Track has best results in years
The Madras track and field team had four athletes compete in the 4A state meet, May 18 and 19, at Hayward Field, in Eugene.
Seniors Tyler Anderson and Chad Thurby, junior Dalton Waldow and freshman Olivia Symons all competed at state for the White Buffalos.
Last week, Anderson won both the 1,500-meter run and the 3,000-meter run at the Tri-Valley Conference district meet. Thurby won the men's 100-meter dash and Symons won the women's 100-meter dash. Waldow finished in second place in the 200-meter dash.
In the state meet, long distance runner Tyler Anderson finished third in the 1,500-meter run (4:06.49) and placed fourth in the 3,000-meter run (9:01.87). In the 1,500, Anderson moved all the way from seventh place, sprinting all the way to third place in the last 200 meters.
"I was able to see first, and I still felt strong," Anderson said. "I felt like I could still catch them, and I tried my best."
Anderson ran in seventh place for the majority of the race, staying on the fringe of the leaders before his final push.
"I tried to stay up in the front of the pack; everyone went out fast, so that was difficult," Anderson said.
Anderson ran his personal best in both the 1,500 and the 3,000. The 1,500 was won by Jordan Pollard (4:03.68), of Sisters, and the 3,000 saw John Kavulich (8:53.67), of Scappoose, finish in first.
Chad Thurby finished the 100-meter dash in seventh place (11.24). Thurby ran a PR in the preliminary race (11.22), placing third, going to the finals race. The 100 was won by Jonathan Chilcote (10.84), of North Bend.
Junior Dalton Waldow finished in eighth place in the 200-meter dash (23.41). He finished seventh out of 14 runners in the preliminary race (23.27). The finals race was won by Jacob Woods (22.34), of Cottage Grove.
Freshman female phenom Olivia Symons placed eighth in the long jump (13-04.25). The long jump was won by Chelsea Howard (17-06.50), of North Bend. Symons also raced in the preliminary 100-meter dash, placing 13th (13.43). She did not race in the finals because they only take the top eight finishers from the preliminaries.
"Talking to Evan Brown (Madras athletic director), we have not seen a state track team like this in 15 years, which is an awesome accomplishment," said track coach Andrew Jensen.
"They all performed really well," he said. "We went in not really sure how they were going to fare. Going into Friday, Tyler started us off by placing fourth, which was incredible. Then we had all three of the athletes after that qualified for the finals, which was huge, something to celebrate. Usually Madras athletes compete Friday (day one), but don't make it to Saturday (finals day)."
"I think they exceeded our expectations," he said. "We really changed a lot (this year) with how we train, our structure, developing core values and really focusing on the team aspect. Through all those things, I think it propelled them in helping with the success in districts and state."
"This season was awesome," Jensen said. "There was a lot to celebrate, having 75 kids out for track, 33 of them competing at districts. The thing I am most proud of this year is the momentum building for the future. I think that is something that has lacked in the past — not only building momentum from a success standpoint, but from a core value and team aspect."
"Getting that many kids out this year to buy in was very important for our vision," he said. "Hopefully, down the line, we will qualify kids for state and produce more district champions. We are in the roots part of our progam moving forward."