Gladstone's Konnor Hathaway claims Tri-Valley's boys' 800 title
Gladstone's Konnor Hathaway is heading to Eugene to compete in the OSAA Class 5A track and field championship for the third time in three season.
Only this time, he's going to state as a district champion.
Hathaway let the first-lap "rabbits" do their thing and then came on strong the second lap to win the boys' 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 0.36 seconds at Saturday's Tri-Valley Conference track and field championships at Heckard Field in Molalla.
Crook County finished first in three running events and five field events and scored 223 points to runner-up Gladstone's 115.5 in the boys' team race.
Gladstone's 4x100 relay team of Alfred Dorsey, Spencer Boyd, Josiah Bitter and Deltric Thornton won in a time of 43.90 seconds, while Josiah Wachlin and Deric Penn finished 1-2, respectively, in the triple jump for the Gladiators.
Hathaway also ran the anchor leg on Gladstone's 4x400 relay with Bitter, Boyd, and Thorton, finish second behind Crook County to also qualify for the state championships beginning Friday in Eugene.
"It's super-nice," Hathaway said of his win in the 800. "I'm going to prom as soon as I get home, but I wanted to stay here just to feel what it's like to be on top of the podium."
Hathaway was seeded first in the 800, having run a season-best 1:59.82, and didn't panic in the least when a few of the runners went out and ran a 59-second first lap while he was closer to 60- or 61-second pace.
"I was surprised after the first lap to see so many people right in front of me," he said. "I was like, 'Where did these guys come from?' But I knew it was OK.
"My coach is always telling me there's going to be rabbits who jump out early, so I just let them go. And then the second lap, they all started to slow down, so I was like, 'OK, this is my chance,' and I started to pass 'em."
Crook County's Logan Tanner and Tyler Lawson were among the early pacesetters, but Tanner faded to second in a personal best 2:04.75, and Lawson finished third in 2:07.62.
"It was kind of what I expected, although Tyler was probably tired from running the 400 earlier," Hathaway said. "My first time being first, though. I've always been second going to state. I like it. These medals are cool, too."
In the triple jump, Wachlin cracked the 42-foot barrier for the third time this season with a winning jump of 42-3, while Penn jumped 40-feet even, and Crook County's Eliab Rice went 38-11 1/2 to place third.