By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– With tough competition around them from Tualatin, Junction City, Scio and Hockinson of Washington, the Scots of McKay found a way to get it done Saturday at the Stayton Twilight by winning the guys (129.5) and girls (82) divisions behind another series of strong performances and PR’s by the squad.
“We were ecstatic, the plan is going as we planned,” said Head Coach Curt Everetts. “The training that we did is to peak at these next couple of meets and everything is going according to plan.”
If Israel Garza is king on the guys side for the Scots, Steffani Rodriquez-Aquinos is making a strong case for the girls equivalent of Garza on the girls side in just halfway through her freshman year.
The freshman’s day started with the 4×100 race, and without Racquel Williams and Bailey Bryant stepping in, it was going to be interesting to see how McKay would do.
But by the anchor leg, Rodriquez-Aquinos pulled off her best Garza-impression as she took the baton and ran to the finish line, finishing 0.78 ahead of Junction City for the win.
“I was running faster than last time and the wind helped a little with a push,” laughed Rodriquez-Aquinos. “It was pretty crazy, we didn’t have Raquel and we didn’t think we’re going to get first.”
Rodriquez-Aquinos finished second in the 100 meters and 200 meters while finished eighth in the Long Jump.
Speaking of Garza, the junior faced yet another tough compeitior in Tillamooks Rory Coon. At the 4A level, Coon won the 100, 200 and helped the Cheesemakers 4×400 team finish third at the State Meet last year.
Well, Garza and Coon met in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and it was a showdown in both races.
Though the two racers are nearly evenly matched in time, Garza uses it as fuel than anything else.
“I don’t let that stuff get into my head you know. I try to use it to motivate me, that way, it helps me at the end,” he said.
In the 100, Garza took the match-up by 0.11 of a second over Coon as Garza knows that these type of competitions are just to helping him get better as he chalks up one of McKay’s many wins on Saturday.
“It was definitely fun you know, competing against someone who’s just as fast as you,” said Garza. “It also helps you to get better. It was really fun racing against him.
“I’m at the point where I’m reaching my peak and it’s going to definitely help me at the end. I had a really good start today and I finished pretty strong so I think I’m getting better.”
Coon would take the 200 meter win by a similar margin, but Garza helped the Scots 4×100 and 4×400 teams to wins in each race.
In the 4×400 race, it was more the Manny Miranda’s, Damian Rios, and Saul Martinez Chavarin that made Garza’s lap the easiest.
“Well, Manny gave us a really good lead, and we just have to keep that throughout the race,” starts Rios. “In the 4×4, once you got the lead, that’s really key and I kept the lead and then Saul got the handoff too, they were closing in and that’s why we have our anchor Izzy.
“Save him because he’s the best for last, so we just stuck it out and won. Got a good feeling we PR’d.”
Other notable winners for McKay are Sariah Mba in the Shot-Put (35-feet-7.5-inches)Adolfo Lua too in the Shot Put (45-feet-1-inch) and Tyrus Love-Zhou took the 110 meter and 300 meter hurdles.
For Full Results Visit: https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/MeetResults.aspx?Meet=285561#203
Photos By Jeremy McDonald