By Jeremy McDonald
EUGENE, Ore.– State seems to bring the best out of athletes when it comes time to perform.
Salem Academy’s Mason Strunk, younger brother of Crusader-grad and State Placer Morgan, saw that first hand as the sophomore PR’d by three-feet in his fourth-place finish in the shot put Thursday.
“It’s just the atmosphere here, it’s just kind of brings it out of you and I guess I just kind of woke up here,” said Strunk who threw 45-feet-9.25-inches in the event. “It’s so much fun, I didn’t really expect it, but Glory to God man. I just didn’t really expect that and he really pulled it out for me.”
Patton, who made a name for himself last year at the State Track Meet, made the same statement as he finished third in the Long Jump with a 20-feet-8-inch leap.
“Oh it was fun, I came in eighth place and all I wanted to do was PR, so I got a little more than that,” said Patton.
Kara Standridge finished second in the High Jump at five-foot-one-inch. Austin Bannerman was third in the Pole Vault with a 12-feet-seven-inch jump as well during Day one of the Meet.
But State is also a time for fun as well as Halle Baker looked over to her family after her final 3,000 meter race and joked, ‘I don’t have to run another 3K!’.
“Mostly I’m going to miss running with the people I run with more than the race honestly,” said Baker who finished her final race with a smile and a laugh. “I love Track because I like talking to everyone, but the 3K has never been my favorite race so I’m kind of happy to be done with it.”
But also too with State, it’s a time for reflection as the younger teammates prepare to take over for the Seniors who are leaving beyond this meet.
“Oh its fun, it’s really fun to run with a teammate to help mentor you and help you,” Kirsten Koehnke. “She always leads prayers before our race so Halle’s just a really great leader on this team, we’ll really miss her next year. Big shoes to fill next year.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald