Our Thoughts…3A Boys State Track

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John L. Braese

The Vale boys, after winning the district meet for the first time since 1988, had the highest placement at the state meet at seventh in the team totals. Graduation takes only Charlie Lamb, a fifth-place show in the 400 meters and a member of the third-place 4-by-400 relay team. Coming into his senior year, Trevor Stewart sits in the driver’s seat for the upcoming season as the three finishers above him in the 3000 meters did the graduate walk. Junior-to-be Skyler Cade is also back in the sprint events and an unexpected surprise in the 800, Spur Jacobs is also back as a senior. To break into the top echelons at the state meet, the Vikings need to find some help in the field events to go with senior-to-be Ethan Mulvany’s fifth place showing in the triple jump.

Finishing ninth at the state meet, the Nyssa boys take a big hit with the graduation of Orin Stipe, the state champion in the triple jump while placing third in the long jump and sixth in the 300-meter hurdles. A new yet-to-be named coach will see the return of a talented 4-by-100 relay team with only Diego Arceo needing to be replaced. Sophomore-to-be Isaac Walker will need to step up and Nyssa needs to again find the old magic in the pole vault event.

Riverside slid into the top ten one spot behind Nyssa. Like the Bulldogs, the Pirates see the departure of a state champion as Tyrese Boyd, a phenom in the javelin event, will not return due to graduation. Junior-to-be Pedro Chavez needs just that extra step to be a state champion in the 400 meters after finishing the state meet as runner up. The Pirates need to find a distance runner to replace a few of Boyd’s points down the road.

Just a few points shy of the top 10, La Pine left Hayward Stadium in 11th. Graduation also takes a toll on La Pine as state champion high jumper Darrell Goddard is gone and distance runner Wyatt Montgomery has run his final high school race. La Pine now looks to sophomore-to-be Brody Groves and junior-to-be Steven Miller to carry the team.

Scoring 15 points, the Hilander boys of Burns placed 15th at state. This should improve greatly as the Hilanders see the return of the entire state squad including junior-to-be Carsen Volle and his fourth place showing in the 300-meter hurdles. The Burns team is nicely spread with returnees in the pole vault, relays and distance events. A sprinter or two could make Burns a threat at the district event to the district champion Vale team. Sophomore-to-be Lucan Miller looks to have a long career in the 800 and 1500 meters.

McLoughlin tied for 20th at the state meet with South Umpqua and Pleasant Hill this season. After placing second in the 100 meters, sprinter Johnny Koklich will be back for his senior year with an eye towards a state championship.

Umatilla ended their time at the state meet with a single point as Roberto Ochoa placed eighth in the high jump. Ochoa will return looking to improve in both the high jump and pole vault while senior-to-be Luis Campos needs only a few inches to grab points in the discus.

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