Madras track hosts big invite before districts
The Madras White Buffalo track program hosted a big meet Saturday, May 4, with around 11 teams, including a mix between big local schools and Tri-Valley League competition all participating.
In the boys' competition, 6A Reynolds (125) and 5A Redmond (87.5) finished first and second at the Madras Rotary Invitational, while the Buffs scored 83.5 points, claiming bronze.
On the girls' side, 5A Ridgeview (122), Estacada (101) and Reynolds were at the top of the podium, while the Lady Buffalos scored 33 team points, finishing in eighth place.
Erik Boynton placed first in the pole vault, with a leap of 12 feet, 6 inches, beating Ryan Wood, of Summit (12-00) and Brandon Jensen, of Reynolds (11-06).
In the high jump, Madras' Allen Jackson tied for first with Zach Young, of Monroe, and Luke Martin of Sherman. They all had a jump of 6 feet even.
The 4x400 relay team of Nathan Rodriguez, Dalton Waldow, Omar Diaz and Leo Gutierrez claimed gold with a time of 3:35.33, defeating Reynolds (3:42.14) and Summit (3:42.51).
Waldow also placed second in the long jump (19-10.75) and the 200-meter dash (23.61). Estacada's Calvin Dryden barely edged out Waldo in the 200-meter dash (23.56).
"I thought I performed well today," Waldow said. "I didn't perform as well as I thought I was going to, but still was strong in 4x100 and long jump. Last year's state experience was great because now I want to push myself harder and try to be there in multiple events for the second year in a row. I am going to try and go into districts and state confident, ready to win."
He finished in second place in the 200-meter dash during last year's districts with a time of 23.12 seconds and placed eighth at the state tournament with a time of 23.41.
Diaz ran his personal best in the 400-meter run (52.71), placing second for Madras.
The 4x100 relay team of Treyvon Easterling, Diaz, Waldow and Gutierrez finished in second place (44.96) behind Redmond (44.57).
Rodriguez had an excellent race in the 300-meter hurdles, running a personal best 43.60 seconds, placing third for the Buffs, and Donnie Bagley was able to place fifth in the javelin with a throw of 146-06.
The girls were led by sophomore Olivia Symons, who placed second in both the long jump (15-06.50) and the 100-meter dash (12.95). The 100-meter dash was Symon's personal best this season, but she was bested by Estacada freshman Faith Grainger (12.59).
"The bigger school competition is very intimidating, but when I run against bigger schools and do well, I know I will compete well at districts," Symons said. "Having better competition is only going to prepare me better for districts."
"Everyone works hard," she said. "I am a bit injured right now, but I still push through it. A lot of people stop and slow down when they are injured, but with me, I am still pushing hard and doing my best."
"I feel a lot of pressure this year, especially because there is a freshman girl from Estacada (Grainger), who is really fast and I am hoping to compete well against her and do well at state. I think I will also go to state in the long jump because I am doing very well right now."
Symons was last year's 100-meter dash district champ, with a time of 13.32 seconds. She placed eighth in the long jump at the state tournament (13-04.25) and 13th in the 100-meter dash (13.43). Symons has already had two jumps over 17 feet this season.
In the high jump, Briann Ellis was able to finish in fifth place (4-06) for the Lady Buffs.
"Erik Boynton is having just a breakout year in the pole vault and Omar Diaz is doing very well in triple jump, having an amazing mark a couple weeks ago," Jensen said. "Dalton Waldow is always great for us. Leo (Guttierrez), Trey (Easterling), Olivia (Symons) and a couple freshman hurdlers are looking really good, as well as Nathan Rodriguez in his hurdles. They will all be athletes to look out for this week."
Madras travels to North Marion for the 4A Tri-Valley League District Meet May 10-11.
"It is really all confidence at this point," head track coach Andew Jensen said. "The hay is in the barn as far as training goes and we have done a lot a far as mental and physical preparation. Right now, it is just about getting mentally ready for districts and building that confidence for it."
"I feel really good heading into districts," he said. "We are all pretty healthy for the most part and I think they are really fired up and ready. We will see what happens, but I would put our money on our guys because we are looking and feeling really good."
"It will be the same process we go through all year," Jensen said about districts. "We don't treat it any different, so we are going to go in, do our thing, just like every meet. It is just another opportunity for us to show what we are capable of."