By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.–Of the 11 athletes who qualified for the State Tournament for the Cascade Cougar Track and Field team, six of them happened to be Seniors.
Brandon Martin took home the crown in the 100 meters, 200 meters and was second in the Long Jump with a PR-ing leap of 20-feet-6.5-inches spoke to the hard work and sacrifice it took to get to being in a position to get to State.
“It’s just so surreal, all the work that everyone has been putting in including myself, it’s all paying off on this day and that’s what suppose to be,” starts Martin. “I can’t thank the coaches enough for getting me to where I am right now to compete at conference meets, I’m really happy.
Martin won the 100 and 200 District Titles in 2016 as well, found it hard to believe how he managed to get to this point; but describes it as ‘incredible’ times of his life.
“Both (are) just in incredibile times of my life, it’s just so great coming back and performing as hard as I can again…I don’t know, it feels great,” he said.
Elisa Kanoff, who won the District Title as a junior last year in the 100 and 200 meter races, couldn’t duplicate her junior campaign success; but the senior kicked in into high gear in the final few meters of the 200 meter race to grab second-place to go to State in the event she finished third in last year.
“My goal was to go back to State at least one time, so going for the 4×1, I’ve already accomplished a goal. But I wanted to accomplished another one, going to a individual event.
“And even though I didn’t make it in the 100, I’m really proud I’ve made it in the 200.”
Alan Beckman (second-place in the 200 meters), Maliah Russell (800 meter District Winner), Faith Craig (2nd-place in the 300 meter Hurdles) and the 4×100 girls relay team rounds out the running events.
On the throws, Dominic Federcio (2nd-place Discus) and Cody Teal (2nd-place Shot-put), both PR’d in their events as
“Oh it’s really cool, I’m super excited, it’s really fun,” said Federcio on the opportunity that him and Teal have on advancing to the Big show, Federcio for the second-time and Teal for the first. “I was happy with my performance, but of course there’s little things to improve on so you just have to go back to work and improving.”
Kalulu Ngaida (High Jump and Triple Jump District Champion), and Amanda Wiebenga (Pole Vault District Champion) will join Federico and Teal on the throwers side of things.
And with the sunset on the horizon of their careers, to finish strong is just doing what you do best.
“I just have to worry about what I can do, I mean you can’t really worry about anything, you just have to focus on what you can do,” said Federico. “Just try your hardest is all you can do.”
With the runners in Martin and Kanoff, yeah they got some things to work on between now and State, but there’s also that sense of finishing this thing off strong that is their High School careers.
“I have a lot to work on in the 100 than I did last year, I didn’t make it to the finals last year, but I’m working to work on being less tense and trying to be more relax in my races and I’m sure it will pay off,” said Martin after his 100 meter race.
“Just go out as hard as I can, it’s going to be my last race of high school since I’m not going out for Track in College, I’m going to give it all I got,” said Kanoff. ”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald