By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.— The Olympians of Sprague are having their own march to the Hayward Field ‘Olympics’ this weekend for the OSAA 6A State Championships in 2016.
With throwers Austin Kleinmann and Kyle Rosenau garnering automatic bids in their respective events, they’re joined by Keanton Beckman (Long Jump) and Leah Olivo (Triple Jump) who are coming to State as wild card bids.
But for Brent Charles, with the kids competing hard, with the boys team finishing fourth and the girls competing hard for an eighth-place finish, Charles is happy with how the team had progressed through the season.
“I’m excited that the kids get another chance to go down and compete. We were disappointed that we didn’t get more kids through but after I reflected after Friday the reality is that we had a great year. That’s a testament of the program, we didn’t have a bunch of superstars, but it’s a testament to the program and how well the kids did come out and worked.”
Kleinmann will be working like a Clydesdale Friday and Saturday, juggling the Discus and the Shot Put duties after winning both events at the Greater Valley Conference State Tournament a few days ago.
Having been there last year, Kleinmann knows the task ahead of the State Meet and taking it one step at a time as he looks to bring home a State Title for the Olympians.
“I’ve been there before so I have the experience so I can go in a lot more focused and knowing what to expect this time,” he said. “We’re just taking it one step at a time. So I’m not focusing on discus until the shot put is over and when that’s over and done, then we can get into the correct mindset for discus as well.”
The good thing of the Meet is that he won’t be running from one event to another as he’ll have some time in between each event to focus his talents back to the next task.
For Rosenau, the junior finished second in the discus behind Kleinmann with a 140’01” throw to Kleinmann’s winning throw of 161’06”
“It’s really cool, I’ve been working really hard and last year I almost made it and that’s been pushing me forward to making it this year was that I was so close last year that I really wanted to go this year.
“I’m aiming for a PR and I feel like I can, I just need to be prepared at State.”
As Rosenau and Kleinmann prepare for their showdown with Oregon’s Best, so is Olivo and Beckman.
Olivo had won the triple jump last year as a junior at the GVC District meet, but were beat out by two of the best triple jumpers in the State of Oregon from West Salem High School in Taylor McCarrell and Elea McCrae, who finished one-two in front of Olivo.
But Charles is happy she has one more chance to compete before graduating Sprague here in a few weeks.
“Leah Olivo won the triple jump last year from our league it just so happens that now all of a sudden that there’s two freshman who got ahead of her and she wounded up finishing third. But they’re pretty high in State so it’s no shame that she got third there, I’m just happy she gets another chance at competing.”
The other wild card Charles spoke highly of was Beckman. The newbie to the meet, (even though he’s a junior), Charles believes Beckman can turn some heads this weekend in Eugene.
“Keanton never got to go to the State meet,” Charles started. “So I’m excited for him being able to go, but you think that the wild cards come in and they’re going to be 15th or 16th on the table because they got the two wild cards spots; he’s sitting 11th. So he’s not going to be the first guy jumping down there, he’s going to be jumping midway through the first flight.
“He has a chance to, if he jumps well, which I think he will, if he jumps well with this extra opportunity, he has a chance to score in the state meet and he got in as a wild card.”
With these big competitions anything is possible.
The OSAA 6A Track and Field State Meet will run Friday and Saturday at Legendary Hayward Stadium in Eugene.
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