By Jeremy McDonald
EUGENE, Ore.– Carrying that momentum from his two District Titles from last weekend, Stayton’s Casey Pugh finished sixth in the 3,000 meter race and brought home a ninth-place finish in the 1,500 over the two-day State Meet.
Though he couldn’t duplicate his podium success in the 1,500 meter race as he did in the 3,000, the junior was still pleased with how he did overall to close out yet another successful Track and Field season as his coaches helped him realize how he can improve entering his senior season.
“I think I ran pretty well in both (races),” said Pugh. “I PR’d in the 3k so I was really pumped about that. In the 1500 I wasn’t used to running in such a tight pack at faster paced, so I was a little disappointed.
“But then my coach came and talked to me about it, and got me to realize that I still have another year and I still have more races to compete in. In regarding the 3000 and placing, I was super happy about that, and makes me want to come back for next year.”
Lessons from these experiences will help him prepare for the final lap of his incredible High School career in 2018.
“Just knowing that there is more to learn from my experiences will make me want to push further and gain more success as my senior year comes,” said Pugh.
Speaking of Seniors, Senior Jacob Classen and the Eagle 4×100 team were Tops coming out of Day 2 from the Oregon West Conference relay teams finishing 11th in the State Meet as they finished ahead of Newport (13th-place) by 0.19 seconds to close out the 2017 season.
In his first trip to State, the senior Classen couldn’t want it any other way that to represent his town like this to close out his High School career.
“This is my first year here so it’s awesome, running in front of everyone,” said Classen. “Running in front of everyone that I’m from Stayton, representing my town and our community and it means everything right now.
“I wouldn’t want to end my senior sports, sports in High School for me, any other way.”
To be that high up, 11th-best in the State and Top team coming out of the OWC, it’s something to rest their hats on heading into the twilight of the season and something for the underclassmen to build from next year.
“I mean it’s awesome, of course we didn’t get what we wanted to get,” said Classen. “But with 40-something teams they are in 4A and we’re 11th-best in the year, it’s awesome.
“I thought we did a good job. I think we all came mentally-prepared to runand physically prepared. All of our heads were in the race, talking about the race before, how excited we were. I think we ended it on a good note.”