By Jeremy McDonald

SCIO, Ore.–It’s been all too long since we heard ‘Salem Academy’ called out for a District Title.

Way too long.

At the start of the season Head Coach Casey Haslebacher knew that this whole team was going to be very special and even told them that his blunt and straight-forward fashion.

And to achieve that, they just have to live up to their potential to do something great.

On the guys side, they outscored second-place Scio 215 to 138.5.  Qualified roughly nine athletes in 15 events.

Wilson McLean won two District Titles (200 meter and 300 meter hurdles) while helping the 4×400 team win the District Title and the 4×100 team to a second-place finish as the junior knew the potential of this team this year.

“No one knew, I mean people would’ve thought about it, people might’ve been underestimating us,”  said McLean.”Maybe a little, maybe a lot, but only we knew our true potential and I think we showed that to the fullest extent, when it truly mattered

“And it took a complete team effort and I think when it came time for everyone to  as hard as they could, pull out the PRs, it’s just starts getting to the grindstone.  Everyone doing what they’re suppose to do, I couldn’t ask for a better Districts.”

Morgan Strunk, battling through some injury in Day 2 of the meet, still qualified for State in four events that includes District Championships in Javelin, Shot Put and his heroics in the Long Jump led the Crusaders in hardware these past two days.

“Really, really nice, coming into this I knew that the guys were 100-percent capable of doing that,” said Haslebacher. “I knew that if they work hard enough, it was theirs.”

And they proved that with the performance they did.

On the girls side, Salem Academy are bringing five athletes to the Big Meet in Eugene.  Krista Mulkey in the 400 meters, Hallie Baker and Sarah Kenyon in the 3,000 meters, Stacia Panther in the Triple Jump and Kara Standridge in the High Jump.

And the performances from both guys and girls, made their Head Coach proud entering the State Tournament.

“Oh phenomenal.  Every person on this team, wheither they made this meet or not, gave everything they had, all the time.”

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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