Molalla grabs three golds medals at state track and field meet
Molalla added three more gold medals to its track and field record book as all three of last year's defending state champions showed that they wouldn't be leaving the top of the podium.
Seniors Desirae DesRosiers, Mont Child, and Rachel Bring all defended their titles to help the girls' team tie Phoenix for second and the boys for ninth among 4A teams at the meet.
Bring was unable to repeat as Shot Put state champion as she took bronze with a throw of 40 feet, two inches. Her PR is 44 feet even and would've won the event by more than two feet. Siuslaw's Carissa Oliver took first with a 47-07.75.
"My shot has been off almost all year because I was rotational and I switched back to glide," Bring said. "It just wasn't connecting lately; I knew shot was going to be a challenge, and it definitely was."
Despite the finish, Bring said she is fine with the results since she'll be competing for four more years at the collegiate level as she'll throw for Concordia University next season.
Bring defended her title in the Discus, however, as she appeared to take out her frustration from earlier in the day, smashing her personal record by more than four feet as she launched a toss of 148 feet, nine inches to win gold by nearly 16 feet. Her previous PR was 144-06, set at the Sandy Invitational on April 8. She won the event last year with a throw of 132-08.
"I was taking out some frustration, but I was also chasing the meet record, which I didn't quite hit but it helped me focus on something bigger than me and my nerves," Bring said. The Discus state meet record for 4A schools is 152 feet, ten inches and was set in 2009 by Laura Bobek of Astoria. Bring was just four feet off.
"It helped me relax and throw; it also helped that my coach, Scott Skipper, was there and supporting me through it all," she said.
DesRosiers repeated as state champion in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 45.70 seconds, breaking her PR by .08 seconds set at the Meet of Champions at Willamette University on April 29. She beat out Ontario's Logan Davila by nearly a full second to take gold. Last year, she won the event with a time of 46.22 seconds.
DesRosiers also moved up to take top three in the 100 meter high hurdles, grabbing bronze with a time of 15.78 seconds.
"I was just really happy to compete this weekend at the state meet because of the environment there," DesRosiers said. "Everyone is there because they are good athletes or are coaches and teammates that care about each other and together it just creates a really fun and competitive place to be."
She also took bronze in the Long Jump as she broke another PR, hitting a mark of 17 feet, three inches – her first time breaking the 17-foot mark.
DesRosiers said she didn't expect to finish that high in the Long Jump since she was seeded sixth, but that likely helped the girls' team with their tie for second at the meet.
"I was really happy yet surprised we took second at the meet overall," DesRosiers said. She'll continue her athletic career on both the track and soccer team at Linfield College in McMinnville.
Child defended his title in the Shot Put as he set a new PR of 55 feet, one inch to break his old record of 53-11.75 set at the Wilsonville Invitational on April 22. Newport's Will Beaudry was fairly close behind with a throw of 53-06.75. Child's throw for gold last season was 53-5.5.
And while his very first throw of the day was enough to clinch the title, the previous week was a challenge for Child, physically and mentally.
"I was a little nervous on Thursday because my upper back had really been hurting all day," Child said. "I thought it was just a big knot in my upper back so I tried to ignore it, but it turns out I had a rib that popped out of place, so I went to the chiropractor to try to get that fixed."
"So with that happening less than 24 hours before I had to throw, I am very happy with my performance on Friday … this was the best series of shot put that I have ever had; all of my throws were over 53 feet and I hit 54 once and 55 twice, and my last throw went far beyond 55 but unfortunately I fouled it," he said.
Child said he was nervous coming into the competition after a few lagging practice days earlier in the week, but he knew that once the first toss left his hand, the competition was his.
"I am very happy with how my season ended; it's always good to end anything on a high note," he said. "I always knew I was capable of throwing 55 feet and I am happy that I proved myself at the most important meet of the season."
Child also took silver in the Discus as he hit another PR of 152 feet, ten inches on his opening throw, breaking his old record of 151-04 set at the Dick Baker Invitational on May 6. Last year, Child fouled out and did not place in the event.
"That throw placed me in second, and I was happy about that because I went into the competition seeded fourth," Child said.
Child will continue his throwing career as he heads down to Monmouth to compete for Western Oregon University.
The boys' 4x100 relay team also grabbed a high spot on the podium as they claimed a bronze medal, finishing within inches of the top two teams. The team of sophomores Michael House, Treyton Bierly, and Tanner Nauta, along with senior Gavin Thrower, finished with a time of 43.85 seconds, just .07 behind Crook County in second. Junction City took gold with a 43.68.
Junior Anna Farner took sixth in the 200 meter dash with a PR of 26.53 seconds. She also set a PR in the preliminary round, which beat her old record of 26.98 from the district meet the week earlier. She also tied for ninth-place in the High Jump as she cleared four feet, ten inches. Her PR of 5-01 was set at the Tri-Valley district meet.
"I was disappointed in not making the finals of the 100m that day," Farner said about her performance in the preliminary race of the 100 meter dash Friday.
On the 200m, Farner said her starts were feeling good and she knew she had a chance to move up on the podium.
"On the 4x100 I think we had a strong race with great handoffs," she said. "We got behind after a handoff but climbed back in to the race and finished well."
"As for placing second [as a team], [it] was a big surprise," Farner said. "Competing at the state meet with only six girls and placing so high was amazing."
Senior Matthew Borowczak grabbed a spot on the podium as he took eighth in the 1,500 meter run with a time of four minutes, 15.15 seconds. The previous day, he finished tenth in the 3,000 meter run with a 23 second PR time of nine minutes, 22.60 seconds.
"After districts ended, I immediately began thinking about the 1,500 at state," Borowczak said. I knew my PR, a 4:14, put me in sixth in state so I had a great chance at finishing on the podium. After I finished my 3,000, I began to visualize my race for the next day."
"I knew that since I had a big PR in the 3,000, my 1,500 would be great," he said. "The race itself was a tough one mentally; the first 300 meters into it, I got boxed in and it made me a bit nervous because I had to make a move to get on the outside a lot sooner than I would've liked. But with 600 meters left I started to accelerate and maintain and eighth place position."
He said he wasn't concerned about setting a PR since that doesn't necessarily dictate a podium finish. His goal was to win a medal, and he did just that.
Borowzcak also commented on the girls' second-place finish at the state meet, saying it was awesome to see them take silver.
"With losing so many valuable seniors last year, I'm sure we were all anxious to see how well we could do at state," he said. Our competitors really stepped it up, most finishing in higher places than last year. It was a great weekend for Molalla athletes."
Borowczak said being at state was the highlight of his track career, and "the icing on the cake of ending my high school sports career." He'll be attending the University of Oregon next year, and he said it was "a great feeling to finish my running career at my future home."
The girls' 4x100 relay team, consisting of Hannah Henderson, Emma Andrews, DesRosiers, and Farner, took a spot on the podium as well as they grabbed fourth place with a time of 50.07 seconds, barely behind Hidden Valley's team who finished with a time of 49.93.
To round up the finals, sophomore Katie Sandberg grabbed a spot on the podium as well as she took seventh in the Shot Put, tossing 36 feet, 7.75 inches. Senior Berkely Olsen also ended up on the podium as he took seventh in the Discus, throwing a PR of 136 feet, nine inches. His previous record was 134-03 set at the district meet.
Molalla loses multiple seniors to graduation this season, including the three state champions in Bring, DesRosiers, and Child. They'll also graduate Borowczak, Thrower, Olsen, Avery Lucas, Camryn Allegretto-Wolf, Jessica Gilbert, and Lexy Beyer.
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