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Win or not, athletes gave it their all

Some good athletic effort were turned in last week
by: Self-portrait, Sports Editor John Brewington

Congratulations are in order for all of the athletes that finished post season play last week. For some there was a state championship, for others there were good efforts but not the results they desired.

None of them need hang their heads. It's disappointing to lose, but when you give it your best there's absolutely no reason to be disappointed.

The local athletes all through their hearts into the competition and some got the desired results, others were very close, and others did as well as they could.

St. Helens' Ryan Byrd came back from 3,000 meter run disappointment on Friday at the 5A state track meet in Eugene, to win a state title in the 1,500. Byrd said his mistake on Friday in finishing third was that he didn't eat enough before the race. Saturday, he moved from far back in the pack with 200 yards to go, blew past the four runners in front, and gutted out a win by two seconds. An amazing performance. Bob Williams, one of his coaches, was almost giddy over the win. Byrd, who trained hard since January, was understandably pleased. 'It was magic,' he said. Nice young man, a well-deserved championship.

Scappoose got a championship from their 4x400 relay team Saturday in Eugene. It was a hard-contested race between them and La Salle. The Indians ran three sophomores-Mychal Hortert, Matt Shoun, and Justice Oman on the first three legs. The baton then passed to senior Stephen Bowe. He had the inside track with a La Salle runner hanging right on his right shoulder. Bowe said he knew he could win if he kept the other guy running farther on the outside. He had to give him a nudge for some room around the last turn, and that proved enough for him to bring home the win. It was an impressive win. Bowe, who had finish eighth in the 400, was thrilled with the win, although he wanted the school record. He thought the three returners should be able to accomplish that this coming year. Sean McNabb, one of his coaches, was impressed with Bowe's run. 'That's what this kid is all about,' McNabb said.

The Tribe's Charlie Davidson wasn't able to duplicate the 1,500 win she had last year as a freshman, but she ran a good race for second. She also moved up a notch in the 800, a race she despised as a freshman, but now feels is more to her her liking. Running two 800s, a 1,500 and twice in the long relay was a bit tiring she noted. Still she's a runner to contend with at the state level, and will be for two more years.

The ball teams that made the state playoffs each felt they were the better teams last week, but both had trouble scoring in tight losses.

The St. Helens Lady Lions ran up against a pitcher they couldn't hit. They only had two hits on the day. Coach Jeff Edwards thought that if they had been able to put the ball in play, they could have won. The Dalles Wahtonka went on to beat Rex Putnam, 2-1, and was in the semifinals on Tuesday.

St. Helens felt that if they had won, they, too, could have beaten Putnam and made it to the championship game.

Scappoose got bounced out of the first round with a 1-0 loss to Molalla. They weren't overwhelmed by the pitching, but hit the ball hard right at the other team and never had a real serious scoring effort. They played an impressive defensive game, gunning down several Molalla runners.

Galling for Scappoose is that Molalla was thumped by Hidden Valley in the next round, 14-1.

It wasn't a dominating year for any of the teams or individuals, but it was a year where athletes did as well or better than expected. Setting a personal record can sometimes be as admirable as winning a race. Everyone worked hard and gave it a good shot this past week.