Strunk Brings Home Discus State Title

By Jeremy McDonald

GRESHAM, Ore.–  Mason Strunk had already broke a school record this season in the first meet of the season in the discus and came within three-inches of his uncle Joel’s shot put record this weekend at the 3A State Meet in his second-place finish.

“It’s just great.  Just Glory to God, giving me an opportunity to do this and letting me get out here and just have a good time,” smiled Strunk.  “I’m just glad that all my work is paying off and just improving on it.”

Strunk kept seeing his record in Discus that he broke in Salem Academy’s season opener at the Kennedy Icebreaker continue to climb, hitting a PR of 166-feet-9-inches at the Centennial Invitational on April 27 in Portland.

The Juniors 3A State Winning throw of 164-feet-even was about three-feet off the PR clip from him but was still good enough to take the field by nearly 21-feet Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College.  Cascade Christian’s Collin Marshall was second with a throw of 143-feet-8-inches.

Salem Academy’s Mason Strunk about to a launch one of his finals throws Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

And as he walked off the podium after his discus, Strunk isn’t done yet as he’s going straight into off-season training in preparation for his Senior season for Salem Academy.

“I’m not doing football next year, I’m doing year-around Track and try to join up with the Super Throws through summer and into indoor and go full out in Track,” said Strunk. “It’s going to be great not having that break-off in that summer and not getting out of it and having to get back into it, but just continuing through that.

“Continuing to put work in and just get everything right and I think it’s going to help out a lot.”

About three weeks ago, the Crusaders Dawson Patton suffered a tough ankle injury just when the Senior was looking to make another State run leading into the District Meet at Dayton.

“I couldn’t really run after that.  It was drastic, it was bad,” said Patton, who suffered the injury triple jumping.

Dawson Patton (Center, Green) looks on with a running event going on as he and the Long Jumpers were being announced (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

For the Senior, he wasn’t just going to mail it in.  He was just going to make sure he’ll do the best he could especially with his history at State.

Patton finished third in the Long Jump and Triple Jump as a Junior and won the Triple Jump as a sophomore two years ago as he qualified for State one last time.

“It was great, I had no expectations coming in after that.  Being able to do so well as I did at Districts and coming in today, it was just great,” said Patton.   “It was just going out there and do the best that I could do and even with my ankle still hurting.”

He finished second in the Triple Jump, behind Willamina’s David Hensley and was seventh in the Long Jump.

Hayden Wakefield finished eighth in the 400 meters.Kristen Koehnke was eighth in the 800 meter run.  The 4×100 Boys relay team finished fourth while the 4×100 meter girls relay team was seventh.

Annabelle Brawley was seventh in the Javelin.

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