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Track: Scappoose boys take third at state championships

The Indians get their much-anticipated victory in the boys 4x400 meter relay, propelling Scappoose to a third-place finish at the OSAA 4A Track and Field championships


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Senior Justice Oman crosses the finish line, finalizing the Indians' title in the boys' 4x400 meter relay. The victory propelled Scappoose up the rankings to take third overall at the 2014 OSAA 4A Track and Field championships in Eugene.EUGENE - Even as the sun hung low in the sky above the OSAA Track and Field championships at Hayward Field, the 4A boys team title race was still entirely up in the air.

With one event left, the mighty 4x400 meter relay, Scappoose had their work cut out for them: they trailed the leader by 13 points, but were within reach of second place, sitting seven points behind Hidden Valley and locked in a tie with Central. Finishing middle of the pack would guarantee Scappoose a finish of no worse than fifth place.

However, the Indians had no intention of running with a fifth-place finish in mind. They’d had a target on their backs for the entirety of the season, and it was time to prove their speed and worth to the doubters.

And boy, did they ever. Scappoose ran a 3:23.61 in the 4x400, running away with first place and a full ten points to leapfrog Siuslaw and beat out Central for third place.

North Bend didn’t even need to place in the event to finish with a championship. The Bulldogs had jumped ahead early on and took the 2014 4A boys title with 51 points, just barely ahead of Hidden Valley with 50

All the pressure rested on the final relay, but for Scappoose, it went far beyond winning a title at the 4A level.

They had run the fastest time in the state across all six divisions at Jesuit High School on May 2, setting a mark of 3:22.27 that remained as the fastest in the state until Jesuit and McNary’s teams each broke 3:21 in the Class 6A finals.

Though their hold on the Oregon mark was broken later in the day, the Indians had shown the state one thing: you don’t have to come from one of the big schools to be lightning fast.

“I’d like to thank those 5A and 6A schools for pushing us, cause if they aren’t at Jesuit, we couldn’t have run that time,” said Matt Shoun, who ran the second leg that put the Indians firmly in the lead.

“It’s a good thing because it makes you push yourself every week … you want to prove to people that you can do better than that each and every week,” said Shoun.

Justice Oman, who ran the anchor leg and is usually the quietest of the foursome, was the first to speak up.

“Feels real good,” he said breathlessly, standing and attempting to catch up with the wind he had left a few hundred meters behind him. Oman had already taken second in the 200 meters earlier in the day, and finished third in the 400, but it was this victory that had brought the loudest cheer. The boys never quite reached their blindingly fast time from the Jesuit relays, but they had proven they were worthy of the accolades bestowed upon them.

More than anything, they themselves knew they had given their all.

Nick Rust, who rounded out the team along with senior Mychal Hortert, had more of an internal approach.

“It feels good to prove ourselves again,” he said.

Regardless of the motivation, it’s not a mark that is likely to be broken anytime soon. All four will graduate this spring, and three of the four run the 400 split in less than 51 seconds. Oman’s split time - 49.20 - is among the fastest in the state, and with a collective smile and sigh of accomplishment, the team stepped off the track for the last time as high school athletes, confident that their record would stand for another 40 years.

Earlier in the day, the Indian 4x100 meter relay team sent in their third-fastest time of the season to take third place in the event.

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - It took every once of energy she had, but senior Charlie Davidson was able to outdistance the pack to take her second 1500 meter state title, repeating after winning the event in her freshmen season. It wasn’t the only state title for the Indians. Senior Charlie Davidson, who had never finished out of the top-two in the 1500 in her high school career, won the event for the second time in 4:45.48, her best time of the season.

Davidson, who won the event as a freshman, held a solid lead until the race entered the final lap but when Marshfield’s Shaylen Cook suddenly made a push to draw even with Davidson’s shoulder as the pair crossed the finish line.

Davidson pulled away on the back stretch, and held just enough of a lead down the final straight to clinch the state championship. Shaken and woozy seconds after she crossed the finish line, there was still a hint of a smile as she stepped through the gate with the support of onlooking medical staff, scoring another ten points for the Scappoose girls’ team.

Davidson returned to the rubber two hours later for the 800, trailing Molalla’s Emily Bever for much of the race and eventually finishing in third with a time of 2:19.31, a new season best. Fellow senior Abby Kessi took seventh place overall, setting a new lifetime best of 2:24.85.

The Indians’ star thrower, senior Kenny Klippel, came awfully close to a state title on Friday in the shot put, finishing second to Estacada’s Justin Rich. Previously, Klippel’s best mark was 50 feet, nine inches, something he nearly reached on his second throw of the finals. Rich, who entered the meet as the clear leader having nearly thrown 56 feet in early May, jumped to an early lead with a toss of 52-1.5.

Now it was Klippel’s turn to respond. He’d entered the meet as the second seed, but trailed South Umpqua’s Trevor Duffy by seven inches through the fourth round of throws. Then came Klippel’s biggest effort of the season: a massive heave that set a mark of 51 feet, 8.5 inches -- just half an inch better than Duffy’s 51-8. No throw came close to Rich and Klippel the rest of the way, leaving the pair atop the shot put standings for first and second.

Earlier in the day, Klippel had wrapped up a fourth-place finish in the discus, throwing over 150 feet for just the second in his career for a mark of 152-9.

The Scappoose girls placed 18th at the OSAA state championships with 18 points, just ahead of Seaside and behind Central and North Bend with 19 points. North Valley won the 4A girls’ state title behind a ridiculous performance from sisters Karissa and Vanessa D’Arpino, who placed first and second in the 100, 200 and 400 meter finals, and won the girls 4x100 meter relay.

SUMMARY

Boys State Placers:

4x400 Relay; State champions (Mychal Hortert, Matt Shoun, Nick Rust, Justice Oman)

4x100 Relay; 3rd place (Jarrett White, Nick Rust, Matt Shoun, Justice Oman)

12 Justice Oman; 2nd 200 meters, 3rd 400 meters

12 Nick Rust; 6th 200 meters

10 Jarrett White; 7th 100 meters

11 Dan Carrier; 9th 3000 meters

11 Joey Krupsky; 11th Long Jump

Girls State Placers:

12 Charlie Davidson; 1500 meters State Champion, 3rd 800 meters

12 Abby Kessi; 7th 800 meters

4x400 Relay; 12th place (Haley Wight, Abby Kessi, Eleanor Jones, Charlie Davidson)

12 Alix Raya; 11th Long Jump

Boys’ Team Scores:

1) North Bend 51

2) Hidden Valley 50

3) Scappoose 48

4) Central 46

5) Siuslaw 44

6) Newport 34

6) La Salle 34

8) Philomath 28

9) Estacada 26

10) Crook County 24

10) Brookings-Harbor 24

12) Elmira 22.50

13) Banks 22

14) Ridgeview 21

15) Sisters 20.50

16) McLoughlin 20

17) Sweet Home 19.50

18) Gladstone 14

19) La Grande 13

20) La Pine 10

20) Seaside 10

20) North Valley 10

20) Cascade 10

24) Henley 8

24) Marshfield 8

26) South Umpqua 7

26) Tillamook 7

28) North Marion 5

28) Molalla 5

30) Madras 4

31) Cottage Grove 3

32) Mazama 1.50

33) Phoenix 1

Girls’ Team Scores:

1) North Valley 65

2) Crook County 46

3) Marshfield 40

4) Ridgeview 37

5) Sisters 34

6) Banks 28.50

7) Cottage Grove 28

7) Philomath 28

9) Phoenix 27

10) Sutherlin 26

10) La Grande 26

12) Gladstone 24

13) Newport 23

14) La Salle 21

15) Siuslaw 20

16) Central 19

16) North Bend 19

18) Scappoose 18

19) Henley 17

19) Seaside 17

21) Elmira 16

22) Estacada 15.50

23) Molalla 13

24) North Marion 12

25) Cascade 9

25) Yamhill-Carlton 9

27) Mazama 7

27) Astoria 7

29) McLoughlin 4

29) Junction City 4

31) Klamath Union 3