' C"anoe, J Expires'5/31/12 I i i ,OFF , L .i .= i i. .. i i i .. 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Shot putters Zane Jackson, Ben Terry and David Skeen, who finished fifth, eighth and ninth re- spectively, all with PR's; The 1-2 finish by Hiett and Danforth in the 3000. "I kept wait- ing for them to comeback to the crowd," Snow said, referring to the 25-second lead the two built over third-place finisher Teagan Settle- meyer of Cottage Grove. "They never did. "Jakob Hiett, as a freshman, go- ing out there and winning one, and then coming really close to winning another. He just gave (1500 win- ner) Brandon (Pollard of Sisters) too much of a lead and he waited too long to go after him. "It's good to see. There's a kid who does everything we ask, who works hard, who has a good atti- tude." Rasmussen in winning the 3000, "every time she got chal- lenged, she fought if off," Snow said. Rasmussen finished third in the 1500 after experiencing back problems that have plagued her this season. There were some disappoint- ments as well - Spencer Knight false-starting in the 200 and getting nosed out of medal contention in the I00, Crites and Dakota Snow producing "huge" leaps in the triple jumps that didn't count because of minute scratches, Carpenter missing state by half an inch in the long jump and getting nosed out of another trip to state in the 100. "In track and field you always- have heartbreaks," Billy Snow said. See Track, page15 2012 Chalet Curv 18B Fiberglass Siding Stk#RS041 MSRP $20,296 Lassen PriceS16,870 2012 Chalet Takena 2265EX TDr/Weigh! 31751bs - Light , feigt t ravel Trailer w/Slide - High GIo., ; glass Siding Stk#R8 179 MSRP 525,707 Lassen PriceS19,873 2013 Chalet MSRP $23,892 Lassen Pdce $17,728 WWW.LASSENRV.COM 541 .917.7395 877.373.2678 1103 PRICE ROAD SE, ALBANY, OR 97322