In the sunshine — yes, there was a little of it — in the rain, in the wind and in everything else the weather could throw at them, the West Linn Lions took their best shots at the Class 6A boys state track meet.
West Linn, competing in the state meet at Mt. Hood Community College on Friday and Saturday, May 24-25, sent seven athletes to the event, put together four top-10 finishes and eventually placed 23rd as a team with 11.5 points.
Highlights from the Lions' successes at state were: senior Kenney McElroy, fifth in the 800 meters; senior Garrett Jackson, sixth in the 400; freshman Adam Maxwell, sixth in the high jump; and the West Linn 4 x 400 relay team, seventh.
Also competing at state were: sophomore Cody Pierce, 11th in the high jump; and senior John Wetzsteon, 15th in the 3,000.
For Jackson, a first-year competitor in track, the experience was thrilling and nerve-wracking all at the same time. He finished the 400 in sixth place overall at 50.25 seconds, while Oregon City's Ricky Ascencio — the Three Rivers League champion — won the state title with a 49.13.
"Honestly, I have a lot of mixed emotions about it," Jackson said. "I didn't run as fast as I wanted to, but this was my first year and I was super nervous. I had a lot of adrenaline running through me and it really tired me out, but overall, it was a good experience."
Jackson, who will play soccer and may also run next year at St. Mary's University of Minnesota, credited the West Linn coaching staff with making his first year of track rewarding.
McElroy, coming off a runner-up effort at the TRL district meet, ran through Saturday's rain showers to finish fifth at state with a time of 1:56.62. Ethan Reese of Sunset won the state crown in the 800 at 1:53.40.
Maxwell and Pierce did their part in the high jump, with Maxwell clearing a personal best of 6 feet, 2 inches to place ninth in his first state meet. Pierce, meanwhile, cleared the opening height of 6-0 and tied for 11th in the field of 15. Mountain View's James King took the title at 6-6.
In the 4 x 400 relay, McElroy teamed with senior Matthew Dyer, senior Nate Davidson and Jackson to finish seventh at 3:25.97. Wetzsteon, the TRL champion in the 3,000, ran 9:00.90 to place 15th.
The complete team scoring included: Tualatin 74, Sherwood 47, Jesuit 45, Oregon City 41, Westview 27, West Salem 26, Central Catholic 24, Liberty 21, Franklin 21, Summit 20.5, Grant 18, South Eugene 17, McMinnville 16, Tigard 16, Lake Oswego 16, Bend 15.5, Sheldon 15, Sunset 15, Grants Pass 15, Benson 14, Sandy 13.5, Beaverton 12, West Linn 11.5, Roosevelt 10.3333, North Medford 10, Mountain View 10, Forest Grove 10, Roseburg 9.33333, Barlow 8, Wilson 7.5, Centennial 7, Lakeridge 6.5, McKay 6, Gresham 6, Century 6, Madison 6, South Salem 5, Southridge 4, Canby 3, David Douglas 3, Lincoln 2, Clackamas 1, Glencoe 0.333333.
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.