Four MHS tracksters claim gold at districts
The Madras track and field program produced four Tri-Valley district champions at North Marion May 10-11.
Sophomore Leo Gutierrez claimed gold in the 400-meter run with a time of 51.61 seconds. That was a personal best for Gutierrez, edging out Josiah Bitter, of Gladstone (51.83). Omar Diaz was able to finish in fourth place in the 400 (52.93).
In the pole vault, Erik Boynton leaped over all the competition, with a jump of 12 feet, 5 inches. Boynton placed first with Hunter Phung, of Gladstone, behind him (12-02).
High jumper Allen Jackson went 6 feet at districts. The senior tied for first place with Nick Lucas, of Molalla, and Tucker Hall, of Gladstone. Nathan Rodriguez placed second with a leap of 5-06 and fifth in the 300-meter hurdles (43.54).
Olivia Symons placed first in the long jump (16-03.25), beating Elizabeth Grandle, of Molalla (15-10.50). Symons, who has been dealing with some injuries this season, also placed second in the 200-meter dash (27.38).
"All of the first place finishers have been working so hard this year," head coach Andrew Jensen said. "Erik Boynton came in as a 10-06 pole vaulter, but we weren't sure what to expect from him. He is incredibly athletic and wants to put the work in and now he is knocking on the door of jumping 13 feet. I think that for him and all the first placers it's just a testament of their hard work and dedication to the program."
"Our motto was win slow, leave a legacy this year," he said. "That win slow piece is about how everything you do each day makes a difference in the long run, like districts and state. Olivia (Symons) is a natural talent, but she puts in the work every day, same with Leo (Gutierrez) ... such such an important part of our team with the relays he is in."
Symons won the 100-meter dash as a freshman during the 2018 district meet and was able to finish in third place in the 100-meter dash (13.41 this season. She was bested by Faith Grainger (13.04), of Estacada.
In the long jump, Dalton Waldow placed second (20-06) and also finished in fourth place in the 200-meter dash (24.03).
The boys' 4x400-meter relay team of Rodriguez, Diaz, Waldow and Gutierrez placed second (3:34.53), behind Gladstone (3:29.96).
Madras finished in third place in the 4x100-meter relay race. The team of Treyvon Easterling, Waldow, Diaz and Gutierrez (45.13), were bested by Molalla (43.56) and Gladstone (43.72).
Freshman Max Binning came in fourth place in the 800-meter run (2:12.30), while Hunter Fits placed fifth in the 3,000-meter run (10:34.58).
In the javelin, Amial Rhoan placed fourth (146-10) and Donnie Bagley fifth (146-04). Bagley also placed fifth in the discus (116-07).
Brooke Delamarter had a personal best time in the 3,000-meter run (13:07.54), placing fourth for the Lady Buffs.
In the girls' 800-meter run, Eryn McCourtney had a time of 2:47.22, placing fifth.
The boys track and field team finished in fourth place with 102 team points. Gladstone (217), Molalla (149) and Estacada (132) were the top three Tri-Valley Conference leaders.
The Lady Buffs track team scored 62 points, placing sixth. Gladstone (187), Estacada (147) and Molalla (135) were the top finishers for the girls.
"I couldn't be happier with districts," Jensen said. "The kids that we thought might have a chance at state all showed up and that is what it is all about with districts. It is about showing up physically and that comes from all the work you put in every day, but more importantly, showing up mentally. They did and delivered and it is a pretty cool thing to be able to send eight athletes to state."
"I can't take much credit for managing and coaching all these kids," he said. "We have an amazing coaching staff and each one of them works very well with these athletes. All the credit goes to those 10 coaches we brought on this year. They do an incredible job day in and day out. The commitment to these kids is just awesome."
Eight Madras athletes have qualified to compete at the state meet at Mt. Hood Community College May 17-18. Gutierrez (400, 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay), Jackson (high jump), Boynton (pole vault), Symons (long), Easterling (4x100 relay), Waldow (long, 4x100 relay, 4x400 relay) and Diaz (4x100 relay, 4x400 relay) are all competing at the state meet.
"We are really excited to see what these guys can do at state, but more importantly, the legacy of the program down the road," said Jensen. "They are going to carry that torch for us for a couple more years, while helping bring more talent. It's fun to see a program like this that has struggled a bit, but now has some momentum towards itself and I hope it carries for the next five, 10, 20 years. That is my dream."
"We just need to fine-tune certain things here and there, while making sure they are ready for the next level," Jensen said. "I think they are ready for it, but sometimes it can be an eyeopener for these new guys. It will be fun for these kids to rub elbows with some other great talent from other schools. Overall, I think it will be a great experience."