To Finish The Season Strong

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  With the Greater Valley Conference District Championships less than 24 hours away, the North Salem Track and Field team are ready for what their conference has to offer.

The season itself was a successful entering the District meet.  Both Varsity Boys and Girls are 6-2, the Junior Varsity girls went undefeated and the JV Boys only lost one Dual Meet all season as the Vikings finished third in the GVC out of nine teams.

“It’s been a great season, it’s really been a good season,” said North Head Coach Don Berger.  “So we go into districts in the top half that we hoped to finish.  We have several athletes who have a shot on making it to the State Championship and we’re feeling good.”

“Our whole team actually has progressed a lot,” added Madison Willhoft.  “I know a lot of freshmen and sophomore are killing it on the track, so are the juniors and seniors.  So they’re all leaving something.”

Willhoft set a new sophomore class record in the 3,000 meters that was previously held by Viks Legend Claudette Groenedall as Willhoft is second in the district in the 3K race.

Something that she’s honored to have accomplished as she hopes to place in the 3,000 meter race Thursday and Friday in McMinnville and help the North Salem 4×400 relay team do the same.

“it says a lot about my future,” Willhoft said.  “Cause she where Claduette went, I can look up to that.  For the 4×4 as a team, us making it to state (is) just going to feel great.  I can’t wait.”

Senior Jimmy Van, who’s second in the triple jump event, knows that the message the seniors are trying to portray to the younger athletes is simple:

Hard work pays off.

“Just working hard throughout the season and that’ll pay off at the end,” he said.

Berger is preaching to his team, to his athletes, to leave it all out in this one.  To finish strong, to do all they can do and leave no regrets.

“The goals are for every athlete to finish strong,” he said.  “And what we mean by that is not just finish strong in your race, but finish the season strong by trying to get a lifetime PR and for our team to beat their very best and finish strong.

His athletes, like Van see and are taking that message to heart.

“I’m just trying to beat my personal mark and if I qualify for State, I’ll be happy,” said Van.  “But if I just leave it all out there, I’ll be satisfied.”

The District Challenge will be hosted at McMinnville High School in McMinnville Thursday and Friday.  Thursday’s festivities start at 2:30pm!

Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!


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