Cowboys hope to have big impact at state meet
The Crook County High School track and field team has qualified 17 individuals in 21 events for this weekend's state track and field championships.
The Cowboys have qualified nine individuals for the meet and are poised to score some serious points at the event, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Crook County has at least one competitor in each running race, with the exception of the 110-meter high hurdles.
The Cowboys boast the No. 1-ranked Class 4A 4x400-meter relay team after running a season-best time of 3:29.15 at the Tri-Valley Conference Championships.
Valley Catholic, Tillamook and Marshfield are close behind, so the relay should be one of the most hotly contested events at this year's state championships.
Team members Emmett Bailor, Dominic Langley, Adrien Fournier and Victor Ramirez have all qualified for the state meet in multiple individual events as well.
Reilly Connolly and Shane Viescas are also entered in the state meet as alternates on the relay team.
The Cowboys are also highly ranked in the 4x100-meter relay, where they enter the meet with the second seed.
The Crook County team of Bailor, Ramirez, Fournier and Noah Carmack was edged at district by Molalla, which defeated the Cowboys by five 100s of a second. Also in contention for the state championship is Mazama, which has run the fastest time in the state this year, but ran a slower time at their district championships.
Langley and Tyler Lawson are entered in the state meet as alternates for the short relay.
After running a career-best time at the conference championships, Victor Ramirez is the second seed in the 100-meter dash. Ramirez has also qualified for state in the 400-meter dash, where he is a long shot to make the finals.
Fournier, who won the district 200-meter dash finals, is seeded seventh in the event. However, the French foreign exchange student has never run track prior to this year and has been steadily improving all season, so he could still be a factor in the event.
Bailor should also make an impact as an individual after winning the district championship in both the 800 and 300 intermediate hurdles.
Bailor is seeded fifth in the 800 going into the state championships and seventh in the 300 hurdles. It should be pointed out that Bailor seldom ran the hurdles during the regular season, and his time of 41.57 at the district meet was his fastest time of the year.
The final member of the 4x400 relay team, Dominic Langley, is also entered in multiple individual events. However, unlike the remainder of the Cowboys' relay team, Langley is a field events specialist and has qualified for state in both the long and triple jumps, where he is seeded 10th and eighth, respectively.
Carmack has also qualified for the state meet in the triple jump, where he has the second seed after leaping 42-01.50 to win the district meet. Although he is the second seed, Elijah Castro, of Hidden Valley, Trevor Johnson, of Marshfield, and Christian Wytcherley, of North Valley, have all leaped farther than Carmack over the course of the year.
Brothers Noah and Neil Chaney should also make an impact at state as the duo are seeded first and second entering the state meet.
They both leaped 14-00 to finish one-two at district. Boot Clark, of Henley, and Ben Dailey, of North Bend, have both leaped 6 inches higher than the Crook County duo, however, Clark failed to qualify for the state meet.
The final two Cowboys to qualify for the state meet are Tyler Lawson, in both the 1,500 and 3,000, and Jason Slawter in the javelin.
The Cowgirls are also well represented at the state meet. However, unlike the Cowboys, they have few athletes who are highly ranked.
Discus thrower Kenna Woodward enters the state meet with the fourth seed, after placing second to state-leading Rachel Bring, of Molalla, at the district meet.
Bring, who has a season-best throw of 144-06, threw 140-09 at district, while Woodward threw a career-best 123-00.
Also seeded at state is Rylee Troutman, who is seeded fourth in the javelin, 117-02, and seventh in the high jump, 5-01, after setting personal bests in both events with second-place finishes at district.
Corbett's Rhiley Fritz is the favorite in the javelin (150-04), while Kate MacNaughton, of Valley Catholic, is the favorite in the high jump (5-06).
The final seeded Cowgirl is Faith Wagner, who has the eighth seed in the pole vault after winning the district meet with a career-best performance of 9-06.
The remainder of the Cowgirls enter the state meet unseeded.
Gracie Kasberger is ranked ninth in the 400, Kaeli Hancock 11th in the 100, Alyson Thomas 11th in the 800, and Mckinzee Mode 14t in the 300 hurdles.
The Cowgirls have also qualified for the state meet in the 4x400 relay, where Kasberger, Mode, Troutman and Emma Hehn are ranked 10th entering the state meet.
Thomas and Jenea Mapes are also listed as alternates for the relay.
Scappoose is favored to win the girls state championship with Molalla, North Valley, Hidden Valley and Astoria also battling for trophies at the meet.
The Cowgirls are not expected to be a factor in the team scoring.
The boys meet is a different story. On paper, the Cowboys are the favorites to win the meet as they are expected to earn big points in the pole vault, the 100, the triple jump and both relays as well as picking up points in the 400, 800 and 300 hurdles.
Marshfield, Hidden Valley, North Valley, Tillamook and Seaside should also be in the mix for the team title.
The state track and field championships begin on Thursday with the first day of the Class 3A, 2A and 1A meet. Friday brings the first round of the Class 6A, 5A and 4A meets during the day and the final rounds in Class 3A, 3A and 1A in the evening.
The Class 6A, 5A and 4A meets continue on Saturday with field events beginning at 9:30 a.m. and continuing throughout the day before concluding with the final heat of the Class 6A boys 4x400 relay beginning at 6:04 p.m.
Awards and presentations will be presented following the conclusion of the relay.
Unlike previous years, para-athletes will now count in the final team scoring.