The 2022 boys state track meet just about had it all.
There was killer competition as always. There was the fabulous new version of Hayward Field that wowed seemingly every athlete who stepped foot inside it. There was even — dare we say? — sunshine on the meet's final day.
Best of all, however, is that there actually was a "real" state track meet after a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that followed. The Class 6A, 5A and 4A state meets were held Friday and Saturday, May 20-21 at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Class 6A meet
In the big-school meet, Lakeridge was the area's top finisher, placing 11th in the field of 40 teams while West Linn tied for 16th with 18 points.
The complete team scoring included: Central Catholic 55, Tigard 40, Tualatin 35, Canby 34, South Medford 33, Summit 30, Lincoln 30, Sherwood 28.5, Ida B. Wells 28, Westview 25, Lakeridge 24, Roseburg 22.5, Barlow 21, Jesuit 20, Roosevelt 19, West Linn 18, North Medford 18, Grants Pass 16, Clackamas 16, Sandy 14, Mountain View 12, Grant 10, Glencoe 10, Mountainside 10, Sheldon 10, Oregon City 10, Bend 10, Newberg 9, McDaniel 8, Sunset 6, Jefferson 6, Beaverton 6, Franklin 6, West Salem 5, David Douglas 5, Cleveland 4, South Eugene 3, Lake Oswego 3, Southridge 2, Aloha 1.
The Pacers were led at state by senior hurdlers Tyler Bradley and Zachary Larson, and senior long jumper Aaron Chao. Bradley stepped up to take third in the 110-meter high hurdles with a finishing time of 14.89 seconds, then came back later in the meet to finish fifth in the 300 intermediate hurdles in a personal-best time of 39.65.
Larson did his part in the intermediate hurdles, taking third overall with a PR of 39.25. And Chao followed suit by placing third in the long jump with a PR of 21 feet, 8.25 inches.
West Linn's efforts were highlighted by the success of senior Adam Maxwell, who fought to second place in the high jump at 6-5 — eventually losing in a jump-off to Summit sophomore Collin Moore — and came back later in the meet to finish second again in the intermediate hurdles with a PR of 37.74.
"I felt pretty good about how I jumped overall. I was still hoping to get 6-6, but I'm proud of how I performed," Maxwell said, adding that the jump-off "was stressful, but at the same time, it was really pushing me. It was like, 'I've got to get this.' … At the same time I was excited because I got to jump at Hayward. I'm proud of how it turned out."
For Clackamas, the Cavaliers saw senior Ben Moffett battle to second place in the javelin, while fellow senior Ian Patton took fifth in both his individual events, the long jump and javelin.
In the javelin, Moffett placed second with a mark of 193-5, trailing only Tigard senior Pat Vialva and his winning mark of 203-7.
"I had one good throw, 193, but the other ones just didn't click for me as much as I wanted them to," Moffett said. "I'm not satisfied at all. I wanted to get first and to break 200 by a lot. Neither of those happened so it's kind of disappointing."
For his part, Patton notched a PR of 172-10 to finish fifth in the javelin and added another fifth — and another personal best — of 21-8 in the long jump.
For Oregon City, junior sprinter Jayce Bartley set the pace by finishing third in the 200 with a PR of 21.98, and set another PR while placing fifth in the 100 at 10.90.
Lake Oswego's lone scorer was senior Blake Burby, who took sixth in the high hurdles in a PR of 15.36.
Class 5A meet
In the Class 5A meet, Wilsonville made a strong run at the 5A title, eventually finishing third with 65 points and trailing only first-place Silverton's 79 and second-place Crater's 69.
The Wildcats did it by amassing 13 place-winners in the meet, that group led by state javelin champion Chase Hix and three-time placer Logan Thebiay. Hix, a senior, broke off a personal-best throw of 188-4 to win the event over Redmond junior runner-up Dakota Wedding and his throw of 184-08.
"Throwing on this field with this crowd with the claps and everything, it was amazing. It was totally surreal," Hix said. "The sun helps a lot. This weather, the stadium, the fans — it was great."
Hix made his first throw on Saturday his best throw, then hung on and nursed his shoulder through the rest of the competition, waiting to see if he'd need another big throw to win.
"I started strong and slowly died down a little bit," he admitted. "My shoulder started hurting a little bit, but it was amazing. It's pretty awesome winning everything."
Thebiay was everywhere in the throws and successful in all three, taking second in the shot put at 53-3.75, going 142-7 to grab fourth in the discus, and finally, placing fifth in the javelin with a mark of 172-9.
But there were lots of other athletes who stepped for the Wildcats, with top-five finishes from: senior Luke Nelson, third in the pole vault at 13-6; junior Gregory Keswick, fifth in the 400 at 51.23; senior Ben McClelland, fifth in the 800 in a PR of 1:58.92; junior Cooper Hiday, second in the high hurdles at 15.77 and third in the intermediate hurdles with a PR of 40.52; and the 4 x 400 relay team of junior Brandt Jackson, McClelland, Hiday and Keswick, fifth in 3:29.52.
For Milwaukie, junior Logan Law paced the Mustangs' efforts, finishing third in both the 3,000 and 1,500, posting an 8:31.81 in the 3K and coming back to run 4:01.31 in the 1,500.
"My performance was a lot better outing than (at state cross country) so it felt good to finally run good at state," Law said.
He said he considered going out with front-running Crater junior Tyrone Gorze — the eventual state champ at 8:17.26 — but knew it would not have worked out well for him.
"I definitely would've taken it out with Tyrone, but I didn't want a (repeat) of cross country state so I sat and led the pack," Law said.
Putnam's best finisher was sophomore James Bauman who took sixth in the 100 with a PR of 11.28.
Gladstone's boys saw senior Blake Meisner grab seventh in the high hurdles with a time of 16.60.
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.