Team has strong showing in final meet before district meet

The Crook County High School track and field squad had another strong outing Friday night as both the boys and girls teams placed third at the Wally Ciochetti Invitational, held in Cottage Grove.

“Cottage Grove was like Noah’s Ark,” Crook County Head Coach Ernie Brooks said. “The animals were lining up two by two in the grandstands. It rained the entire time but a lot of our kids exploded anyway."by: PHOTO COURTESY OF DOUG SMITH - Grayson Munn rounds the corner in the 1,500-meter run. Munn finished second in the race with a season-best time of 4:10.69.

Both the Cowboys and Cowgirls finished third in the 14-team meet, which featured most of the top 4A?schools in the state.

Henley won the girls meet with 90.5 points. They were followed by North Valley, 75, Crook County, 70, Sisters 66.5, and Philomath, 59. In the boys meet, Scappoose finished first with 99 points. Elmira finished second (79), followed by Crook County (65.5), Sisters (58.5), and Siuslaw (55).

Although Brooks was excited about many of the performances he saw on Friday, he was especially pleased with the 300 hurdle race run by Michael Seyl.

“I think the guy who stole the show was Seyl in the 300 hurdles,” Brooks said. “It was pouring rain about 9:30 at night and he came around the corner and found another gear that we hadn’t seen before. It was awesome to see that because most of the time in the rain it’s just survive it and move on to fight another day.”

Seyl won the race with a career-best time of 40.80, which moves him into second in the Class 4A season best times.

Two other Crook County athletes also won events at the meet.

Kathryn Kaonis continued her dominance in the shot put, winning the event with a heave of 40-05.5, while Laken Berlin won the long jump with a leap of 16-05.25.

Berlin was also fourth in the 100 with a personal-record time of 13.10 and was instrumental in the Cowgirls' fourth-place finish in the 4x100 relay. The team of Abbie Smith, Berlin, Madie Bernard and Audrey Bernard ran a season-best time of 51.45.

Madie Bernard was also eighth in the 100 (13.26), while Audrey Bernard took sixth in the 200 (27.94), and fifth in the 400 (62.72).

Danielle Michael continued her strong season, finishing second in the pole vault with a leap of 8-06.

Hannah Troutman also had a solid day, finishing third in both the shot put (37-11.75), and discus (105-04), and eighth in the javelin (108-09). Ashton Morgan also placed in discus, taking fifth with a throw of 104-11.

The final Cowgirl to place in the meet was Chelsea Thomas, who took seventh in the 800 with a time of 2:29.57.

Although Seyl was the only Cowboy to win an event, several others had strong performances.

Grayson Munn led a strong contingent in the distance races, finishing second in the 1,500 with a time of 4:10. 69. Nathan Carmack finished seventh in the race with a time of 4:21.31.

“All of our distance runner’s pr’d (set personal records) Friday night,” Brooks said.

In the 800, Luis Rivera and Emmett Bailor finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with times of 1:59.71 and 2:05.42.

Also on the track, brothers Jesse and Sam Santiago finished third and fourth in the 400 with times of 51.88 and 52.14.

Zane Abrams placed in both hurdle races for the Cowboys, finishing fifth in the 300s with a time of 42.12 and sixth in the 110 highs with a time of 16.77.

The Cowboy 4x400 relay team of Rivera, Munn and the Santiago brothers finished second with a time of 3:28.10, just edging third-place Siuslaw (3:28.30).

In the field events, Zach Smith finished fifth in the discus (129-08) while A.J. Cooper was ninth in the javelin (136-11).

Neil Chaney also had a strong meet, finishing third in the pole vault with a leap of 11-06.

Crook County travels to Baker City this weekend to compete in the Greater Oregon League Championships, with the top two competitors in each event qualifying for the state meet, held May 23-24 in Eugene.

“We will board the bus on Friday morning and go lay it on the line,”?Brooks said. “I think everybody’s times are going to drop ... but the big thing we want to sell is if you pr (set personal records) we’re good. We’ll fight for placing, but pr’s, that’s our big goal.”

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