Stayton’s Bridge, McNary’s Copeland Place At John Oliver Invitational

By Jeremy McDonald

INDEPENDENCE, Ore.–  Stayton’s Hope Bridge is slowly piecing together with the Eagles entering the home stretch of their 2022 season.

Two days after her 5:21.35 1,500-meter race against Woodburn and Newport, the junior distance runner was back at it Friday at the John Oliver Invitational at Central High School.  Competing in the 1,500 once more Hope came out strongly, leading the first two laps in a field that featured runners from Corvallis, Central, Roseburg and North Eugene.

Hope started the third lap in the lead, but fatigue began to set in as she finished fifth in her heat and fifth overall in the race with a time of 5:21.60.  Consistency throughout the race is something she can work on entering the Stayton Invitational on April 30.

“I think I started pretty good; I would hope that I would have someone in front of me so I can trail along with because that usually helps.  I just need to work on maintaining the last part of my race,” Bridge said.  “I just need to practice on having the same pace the whole workout and maybe that will help.  My main problem is trying to pace it just right and continue to keep it for the last part of the race.”

Across the way in the long jump pit, McNary’s Tyler Copeland was wrapping up a seventh-place finish in the event as the Celtic senior picked up the sport this year.

What started as a simple conversation with a coach at Western Oregon University about competing in track sparked an interest in the sport.  Turns out Long Jump was a strong suit.  Speed was there for the sprints adds some versatility for the first-time trackser who finished seventh in the 100-meter and helped the 4×100 relay team to a sixth-place finish in the Invitational. 

McNary’s Tyler Copeland makes an attempt at Long Jump during Friday’s John Oliver Invitational at Central High School (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

His background as the quarterback for the Celtics Football team has led him in a way to javelin, where he PR’d Friday with a throw of 138-feet-7-inches in a fourth-place finish as Copeland looks to develop further as an athlete in the track-and-field realm.

“It’s just fun hanging out with some guys.  I’m a pretty competitive person so I wasn’t planning on doing good and so I’m just there,” Copeland said.  “I’m just trying to beat my PR every week.  I’m always improving because I got form to work on, I got speed.  It’s fun competing against other people.

“It’s nerve-racking, but I enjoy the competition.”

Other notables from the Invitational include Stayton’s Alissa Humphreys winning the 100-meter dash.  Molly Schotthoeffer won the High Jump while Eagles teammates Haley Butenschoen and Maddy Mitzel went two-three in the 400-meters.  The Eagle girls 4×400 meter relay teams finished second.

West Salem’s Morgan  Dorsey-DuQuesne won the Shot Put, the Titans Mobolaji Majekodummi was fifth in the Long Jump.  

Central’s Sophia Bliss was second in the 100-meter hurdles and second in the 300-meter hurdles.  Jack Burgett PR’d in the 400-meter (51.74).  The Panther boys finished second in the 4×100 meter relays, nearly two seconds behind Roseburg who won the event.  The Central Girls 4×100 meter relay team finished third.  Amanda McArthur was third  in the Long Jump and second in the triple jump.  Sadie Wendring was third. 

The Panthers Josh Peters was second in the triple jump while the Central Boys 4×400 meter relay team finished second.

McNary’s Maile Salang was third in the Shot Put and the Discus.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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