By Jeremy McDonald
INDEPENDENCE, Ore.– Against tough competition, the Headband Gang found a way to finish second at the John Oliver Invitional Friday Night at Central High School.
It was a team effort to keep the Salem Academy Crusader 4×400 relay team in contention with JT Williamson, Sam Kenyon and Davis McHugh keeping them in contention come Wilson McLean come the final lap of the race sitting in fourth.
“Our relay did what it needed to do, my boy JT begin it, he went out like he needed to,” said McLean. “He came in at a fast time. My boy Sam had a great leg, he put us in a great position. Davis ran strong, didn’t lose much for us and I knew it all came down to m, I wanted to run so fast for my team and anyone out in front of me, I was going to go get it.”
And boy did McLean did.
By the final 200 meters, the Crusaders were in second-place after being in fourth when McLean took over with Central just in front of him.
But, the 5A’s Panthers were in sound control for the win, McLean had to battle with 4A’s Banks anchor leg as the Braves made it interesting in the final 100 meters.
“It was so intense, i got the baton and I past those two guys in the beginning and I just knew I had to hold on,” said McLean. “And I was coming down the back-stretch, I heard them all cheering and I knew they weren’t cheering for me, they were cheering for the guy behind me, so I knew he was creeping, he was creeping hard, and I had to pick my legs up and sac up and keep running.”
And McLean found a way to hold off Banks for the second-place finish as the junior collaspes with his teammates on the Pole Vault mats by the finish line, exhausted from hauling like no other.
“My butt is burning up right now.” said McLean with a smile on his face as he caps the day with a win in the 300 meter Hurdles event.
The race caps what was a successful day for Salem Academy as their guys team finished fourth in the guys division and 14th in the girls.
On the guys side, Dawson Patton found his groove in the Triple-Jump as the sophomore finished sixth in the event, PR-ing at 38-feet-10.50-inches
“It’s a good day, there’s a lot of competition here, so it’s just going to make you work harder,” said Patton on how the competition was and helped him out. “It just makes you try to hit your goals more because you are seeing guys beating what you want to beat, so you got to focus harder and focus on what your good at.”
Other notables include Stacia Pathner, who finished fifth in the Long-Jump (32’2.50″), McHugh finished third in the 1500 (4:25.87), Morgan Strunk winning the shot-put at 47-feet-7.75-inches, and second at the Javelin (163-feet-9-inches).
For Full Results visit: https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/MeetResults.aspx?Meet=286991#199
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!
Photos By Jeremy McDonald