Tualatin linemen power their way to first place
HILLSBORO — It was about power.
It was about strength.
It was about agility.
It was about teamwork.
And, for the Tualatin High School football team, it was about victory.
The Timberwolves emerged victorious in the team standings at the 2017 Metro Area Lineman Challenge, a competition that featured such events as the 40-yard dash, the shuttle run, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, farmers carry, tractor tire flip, two-man sled relay and the team tug of war,
held Saturday at Hare Field.
"All of our hard work came together," Jarius Jackson, a Tualatin senior-to-be, said after the Wolves received their first-place trophy. "I'm proud of the team, and all of the work we did."
"It was the combination of everyone working hard, and doing their part," Tualatin senior-to-be Ryan Mitton said.
Tualatin finished in first place at the 30-team Metro Area Lineman Challenge with a score of 49 points. Jesuit took second place with a total of 44, and Central Catholic was third at 37.
The victory marked the fifth time in the eight-year history of the event that Tualatin has won the challenge team title.
"It's awesome to win it," Jackson said. "It's awesome to have competed here all four years. We've all grown, and gotten stronger, as a team."
The 6-foot, 280-pound Mitton certainly has gotten stronger. In fact, he may have been the strongest of all the competitors at the Metro Area Lineman Challenge.
And, when it comes to the bench press, Mitton is the strongest competitor the Metro Area Lineman Challenge has ever seen.
Mitton set a new all-time lineman challenge record in the bench press, pumping out 34 repetitions with 185 pounds on the bar. That's an improve of eight reps from the total of 26 he recorded last year at the challenge.
"It's from the weight room," Mitton said of his improvement. "I've put in more work. Everything you do is important."
Mitton, with his 34 reps in the bench press, broke the old record of 30, set last year by his former Tualatin teammate Joshua Chandler. Before that, Tualatin's Jason Porter held the record of 29, set in 2014.
"Every person who has held it (the record) has been from Tualatin," Mitton said. "I wanted to carry on the tradition."
In addition to setting the new bench press record, Mitton was named the MVP of the Heavyweight Division for the lineman challenge. He scored a total of 6,099 points. Teagan Quitoriano of Sprague was second with a total of 5,805. Mitton's score also was the top overall mark for the event.
In addition to his record-setting performance in the bench press, Mitton also topped Tualatin in the farmer's carry, with 100 yards, and he tied for team best in the tire flip, with 13. He was third best on the squad with a 94.5-inch mark in the standing broad jump. He was also third on the team with a 24.3 inch standing vertical jump. He was fourth on the team with a time of 4.93 seconds for the shuttle run, and he was second best among the Wolves in the 40-yard dash with a time of 5.45 seconds.
Meanwhile, Jackson finished in fourth place in the overall standings in the Lightweight Division, and he was seventh in the overall standings.
Jackson tied Mitton for the team's best mark in the tire flip with 13. He was third on the squad in the bench press with 21 reps. Jackson tied for the team's top mark in the shuttle run with a time of 4.69. He was also second on the team in the farmer's carry with a distance of 88 yards.
Tualatin's Gerald Saina, a 6-2, 320-pound senior-to-be, finished in fourth place among heavyweight competitors and he placed ninth overall.
Saina was a strong second on the team in the bench press with 25 reps. He also tied for third best on the team in the tire flip with 11.
Duncan McDonald tied for the team's top mark in the shuttle run with a time of 4.69. He also tied for the squad's second-best time in the 40, at 5.46. He was best on the team in the vertical jump with a leap of 26.8.
John Miller topped the team in the broad jump with a distance of 98.5. He also tied for third best in the tire flip with 11.
T.J. Myerson was second on the team in the broad jump with a mark of 95.0. Gavin Moore was third on the team in the farmer's carry with a distance of 79 yards.
The Timberwolves also had a fourth-place finish in the team tug-of-war.
Also competing for the Tualatin team were Dakota Villanueva and Dane Norlin.
Competing for the Tualatin 2 team at the linemen challenge were Sonny Edward, Brett Gydesen, Cody Van Meter, Adam Case, Guled Jama, Tyler Dickson, Dawson Comstock and Evan Morales. Van Meter had a strong performance for the Tualatin 2 team, with a distance of 50 in the farmer's carry, 10 tire flips and a broad jump of 91.0.
And, in all, it was a fun day for the Tualatin linemen.
"Other players have their passing league — this is our passing league," Mitton said of the linemen challenge. "This shows us how we compare with everyone else."
"And this helps us bond as a team," Jackson added.
The strong performance could also give the Wolves some momentum going into the 2017 season.
"I'm definitely looking forward to the season," Jackson said.
"For the seniors, it's our last chance," Mitton said.
Tualatin, under new head coach Dan Lever, will open its 2017 schedule on Sept. 1, when it hosts Grant in a non-league game.