By Jeremy McDonald
NEWPORT, Ore.– The 110 meter hurdles presents a challenge of testing one’s speed and explosiveness from the blocks to the last hurdles where to explode out to the finish line and mix in some fast athlete’s and ‘Finals’ tag to it and that’ll push your adrenaline needle to 11.
Jarrett Adair knew his hands were full after finishing third in the prelimanry race where the best time of the meet was 16.83 from Kai Daniels from Newport and Adair ran an 17.21 as he was both nervous and excited about the race to come.
But for the junior, it was just all about turning those nerves and letting the guide him and motivate him through the race ahead on Day 2 of the District Meet.
“For me it’s not an overcoming of nerves, it’s accepting them and letting them motivating you to do better because that’s what going to drive me to beat everyone else,” described Adair as he got into the blocks for the starting gun.
After waiting a moment for the gun to go off while holding in the ‘set’-position, they were off. Adair led the pack with Daniels right next to him, battling as they came down to the last hurdle where Daniels brushed against a hurdle that gave Adair the slight advantage as both bolted to the finish line.
They both crossed, Adair beat Daniels by 0.03 seconds for the District Title, setting a PR in the race of 16.56 as he was welcomed by a wave of North Marion teammates after his win as his coaches were heard cheering from the other side of the football field.
“That was super exciting man, I haven’t done that well all season so to come into yesterday and making it to the finals was incredible,” said Adair. “I was so nervous and excited for this race and to do how well as I did is incredible.”
Now, as he eventually got his first place medal and bolted back to Triple Jump where he finished fourth with a 37-feet-1.25-inch jump, his focus on the 110 meter race will be focusing on some of that explosiveness that the event demands from it’s athlete’s.
“Working more power in my drive in between the hurdles and getting my lead leg down faster after I go over it,” he said.
Felipe Ortega finished fifth in the 100 meter dash with a 11.73 time and Tyler Manning PR’d in the javelin at 135-feet-11-inches in his sixth-place finish. On the girls side, Mar Verastegui qualified for State in the Triple Jump after healing up after a ankle injury suffered during basketball season.
“It actually feels good, normally I battle shin splits during Track season but we’ve been working a lot on our keeping our bodies healthy for big moments like these,” said Verastegui on getting back to health.
For the junior, who went to State as a sophomore in the Long Jump, jumped a 34-foot-8.25-inch jump in the finals Saturday to punch her ticket again to the Big Show in Eugene and Verastegui is looking for redemption of sorts after how her experience went in 2017 as a sophomore.
“I didn’t really do my best last year so I’m getting some form of redemption and show people what I’m able to do this year and just do better,” said Verastegui. “I’m feeling like I’m getting started so I’m just going to keep jumping my best and hopefully hit those 35’s.”
Verastegui said too she felt like she could have hit 35-feet Saturday, but is confident she’ll be able to do it this next weekend at State.
Verastegui almost qualified in the Long Jump again, tying with Ashley Warden of Yamhill-Carlton with identical 15-feet-10.25-inch jumps for the final State Qualifying jump as Warden was awarded the spot due to a better 2nd jump score than Verastegui.