Santiam Tracksters Gearing Up For Season Ahead

By Jeremy McDonald

MILL CITY, Ore.–  Emma Longfellow found herself helping her fellow discus throwers out during Tuesday’s practice.  Working on technique and working through the process of the event they were working on in practice.

“I am so happy to come back with all of this knowledge and help them out .  I see potential in them, so I’m happy to see what they’re able to do over the season.  My goal is to have them beat me, that’s what I’m trying to get them to do,” Longfellow said.

Longfellow was one of six Wolverines who qualified for the State Meet and one of five who return as the now-Senior thrower finished second in the State in the Discus last Spring with a throw of 114-feet-05-inches.  But with the standards that Longfellow has set for herself, she’s hoping to finish first this year before ending her High School career.\

“It was great.  It was what I’ve worked for my whole career.  Placing second as a junior was exciting, but I was going for Gold.  That’s what I really wanted and that’s what I’ve been working for, getting to a place where I can make that happen.  I never stopped throwing.  I threw all Summer, all Winter.  In the snow, rain, the blistering sun, it didn’t matter I was out there throwing and I lifted weights every day with a coach and just working hard.”

Across the way by the Pole Vaulting pit, Parker Hanna was in the same boat as Longfellow in putting in the work over the offseason.  After failing to hit the starting height of ten-feet at State this past Spring, a height he’s hit before, Hanna went to work over the offseason and went to a Pole Vaulting camp to work on his craft.  Improving his height and the nuances of the event, he’s ready for this season as he’ll look to level out the nerves that plagued him at the State Meet a few months ago.

“State really taught me to get off my nerves when I’m going for that because I failed the starting height , which is tough for me after I got that height all season.  So not get as nervous and stay in control.  I think since we got 15 meets scheduled, I think that’s going to really help since I’ll get so much practice in.,” Hanna said.  “I want to keep improving.  Try to get as close as I can to the school record.  Just always improving.”

Working with Hanna were Marcos Moreno, an alternate in the Pole Vault last Spring as a junior and Ellie Lindemann.  Lindemann finished seventh in 2A last Spring with a jump of 7-feet-10-inches as the senior hopes to take advantage of her last season at Santiam as she too aims to break the school record in the Girls Pole Vault.

“Last year was super exciting, eight-foot was my PR, so that kind of motivated me to keep going this year.  I’m hoping to break the school record,” said Lindemann.  “Parker and Marcos went to a Pole Vaulting camp, which improved them a lot so I’m hoping to get tips from them and working on keeping my arm straight this year. Definitely working on my arms and getting them more muscular will help me bend the pole more and get more arch in my jump and hopefully it’ll get me higher.”

Gage Twede qualified for State in the 400-meter race returns as is Averie Peterson, who placed fifth in the 400-meter race and was State Runner-Up in the 800-meter race, finishing about a half-second behind Heppner’s Hannah Finch in the Finals race at Hayward Field.

Santiam opens the season April 6 at Regis before heading to Sisters on April 8 for the Sisters Invitational.   The Wolverines lone home meet will be on April 20.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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