Makayla Long's efforts lift West Linn girls to 18th at state
There's no two ways about it — West Linn sophomore Makayla Long is a competitor.
Long, participating in the Class 6A state meet at Mt. Hood Community College on Friday and Saturday, May 24-25, put together two top-three finishes at the event and lifted West Linn to an 18th-place finish with 14 points.
Long made her marks in the throws, notching a third-place finish in Friday's javelin event, then coming back strong Saturday to take second in the discus despite the seemingly constant rain.
In Friday's javelin competition, Long managed a best throw of 133 feet, 8 inches to place third in the field of St. Mary's Isabelle Esler, the Three Rivers League champion, won the state title with a throw of 136-6, while Kohana Nakato of Summit placed second at 133-11.
While Long threw more than 10 free farther than she had at the TRL district meet a week earlier, she was still far from satisfied.
"I'm pretty disappointed," she said. "This is my first year so I have to kind of leave it in perspective, but I have high expectations for myself and I didn't quite achieve it. I've been throwing a lot farther in practices so it's just kind of disappointing when it doesn't show up in a meet."
Nonetheless, Long — who picked up the javelin for the first time less than two months ago — was excited for the opportunity to compete against the state's best and said she would learn from her experiences there.
"I just didn't execute my technique. There was nothing other than that, just technique," she explained. "You've got to leave it in perspective and get ready for the next event, the next practice. There's always something to learn, just to relax and not press because when you press, it's not going to be any better than when you don't."
Perhaps inspired by her Friday experience, Long came back to take second place in the discus on Saturday, throwing 141-9 to place second, trailing only Oregon City's Anessa Chirgwin and her winning mark of 143-3.
A week earlier, in much drier conditions, Long had thrown 145-7 at the TRL district meet while Chirgwin notched a 147-8 to win.
"Again, I was still disappointed," she said. "I was pretty consistent in my throws, but it only takes one to get beat."
While she refused to use the rainy conditions as an excuse, Long admitted that it did impact her performance.
"Even though I trained out in the rain a lot, that day was the worst of the year," she said. "If it had been sunny, I definitely would have gotten a different result."
The complete team scoring included: South Eugene 55, Jesuit 52, Centennial 51, Bend 51, Summit 50, Westview 43, West Salem 32, Sunset 24, Mountain View 24, St Mary's Academy 19, Sheldon 17, Oregon City 17, Lake Oswego 16, Lincoln 16, North Medford 16, Gresham 15, Grants Pass 15, West Linn 14, Benson 12, Madison 11.5, Franklin 10, Mountainside 10, Clackamas 10, Glencoe 9, Roseburg 9, South Salem 8, Tigard 8, Tualatin 7, Beaverton 6.5, Grant 6, Roosevelt 6, Sandy 5, Canby 5, Forest Grove 5, Sherwood 4, McKay 3.
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