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The Veritas sophomore takes third in the 3,000 and fourth in the 1,500 at Class 1A state championships

SETH GORDON - Veritas sophomore Cam McChesney rounds the corner during the finals of the 1,500 Friday at the OSAA Class 1A State Championships in Eugene. McChesney placed fourth in 4:21.20 to go along with a third-place showing in the 3,000.

On the one hand, because he didn't set new personal records in either cross-country or track, Veritas' Cam McChesney felt like 2018-2019 has been somewhat of a sophomore slump.

But if you look at his state meet results, which include a third place showing in the 3,000 and a fourth in the 1,500 to go along with a 10th-place effort in cross-country meet in the fall, it's hard to argue that he didn't have a stellar campaign.

"He just sets his bar so high," Veritas coach and father Ken McChesney said.

Perhaps what was most disappointing for McChesney were how his two races unfolded at the OSAA 1A state championships at historic Hayward Field.

He expected race favorite Tim Stevens of Cove to run at a 9-minute pace in the 3,000 on May 17 and decided to stay with him in hopes of breaking 9:00 for the first time, even if he wasn't able to win the race.

But Stevens set and maintained a blistering pace, crossing in 8:48.22, and while McChesney had a healthy lead over Jack Silveira, also of Cove, he had pushed himself a bit too hard.

"Going into the last lap, Stevens was out of the picture and I was about 100 meters ahead of the other Cove guy," Cam McChesney said. "But (by) then I was dead, so he came and got me. That was tough. I didn't expect him to go that fast."

Silveira posted a time of 9:19.16 to relegate McChesney (9:20.74) to third by 1.58 seconds.

In the 1,500 meter event Friday, McChesney let Stevens go when he set the pace early, eventually settling into second place. He held onto his spot through the final turn, but Ethan Fine of North Lake and Derek O'Connor of Camas Valley passed him on the home stretch to finish second and third, respectively in 4:19.48 and 4:40.80. McChesney was less than a half second behind in 4:21.20 to earn fourth. Stevens cruised to the win in state-meet-record time of 4:00.40.

"Those boys are good," Ken McChesney said. "He did such a good job today and on the first lap, he let them go. He really was smart. The trick is trying to figure out when to make the move. We talked about 500 and 300. I know when there are fast people in the field, it's hard to wait. But he stayed home and held to his plan and those fast closers did what they do."

The disappointment for Cam McChesney himself will likely dissipate, especially considering he has two more years to improve. Now he knows to focus on his kick for next spring.

"Age wise, he's a freshman," Ken McChesney said. "So for him, it's just that patience of waiting. He's going to get there."

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