By Jeremy McDonald
MOUNT ANGEL, Ore.– Santiam’s Kristen Crofoot was not about to let this last opportunity go to waste. She was not going to let a torn meniscus get in the way of her going to State one last time. It’s her senior year and she was not going to hang up the Track gear without any regrets.
Saturday she battled through pain from the knee to the road rash she got on her right leg to qualify for State in the 300-meter Hurdles and PR’d in the Triple Jump with a jump of 32-feet-7-inches. Finishing fourth in the event to go with her fourth place finish in Long Jump (14-feet-9.75-inches) and fourth in the javelin with a throw of 92-feet-6-inches. All with the mentality of ‘this is it’.
“It’s my last year. I don’t care if I blow out my knee at State, I just want to get there for the last time,” Crofoot said.
Wearing the Santiam uniform the past few years has meant a lot for Crofoot. And to see Emma Longfellow (Shot Put, Discus District Winners in both), Averie Peterson (800-meter, District Winner), Ellie Lindemann (Pole Vault District Runner-Up) and Gage Twede (400-meter, District Champion), just adds to it as Crofoot looks to end her High School career on her own terms.
“It means everything to me. Track is my favorite sport. I’m just happy I made it to State in my last year,” Crofoot said, fighting back tears. “Just get it done and do what I got to do and leave it all out because there’s nothing left afterwards. I’m really proud of my team for what they did this year. They’ve tried pretty hard all year to go to State,”
With Longfellow, all the tough meets like Meet of Champions, Austin Smith Throwers Invitational and the Stayton Invitational had led the junior up to this point of winning her second Discus District Title and first in Shot Put.
“This was my big goal was to get to State for both Shot and Discus. So today meant a lot getting there for both, I’m so stoked,” Longfellow said “I’m so excited to get to throw at Hayward. To get the opportunity to go back to State is amazing. I just got to get out there and throw and try my best not to get into my own head and make sure everything goes perfect.”
Peterson, the lone Wolverine freshman to make it to State, achieved her goal in making it to State. Putting in the work all season to get to this point and saw it pay off in the 800-meter District Race. Separating herself from the field and won the race by a 5.85 second margin over second place Briar Hachenberg of Kennedy.
But after a long day of running the 4×100 relay and the 400-meter race, Peterson was happy with the 2:38.70 time she had knowing it was the last race, and an opportunity to make it to the State Meet next week in Eugene.
“I just knew this was my last race of the day and if I don’t make this one, then I’m not going to State. This was my last chance and I just had to push it,” Peterson said.. “I think it was a good pace, but for State I’m going to have to pick it up if I want to do well. I got a lot of training to do, but I’m really looking forward to it. Just keeping my pace throughout.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald