By Jeremy McDonald
MT. ANGEL, Ore.– After winning their first district title in what seemed like eons last season, the Salem Academy Boys Track and Field team brought home their second-straight District Championship Friday, but it wasn’t as nearly dominate as last season as their margin was 15.5 points to second place Scio compare to the nearly 100 point spread they had on the Loggers last season.
With six athletes that stretched over 14 events that qualify for the State Meet this season, there’s a good chance that Salem Academy could tally up some serious State Points in the 2018 State Championship this season.
Leading the way, which shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, is Wilson McLean. McLean won all four of his events Friday with the 100 meter, the 110 and 300 meter hurdles as well as helping the 4×400 HeadBand Gang 2.0 qualify for the Big Show.
“That’s four years work for me right there, it’s freshman year coming up just hoping to place Top 3, Top 2 in the 300 Hurdles just hoping to make it to State in that,” “I mean it coming full circle for me in a sense. It’s really surreal, I’m really taking this moment in as much as I can.
“I’m thankful for all my teammates that are here with me right now, I’m happy to be here. I’m beyond thankful to place first in all of my events and go to State in all of my events. It’s a dream come true.”
Joining McLean is Dawson Patton (Long Jump, Triple Jump), Mason Strunk (District Winner in Shot Put and Discus), Austin Bannerman (Pole Vault District Champion, 200 meter dash second-place finisher) to name a few athletes.
On the girls side, Sydney Brown qualified for State in the 300 meter hurdles as she held a brief lead to eventual race winner Trinity Phipps entering the first turn of the race before Phipps took the lead coming out of the final turn coming towards the finish line.
“This is my first year so my coaches haven’t had a lot of time to refine me because I’m kind of a raw athlete right now,” smiled and laugh Brown. “They’ve taught me to go faster around the corner, that’s where she caught me but I’m still trying to improve myself and only a week left.”
Brown’s during her first year of track since Middle School as she came out just for fun this year now seeing herself competing on a familiar big stage, but yet it’s unfamiliar compare to that what she’s used to with basketball and volleyball.
“It’s going to be cool, we’re going to be treated well like professionals and though I am not a professional,” laughed Brown who also qualified for State in the 100 meter hurdles. “I feel like in Track I get more nervous because it’s a single person event but I think I’ll be ok and just run out there and give God the Glory through it and I think that’s all I’m called to do through it in this race anyway.”
Joining Brown on the girls side is Aimee Smith, who finished second in the shot put and the discus and almost qualified for the Javelin in her third place finish in the event. Kara Standridge won the District Title in the High Jump. Teagan Thurston brought home the District Title in the 100 meter dash as Halle Baker (1500) and Kirsten Koehnke (800) both qualified for State by finishing second in their events. Baker won the 3000 meter race with Koehnke second.
The Lady Crusaders are also taking their 4×400 relay team to the State Meet after finishing second in the relay.