By Jeremy McDonald
NEWPORT, Ore.– Many athlete’s have said their senior year, ‘Go Out With A Bang’ and oh boy did Jacobe Croff do just that Saturday afternoon in Newport.
The Senior found himself in the District Final in the 100 meter dash and the former Eagle Boys Soccer player showcased that speed that helped Stayton on the field as him and Newport’s Tanner Stottlemyre were so close in the closing meters that Croff looked for anything possible to win the race.
“I don’t know, it was kind of a last final attempt to stretch,” laughed Croff about what he eventually did.
As they were about to cross the line and both are still as even as you can get it, Croff leaned forward as if he was heading a ball and the screams weren’t Chris Shields screaming about the move but it was cheers of thinking that Croff won as they had to come to the tape to determine a winner.
The result came back: Croff by 0.01 of a second. 11.36 time for Croff and 11.37 for Stottlemyre, handing the Eagle Senior the District Title away from the hometown runner.
“That was intense, I think that’ll be the word for it. It was a good race and the guy next to me is really fast,” said Croff.
And with State coming up and Croff going to State in the 200 meter dash as well to go with his Long Jump District Title, the experience with the competition will help him as he prepares for Eugene in a week.
“I think just having really good competition in our league is helpful to preparing for other good competition at State,” said Croff.
Joining Croff as a two-time District Winner this weekend was Ben Kirby as the distance runner took the top spot in the 1,500 and 3,000 meter District Titles over the course of the two-day Meet.
“It feels really great, I never would thought I would have this,” said Kirby of the feat as teammate Casey Pugh finished second in the 3,000 Friday.
During the 1,500 meter race, Kirby had a slight advantage in leading the pack. Some would say his next action would be crazy, but it worked as he was trying to figure out when to do his kick.
“I knew I had a guy close behind and I took a glance back even though I shouldn’t have, but I saw his head go back and forth and thought he was tired so I continued to push the pace. In the last 200 meters, I gave verything I have,” said Kirby of the last lap.
And as Kirby finished, his father Alan was heard cheering for his son for a brief moment off to the side of the finish line as the younger Kirby finished the race in a 4:10.74 PR for the win.
On the Girls side, freshman Hailey Notman finished second in both the 1,500 and 3,00 meter races as Notman has one strategy for the State Meet next weekend.
“Try to pace with people I can pace with,” she said.
Jarred Boedigheimer won the High Jump at 6-feet and qualified for State in the Long Jump with a 19-feet-7.75-inch PR. Chase Rogers PR’d in the Triple Jump (38-feet-2.75-inches) as he brought home a District Title.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald