By Jeremy McDonald
ALBANY, Ore.– All you can ask for as a senior is to do your best in your final breath of you career.
Nerves were there at West Albany High School Wednesday as Oliver Sadler and Marquita Ritchey lined up for their respective events; Sadler in the Pole Vault, Ritchey in the 100 meter hurdles.
For Sadler, there were nerves in seeing the bar go higher and higher and higher in his event.
“I got pretty nervous because I’ve never done 11’5 before, so that made me pretty nervous but after seeing it and knowing that I can go through it, it made me more confident,” he said.
With Ritchey, as she got to the blocks, you could tell the nerves were in the air with the senior as she lined up in the blocks for her first of two events Wednesday as she went up against Keira McCarrell
“It was weird, because in the moment, if you ask me as I was on the line, I would tell you more, but it was going against the really fast girl from West Salem, she’s really good,” said Ritchey on McCarrell. “She’s a nice person but it was the fact that, ‘hey she’s in lane 4 in my heat, I’m on the outside’, I’ll just have to push and I’ll have to qualify.”
Ritchey didn’t qualify for the finals in the 100 meter hurdels, but PR’d as she crack 19 seconds for the first time ever.
But the journey to that time was, and is, a story all in itself.
“Some of the girls next to me, I could hear were clipping the hurdles and I did tell myself that I had to get angry with myself in order to pass these girls in order to get where I wanted to go,” described Ritchey. “So it wasn’t necessarily that I was frustrated or angry at anyone else but it was more of a, ‘I couldn’t do anything else to push except to make my facial expressions show that I was giving everything that I have.
“And I think if that was my 300, I probably would’ve fallen over because I gave so much it was insane.”
Once Ritchey found out she cracked that 19-second barrier, it was something out of the old saying of, ‘hard work pays off’ in being satisfied with the final result.
“Oh it was amazing because you run against these girls who run 16’s, who run 15’s, my 19 sounds really unimpressive but the fact that I’m one second closer to where some of these girls are, it’s amazing,” said Ritchey. “I mean I idle this year, it’s been really frustrating, but to hear that I broke 19, it was, I don’t know, it was un-describable , it was amazing.”
Sadler knew a thing or do about cracking past his PR after being stuck at the 10-foot barrier in Pole Vault until hitting 10-foot-six-inches in the Viking Twilight Meet a few weeks ago, and PR-ing once more at Districts is a bittersweet moment for him.
“It’s pretty upsetting knowing that I can’t pole vault anymore for McKay and it was my last year, but I feel like after getting 10’11”, I achieved what I wanted to do all along through High School and that’s get up there and I think I did that pretty good.
“It was amazing to PR in this last meet. I mean, going into it I was a little sketchy and after PR-ing, it was just like, going to the next height.”
No pun intended haha.
But that hard work Sadler did to PR on more than one occasion this season is proof for the underclassmen that they can achieve their goals as he did this Track and Field season.
“I think I set a really good goal for them, I know a lot of them always look up to me and a lot of them always like watching me because of how high I go and they always figure that by their senior year, they’ll be as high as me, so I hope they do,” said Sadler.
Sadler would finish eighth in the Pole Vault though seeded 11th, Jesse Garcia finished in 6th place of the Girls Pole Vault and was seeded 14th.
In the boys discus Kevin Her was fifth and Leo Silva was eighth, Her and Silva were 12th and 14th seeded respectively and in the 3,000 meter race, Allen Sotelo was sixth place after coming into the race seeded 10th.
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Photos By Jeremy McDonald