North Marion wins first boys district track title since 1958
The last time the North Marion boys track and field program was crowned district champion, the Huskies were part of the A-2 classification, Dwight Eisenhower was president of the United States and the U.S. Congress formally created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — better known as NASA.
Behind a Hurculean team effort on May 15 in Madras, the Huskies officially reset that clock, winning their first district title since 1958.
Led by district champions Kaden Anderson and Tyler Manning, along with a bevy of second-place finishes, the North Marion boys put together a masterful performance at the two-day Tri-Valley Conference meet, amassing 178.5 points to beat out runner-up Madras (159.5).
In doing so, the boys team will send nine athletes in 10 events to the 4A state championship showcase this Saturday at Siuslaw High School in Florence.
The girls team placed fifth with 80 points and will feature two representatives at state — district champions Hailey Welch (triple jump) and Danielle Christenson (discus).
The majority of North Marion's work on the boys side was done on the track, where Anderson, a senior, led the charge by claiming a district title in the 200-meter dash with a personal-best time of 22.80.
The event was one of three that Anderson will compete in after placing runner-up in the 100 and 300 hurdles.
Anderson narrowly missed out on a second district title in the 100 after finishing just behind Molalla sophomore Brayden Cunningham.
The two had finished neck-and-neck in Friday's preliminary race, where Cunningham's 11.54 time edged out Anderson's 11.57 by three hundreds of a second.
Saturday's finals were even closer, with Cunningham needing an 11.34-second PR to eclipse Anderson's 11.36 time, which also marked as a personal best.
Anderson also punched his ticket to the showcase with a second-place finish in the 300-hurdles with a time of 47.68 — just his seond attempt at the event after making his debut two weeks earlier.
Anderson was also part of the Huskies' 4x100 relay team, along with Bryce Anderson, Kamron Anderson and Alexis Ramos, which placed third in 46.76, narrowly missing out on the automatic berth to state by a half second behind runner-up Molalla (46.20).
Elsewhere on the track, junior Owen Alvord claimed runner-up in the 800 mid-distance event, setting a new PR of 2:08.37 to finish sandwiched between district champion Antuan Peterson (2:07.97) and Riley Reynolds (2:08.40), both of Molalla.
Alvord also joined Bryce Anderson, Martin Pacheco and Mitch Doubrava in a runner-up finish in the 4x400 relay (3:48.36), edging out Madras' team by four hundredths of a second to earn the automatic berth to state.
Bryce Anderson picked up a state berth as a solo competitor in the 400 with a third-place time of 53.25, earning a wildcard invitation to compete in Florence.
In the field events, the North Marion boys will send four athletes in three events, led by two-time district champ Manning.
The senior thrower defending the league javelin title he won as a sophomore, throwing for 147-04 to beat out Gladstone's Sabastian Peiffer by a little more than four feet.
Manning also claimed victory in the triple jump in a one-two-three finish in the event for the Huskies. Manning beat out fellow senior Parker Barton by a half inch with a mark of 39-00.75. Barton placed second with a PR of 39-00.25, followed by junior teammate Tony Lewis in third place at 38-07.50.
Lewis' distance wasn't enough to earn him a bid to state as a wildcard berth, so Manning gave up his state bid, allowing Lewis to represent the Huskies in the event along with Barton.
Barton will also compete at state in the high jump, setting a new PR of 5-09 to tie with Estacada's Angel Lopez, who won the event by virtue of needing less attempts to clear the mark.
North Marion's final boys rep will be junior Caedyn Laninga, who set a PR in the pole vault for the second consecutive competition with a second-place height of 10-06.
Laninga added a third-place finish in the 110 hurdles in 18.47, one of a number of top five finishes across the weekend that helped the Huskies claim their district title.
North Marion girls
For the girls, it was senior teammates Welch and Christenson who punched their tickets to the big show less than two months after claiming a showcase title of their own as part of the 4A champion girls soccer team.
A week after setting the school record in the pole vault, Christenson claimed a state berth in the event with a second-place height of 8-00. But it was in the discus where she picked up a district title, recording a personal-best mark of 84-05 to beat out Madras' Matty Buck (82-10) and Estacada's Mara Eakin (80-05).
Welch will make her trip to state in the triple jump after beating out her previous best by a quarter inch with a district title-clinching leap of 31-00. The distance was enough to beat out Molalla's Kadenlee Greer, who took second at 30-05.25. Christenson followed for a third-place mark of 30-01.50, which was not enough to earn a wildcard bid in the event.
The 2021 4A Track and Field championship showcase will be held on Friday and Saturday at Siuslaw High School in Florence. For more information about the championship, entries, schedules and more, go to https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/meet/430399/info.
Tri-Valley Conference Championships
1. North Marion 178.5
2. Madras 159.5
3. Molalla 147
4. Gladstone 60
5. Estacada 56
6. Corbett 41
1. Estacada 157
2. Madras 129
3. Gladstone 119
4. Molalla 103
5. North Marion 80
6. Corbett 40
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.